Tuesday, June 28, 2011

On the rest of the 2011 season, and Brett Wallace

Brett Wallace is not in tonight's lineup against the Rangers. Why? Presumably because lefty C.J. Wilson is starting for Texas and, well, Brett Wallace doesn't start against lefties.

This is completely ridiculous. If Wallace is the long-term answer at 1B, then he needs to be starting every single game, and Mills needs to quit screwing around and putting Lee at 1B every time a lefty is on the mound. Why? Because this season has officially ceased to matter, at least as far as 2011 is concerned.

The Astros, as a team, are hitting .264/.319/.371 against lefties. This includes Wallace's .208/.296/.250 line. This, obviously, is atrocious. But he's going to have to learn to hit lefties at some point in his career if he's the Reincarnation of Jeff Bagwell. And what better place to start than with a 28-51 record?

Chip Bailey had a post today wondering if the Astros "patented second-half run" could be far away.

Sure, it's a notable tradition, but there's no point. Let's look at the standings:

Milwaukee: 44-35
St. Louis: 41-38
Cincinnati: 41-39
Pittsburgh: 39-38
Chicago: 32-46
Houston: 28-51

This leaves the Astros 16 games back of the Brewers for first place, with the largest gap between two teams in all of baseball, including the Marlins who have not won since April 10*.

Even if the Astros went 62-21 from here on out, here's what the records of the five other teams would need to be in order to finish one game ahead of the Bizarro Astros:

Milwaukee: 47-36
St. Louis: 50-33
Cincinnati: 50-32
Pittsburgh: 52-32
Chicago: 59-25

Of course, you can count the Cubs out here, and probably the Pirates. Cincinnati and St. Louis would have a tall order. But Milwaukee, who is winning games at a .557 clip would simply need to go win at exactly the same pace they have been winning games to this point in order to finish above the Astros on the last day of the season.

Oh yeah, and if at any point you're questioning the logic of whether the Brewers can keep up this pace, remember the preceding paragraph is formulated on the theory that the Astros - who have been winning at a .354 clip would suddenly win the remaining 83 games at a .747 pace.

So Mills: stop sacrificing the development of your First Baseman of the Future based on the supposition that the second half run starts any day now.

(* - Approximately)