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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Carlos Lee is frustrating people in Chicago

Phil Rogers' tawdry Baseball Whispers column notes the mounting frustration with Carlos Lee:

Carlos Lee, who is owed $39 million, is testing the Astros' patience with a batting average around the Mendoza line. Some say he walked every step from the dugout to left field last weekend in Milwaukee. He's taking a spot from Brian Bogusevic, whose bat and energy could help get the Astros turned around.

Tranzactionz: April 30

Alright, we have it on good authority (and through the simple act of noting that Levine mentioned yesterday that Yordany was in Lexington) that Murilo Gouvea has been sent to what would be Tri-City, and former outfielder-now-pitcher Yordany Ramirez has been activated and sent to Lexington.

Gouvea, in 8IP (4G), allowed 10H/5ER, with 10K:4BB in Lexington this season. He's always been a strikeout machine, averaging 10.6 K/9 in his career, but also with 4.5 BB/9 and 9.6 H/9 to go along with it.

Lyles discusses last night's outing

MiLB has a report from New Orleans, in which we learn that Lyles relied heavily on his durty curve (misspelling: intentional).

Lyles:
"When I needed a punchout, that's what I went with. I was able to throw some curveballs in the dirt, so I was going with that. It worked pretty good...

I didn't feel the best coming out of the 'pen. But I felt really good coming out for the next inning -- I had a great play made behind me in center field and, after that, I settled down, got the ball down later in the game. So, overall, it was a great outing."

Astros release Carrillo

Stephen Goff notes a Greg Rajan report that the Astros have released pitcher Cesar Carrillo.

Astros sale getting closer

All sorts of reports from late last night, in which it seems the Astros are getting closer to changing hands.

Mark Berman says that Jim Crane is Drayton's "sole focus" to sell the Astros.

Berman, who notes that KILT had it first (classy):
Major League Baseball sources confirmed for FOX 26 Sports that Crane has entered into an exclusive arrangement to try and buy the team.

During the unspecified length of the arrangement, Crane will be the only one negotiating with Allen and Company, the New York-based investment banking firm hired by McLane to help sell his franchise.


Drayton, to McTaggart:
"We're negotiating with him, but we're negotiating with several other people. We're trying to do a deal with several people, and certain Jim Crane is one of them."

KHOU is reporting that the sale of the Astros is getting closer, but Drayton would not confirm if he was selling to Jim Crane.

Drayton:
"When we get a deal done, we have a signed agreement. Until you get a signed agreement, there’s really not a lot to talk about."

Smart move, Drayton, given what happened last time the Astros were linked to Crane.

Eddie's Farm: April 29

Oklahoma City (8-13)

The Astros lost a close one at New Orleans, 1-0, despite a fantastic performance from Jordan Lyles. Lyles threw 6IP, 5H/0ER, 8K:1BB, throwing 58 of his 90 pitches for strikes for his second straight scoreless outing. Casey Fien gave up the game-winning homer for the loss (his second homer allowed/loss in his last three outings). Sergio Escalona struck out the side in the 8th.

The problem was that New Orleans pitcher Jay Buente was better, allowing 4H/0ER in 6IP, and striking out 10 RedHawks. Jose Vallejo had two of OKC's five hits, with Shuck, DeLome, and Manzella getting the other three. Shuck and DeLome added SBs.

Man of the Match: Jordan Lyles.

Corpus (9-12)

Corpus' pitching staff spun a gem, defeating Frisco 5-0. Xavier Cedeno threw 7IP, 5H/0ER, 6K:1BB and Danny Meszaros made his season debut, striking out two in 2IP, and needing just 19 pitches to get six outs.

Brandon Wikoff continued his hot streak, going 3x4 with an RBI (now hitting .514). T.J. Steele hit a two-run homer; Andy Simunic was 1x2 with 2BBs, and J.D. Martinez was 1x4 with an RBI.

Man of the Match: Xavier Cedeno.

Lancaster (10-12)

Lancaster got out to a 2-0 lead, but Inland Empire scored the next four runs for a 4-2 win. Andrew Robinson threw 6.2IP, 7H/4ER, 0K:2BB. Wes Musick allowed 2H/0ER, 1K:1BB in 1.1IP.

Jose Altuve did what Jose Altuve does, and that's go 3x4 with a double, homer, and 3RBI. Jay Austin, Kody Hinze, Austin Wates, and Ben Heath each got a hit and drew a walk.

Man of the Match: Jose Altuve, who is 21x42 in his last ten games - seven of those games on the road.

Lexington (12-10)

Ooh, an exciting one in Lexington against Kannapolis. Roberto Pena hit him a walk-off homer for a 10-9 win, after Kannapolis had scored two in the top of the 9th to tie the game at 9-9. Juan Minaya threw 3.2IP, 6H/6ER, 3K:3BB. Gabe Garcia followed that up with 3IP, 4H/1ER, 4K:0BB, and Brian Streilein got the BS/W with a 3H/2ER, 1K:0BB in 2.1IP.

In addition to Pena's dramatic HR, Delino DeShields, Adam Bailey, and Telvin Nash all had jacks; while Jiovanni Mier and Dan Adamson added two hits each. DeShields also added 2SBs.

Man of the Match: Roberto Pena!

From the Office of the County Clerk - G26: Astros v. Brewers

These Brewers are starting to make me mad. Astros get blanked, 5-0.

*The Astros were shutout for the first time this season. By G26 of 2010, the Astros had been shutout four times. The 2011 Astros have been held to two or fewer runs for the sixth time (15 times in the first 26 games in 2010).

*Brett Myers threw 6IP, 5H/4ER, 8K:3BB. Of course, that's six straight starts of 18+ outs, but Myers hasn't exactly been efficient - needing 113 pitches to get the 18 outs. In 2011, Myers is averaging 6.34 pitches per out. In 2010, that was 5.15 pitches per out.

*He also allowed 3HR on the night (Braun, Fielder, and Betancourt. Yes, Yuniesky Betancourt). On June 29, 2010 Myers allowed 4HR to Milwaukee (Fielder x2, Lucroy, and pitcher Yovani Gallardo. Yes, Yovani Gallardo).

*Mark Melancon allowed his first run in five appearances, and walked a batter for the 6th time in his last eight outings.

*Brandon Lyon had his first perfect outing (meaning, no baserunners, natch) since April 14 - five outings. He's faced the minimum three batters in five of his last ten games.

*The offense didn't have much of anything going on. For the first time this season, the Astros didn't have any extra-base hits.

*Except for Brett Wallace - of course. Wallace was 2x4 to extend his hitting streak to nine games, in which he's hitting .571 with a .714 BABIP.

*Pence and Bourn each added a hit and a walk. Bourn has walked in three straight games. But the Astros were 0x6 w/RISP.

*Carlos Lee was 0x4 with a K, seeing a total of ten pitches. His four ABs resulted in the following: Pop foul to catcher, fly out to center, swinging K, groundout to pitcher. Since his six-game hit streak (Apr 13-19), Lee is hitting .108/.154/.243 with a stunning .097 BABIP.

*According to BaseballProjection's oRAR (offensive runs above replacement), Carlos Lee has been worth half a run less than a replacement player - replacement player meaning an "average player on a team with a .320 winning percentage."

*It's getting rough for Chris Johnson, who was 0x4 with 3Ks last night. In his last seven games, he's 4x27 with 9Ks.

*Clint Barmes was 0x4 in his Astros debut.

*Man of the Match: Brett Wallace.

*Goat of the Game: Carlos Lee.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Meszaros in for Corpus

Mike Tauser, who is doing work for the Chronicle, noted that Danny Meszaros will be active for Corpus tonight.

If Richard Justice had his way, it would be 2004

Richard Justice has a new post up over at the place that publishes The Constable's stuff every now and then (doesn't exactly inspire confidence in the publication, does it?). He would kindly like it to be 2004.

His advice to Jim Crane, in short form:

1. Fire Ed Wade.
2. Bring back Gerry Hunsicker.
3. Send Brett Wallace to Triple-A (or something like that, because...)
4. Bring back Lance Berkman.
5. Bring back Andy Pettitte.

Video Highlights: G25

Highlights from last night's game against the Cardinals.

The Astros have checked in on HS pitcher Connor Walsh

The Astros have had scouts following Radnor (PA) high school pitcher Connor Walsh, who is committed to play for the University of Cincinnati:

“A [Major League] offer would have to be something that would outweigh a college education. A team would have to be interested enough that I would be better off going there than getting a college education. The way I’m looking at it, I’m going to be happy either way, and right now the lean is towards college."

Eddie's Farm: April 28

Oklahoma City (8-12)

Oklahoma City enjoyed a 3-run 5th inning courtesy of an Anderson Hernandez homer for a 4-1 win. Henry Villar threw 6IP, 5H/1ER, 3K:2BB. Andy Van Hekken threw 2IP, 1H/0ER, 3K:0BB and Ross Wolf threw 1IP, 1H/0ER, 2K:1BB.

Anderson Hernandez' 3-run shot accounted for most of the offense, but Oswaldo Navarro was 2x3 with a walk. Koby Clemens added an RBI double.

Man of the Match: Anderson Hernandez

Corpus (8-12)

Midland got out to a 10-2 lead, but had to hold on for a 12-8 victory over Corpus. Kyle Greenwalt allowed 6H/4ER, 0K:1BB in 3IP, and Erick Abreu followed that up with 5H/4ER, 0K:1BB in 1.2IP. Shane Wolf allowed 2ER and a walk in 0.1IP, and David Berner allowed 2H/1ER (2R), 4K:1BB in 2IP. Arcenio Leon was the only pitcher to not give up a hit or a run, striking out two in 1IP.

Clint Barmes was 3x5 with 2RBI, and also committed two throwing errors in the effort. T.J. Steele (2RBI, BB), Jimmy Van Ostrand (BB), Brandon Wikoff (RBI), David Flores, and Brian Esposito (RBI) had two hits each, as every player collected at least one hit, including a double for J.D. Martinez. The Hooks also grounded into four double plays.

Man of the Match: T.J. Steele

Lancaster (10-11)

Following the example of the Big League Club, the JetHakws allowed their own 9-run inning to Rancho Cucamonga in a 13-6 defeat. Jose Cisnero lasted 1+IP, allowing 3H/7ER, 3K:3BB, WP, Balk. Wander Alvino gave up 6H/5ER, 3K:2BB in 2IP. Mike Ness allowed 5H/1R (0ER), but got 3K:0BB in 2.1IP, and Jose Trinidad allowed just one hit over the final eight outs.

Jose Altuve went 3x4 with a double and an RBI, but was replaced at 2B for the final AB - we'll try to figure out why. Jake Goebbert was also 3x5. Grant Hogue went 2x4 with a walk and an RBI. Jonathan Villar had a two-run triple and a walk.

Man of the Match: Jose Altuve

Lexington (11-10)

Game 1: Lexington scored three in the bottom of the 6th for a 3-2 win over Kannapolis. Carlos Quevedo allowed 5H/2ER, 8K:0BB in 5IP, and Jorge De Leon got the win with 2IP, 1H/0ER, 2K:0BB.

Jiovanni Mier was 2x3, and Mike Kvasnicka had the two-run double, with Tyler Burnett getting the GWRBI. Burnett, Mier, and Kvasnicka also committed errors that didn't factor in to the final score.

Man of the Match: Carlos Quevedo

Game 2: And Lexington took the second game, 3-1, earning the split. Ruben Alaniz allowed 3H/2ER, 2K:0BB in 3IP; Alex Sogard allowed a solo homer, and David Martinez got the final two outs of the game.

Chris Wallace, Dan Adamson, and Ben Orloff had the only hits of the game - all singles. Telvin Nash stole his first base of the season.

Man of the Match: Uh. Chris Wallace.

Inglett DFA'd

Just as we predicted last night, Joe Inglett has been designated for assignment to clear room for Clint Barmes.

Which means that Angel Sanchez will be riding pine. Thoughts?

From the Office of the County Clerk - G25: Astros v. Cardinals

Okay, bullpen, that's about enough out of you. The Cardinals put up a nine-spot in the 6th inning, and the Astros lose 11-7.

*Of course, the nine runs in one inning is a season-high allowed by the Astros. That happened last year, too.

*Figueroa had a passable outing, throwing 5IP, 6H/4ER, 2K:3BB, and one of those runs came courtesy of Abad, who had a terrible outing himself. More on that in a minute.

*Figueroa only threw a first-pitch strike to seven of the 22 batters he faced, and was actually able to throw more strikes than balls this time around - 50 to 41.

*Fernando Abad allowed 3H/4ER, 0K:1BB in 0.2IP - although we can take it easy on him, as this was the 3rd outing (out of 14) where he had allowed an earned run.

*Jose Valdez had a nice night, allowing one hit on 2IP.

*The Cardinals scored 11 runs on 15 hits. Astros pitching has allowed double-digit hits in six straight games, and seven of their last eight.

*In this series, the bullpen had the following line: 11IP, 22H/13ER, 8K:4BB

*Lance Berkman was 4x5 with 2HR/5RBI. He was 8x14 in this series. The last time he had four hits in a game was May 13, 2009 at Colorado, and this was his 2nd 2HR game of the season.

*Carlos Lee snapped an 0x17 streak with a hit, and got a two-run double in the 8th. He raised his OPS 21 points last night.

*Brett Wallace continued his streak with two doubles on the night, it's his 5th straight multi-hit game, and his 8th straight game with a hit. Wallace's OPS was .722 when the streak started. Now it's .959.

*Chris Johnson hit a two-run homer in the 2nd inning. It was his first extra-base hit in 20PAs. Johnson hasn't drawn a walk in 41PAs.

*Man of the Match: Nope. Not tonight.

*Goat of the Game: Fernando Abad.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sanity may prevail at some point down the road

Zach Levine asked about tonight's lineup, which still features Carlos Lee hitting 4th and Brett Wallace hitting 5th, about the possibility of moving Carlos Lee down:

Mills said Wallace staying put for now, won't rule out change in future.

Your National League cleanup hitters are collectively hitting .278/.357/.458. And that includes Carlos Lee and his .198/.238/.333 line. Lee's OPS is .571, 124 points below the NL's collective #8 hitter.

Friends Close, Enemies Closer: G25 vs. Cardinals

Jeez. This just looks like the Astros are asking for a bloodbath. Kyle McClellan takes the hill for the Cardinals facing Vintage Figgy.

Friends Close

*Figueroa has had a rough go of it. His WHIP is up over 2.00 through four starts. He's allowed 31H/19ER, 12K:10BB in just 20IP, average 5IP per start.

*He's been throwing his fastball less (44.3% in 2011, as opposed to 54.1% in 2010), and his slider way more (37.3% in '11, 25% in '10). His curve has gained 1mph in velocity, but his fastball is averaging 87mph in 2011, down from 88mph in 2010.

*Figueroa is averaging a game score of 30, through his four starts. But this should be noted: he's had terrible "luck." His BABIP is .377, but he's also averaging almost five line drives allowed per game - so he's just getting rocked.

*His Home splits are much better than the Away splits. In two starts at home, he's allowing an OPS of .757 (compared to 1.028 on the road).

*Berkman and Molina have three hits off of Figueroa in his career, while Pujols is 2x16 lifetime off Figs.

Enemies Closer

*Kyle McClellan has never faced Houston before as a starter, so there's that. McClellan is undefeated on the season, with a 2.16 ERA, and hasn't given up more than 2ER in an outing.

*McClellan throws a fastball (59% - 88.5mph), cutter (16.2% - 84.7mph), curve (14.6% - 72.4mph), and a change (10.1% - 81.3mph).

*On the road, he's 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA/1.31 WHIP, giving up 13H but only allowing 2ER.

*This is curious: With the batter ahead in the count, they're hitting .448/.568/.586. With an event count, that's a .194/.194/.194 line, and with the pitcher ahead, it's .207/.258/.414. Odd.

*After 30 PAs w/RISP, McClellan only allowed three hits and an HBP, with an .083 BABIP.

*The Astros will need to get off to an early start. The first time through the order, opponents have an .867 OPS, which drops to .678 the 2nd time through, and .472 the 3rd time around.

*Pence is 4x11 lifetime off of him - all singles. In 37 PAs against current Astros (pitchers included), only Bill Hall has an XBH - a home run.

ESPN wonders if Lyles will be up soon

It's an Insider-only note from Jason Churchill, but he has an incredibly vague/short post on Jordan Lyles. There are no questions answered. He just notes Lyles had a good start his last time out, and that Nelson Figueroa kind of sucks, and Happ has struggled. So, really, you don't need to read this.

I don't put Happ in the same boat as Figueroa. I still don't think Happ is healthy. But it begs a larger question: How much of a leash will you give Figueroa? If he craps the bed tonight, how loudly will you yell to make a change?

Meszaros reinstated from Inactive List

According to Baseball America (and with a captip to Street), we learn that Danny Meszaros has been reinstated from the inactive list.

If you recall, Meszaros, as well as Marcos Cabral and Jonathan Fixler, were suspended last August for 50 games for violating the league's substance abuse policy (which later turned out to be what seems like a tainted over-the-counter supplement.)

No idea yet as to where Meszaros will play, and it's certainly curious that Fixler and Cabral weren't re-instated, since their suspensions happened on the same day.

Minor League trends

So let's take a look at some of the trends going on down on Eddie's Farm:

Oklahoma City

*In six games since April 20, J.B. Shuck has 1K:5BB.
*In the four-game stand at Round Rock, Koby Clemens was 9x17 with 8RBI.
*Jordan Lyles has walked five batters in 21IP - all against LHBs.
*After allowing 7H/6ER, 3HR in 2IP at Nashville on April 12, Henry Villar has thrown 9IP, and allowed 10H/2ER, 3K:1BB, 1HR.

Corpus

*Brandon Wikoff is 12x20 since joining the starting lineup, with three XBHs.
*J.D. Martinez is 14x37 (.378/.435/.568) in his last ten games, and has been on base in each of those games.
*T.J. Steele has 11K:0BB in his last 45 ABs.
*After giving up 7H/6ER in his first start at Tulsa, Ross Seaton has allowed 20H/7ER in his last 18IP.
*Dallas Keuchel's BAA is .345 vs LHBs, and .246 vs. RHBs.

Lancaster

*Kody Hinze is hitting .385/.468/.974 in his last ten games. Encouragingly, he's hitting .237/.370/.500 at home, and .378/.467/.865 on the road.
*Austin Wates is hitting .105/.227/.263 vs LHPs, and .323/.377/.468 vs RHPs.
*Jose Altuve has a six-game hitting streak, hitting 13x24 with 5SBs.
*Ben Heath has one hit in his last 15ABs.
*Jake Buchanan has walked six batters in 28.1IP, and four of them were in his last start on April 26.
*RHBs are hitting Bobby Doran for a .410 average (16H in 8IP).

Lexington

*Chris Wallace is 12x21 on his current five-game hitting streak, and has a 1.512 OPS over his last ten games.
*Jhonny Medrano has two hits in his last 27ABs, and has a .346 OPS in 11 games this season.
*Telvin Nash also has a five-game hitting streak, and is 8x23, with 7K:1BB.
*Mike Kvasnicka is 8x20 vs. LHPs, and just 11x43 against RHPs. He's hitting .222/.323/.370 on the road.
*Jiovanni Mier has three hits in his last seven games (26ABs), and his last two hits have been homers.
*Opponents are hitting .214 off Tanner Bushue in four starts. Three of the four homers he has allowed have been to LHBs.
*Brad Dydalewicz has allowed 16H/11ER, 2K:3BB in his last two starts (8.1IP). Seven of the nine batters he has walked have been righties.

Tranzactionz!

Here are a few tranzactionz for you this morning (and with a captip to Darren Headrick...

Oklahoma City

Brandon Barnes has been called up from Corpus
Jose Vallejo is now off the DL

Corpus

Assigned Andrew Simunic and Clint Barmes from Oklahoma City to Corpus (rehab, for Barmes)



Placed 2B Jimmy Paredes on the 7-Day DL.

Eddie's Farm: April 27

Oklahoma City (7-12)

Off.

Corpus (8-11)

Midland struck first with a run in the first inning, but Corpus went on to score eight of the next nine runs for an 8-2 win. Dallas Keuchel threw 114 pitches in 6.2IP, allowing 6H/2ER, 6K:2BB. Matt Nevarez struck out three in 1.1IP.

J.D. Martinez was 4x5 with two doubles, and Brandon Wikoff was 4x5 with his first homer of the season (and is 12x20 since joining the starting lineup.) Jimmy Van Ostrand was 3x5 with a double and a homer.

Man of the Match: Brandon Wikoff.

Lancaster (10-10)

Rancho Cucamonga jumped out to a 10-1 lead after four innings, and cruised to an 11-6 win (despite a nice little comeback attempt). Bobby Doran got roughed up in an Ugly, allowing 3H/8ER, 0K:7BB in 2IP. Doran has allowed 12BB in 16.2IP in 2011 - he allowed 9BB in 71+IP in 2010. Zach Grimmett gave up 2ER in 2.2IP (allowing three runs charged to Doran), and Colton Pitkin allowed a run. Mike Ness and Jose Trinidad came out of their IPs unscathed.

Kody Hinze was 2x5 with a solo homer and a two-run double, and Austin Wates and Jake Goebbert addded two hits and a walk each - with Goebbert adding two outfield assists. Jose Altuve was 1x3 with a walk. Jay Austin was 0x5 with five strikeouts in the leadoff spot.

Man of the Match: Jake Goebbert.

Lexington (10-9)

Postponed due to weather, Lexington will play a double-header on Thursday.

From the Office of the County Clerk - G24: Astros v. Cardinals

The Astros put together a pretty impressive rally, but this time couldn't find the magic to top the Cardinals. St. Louis wins, 6-5.

*J.A. Happ didn't deserve the loss, bouncing back from a rough start to throw 5IP, 5H/2ER, 5K:2BB - allowing both runs on solo shots. With the decision, Happ recorded his 4th loss of the season, equalling his total number of losses in 2009 and 2010.

*The bullpen deserves a decent chunk of the blame, with Enerio Del Rosario and Jose Valdez combining to allow 7H/4ER in 2IP. For Del Rosario, it's the second time in his last three outings that he has allowed 3ER.

*Aneury Rodriguez enjoyed his first perfect outing of the season, and has lowered his ERA from 15.43 to 6.43 in his last four outings (4.2IP, 4H/1ER, 5K:2BB).

*The Astros defense rolled up five GIDPs on the Cardinals - four of them to end the inning.

*One interesting note for the lineup came when Joe Inglett, who got the start for Bill Hall at 2B, slid over to 3B, pushing Johnson out, and Jason Bourgeois taking his spot at 2B. They combined for a 4x6 (2B, 3B, RBI) night.

*Brett Wallace was 3x4 with a double, extending his hitting streak to seven games, with four straight multi-hit games.

*Carlos Lee is hitless in his last 16 ABs (since his 2nd homer of the season), and Chris Johnson has two hits in his last 24 PAs.

*Hunter Pence won't be the Goat, but he could have been the Hero. With Angel Sanchez representing the tying run on 2nd base, Pence struck out swinging to end the game.

*Man of the Match: Brett Wallace

*Goat of the Game: Enerio Del Rosario/Jose Valdez

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Nieve released

Fernando Nieve has been released, according to Zach Levine (via Twitter), so he can sign with Korean team Doosan. Godspeed, and good luck.

So who does this benefit? My hope: Dallas Keuchel

Friends Close, Enemies Closer: G24 v. Cardinals

J.A. Happ takes the mound for the Astros tonight against St. Louis. Incredibly, Houston has won ten of their last 16 against St. Louis.

Friends Close

*Someone needs to tell J.A. Happ that the season has started already. We've had glimpses of Good Happ and Bad Happ, and he's had two disaster starts out of four this season.

*Happ's fastball (88.3mph) has been a full 1.5mph off his 2010 fastball (89.8mph). His curve is down 1.2mph off his 2010 curve, as well.

*In his last outing, he allowed 6H/6ER, 5K:1BB, 2HR in 4.2IP at New York - and he needed 109 pitches to do it.

*The middle of the order (#3-#6) - any order - is collectively hitting .405/.500/.703 with a .464 BABIP.

*When hitters go after the first pitch, they're hitting .500/.500/.857.

*However, in two starts at Minute Maid Park in 2011, he's 1-1 with a 3.07 ERA/1.16 WHIP, holding hitters to .224/.316/.347.

*Albert Pujols is hitting .400/.455/.800, and Berkman is 1x2 with a HR off Happ for their careers.

Enemies Closer

*Kyle Lohse! Lohse throws an 88.8mph fastball 62.8% of the time, with a 79mph changeup (20.2%) and a slider (14.3%). 2.7% of his pitches have been curves at 73.7mph.

*He's been pounding the strike zone early, throwing 72.2% of his first pitches for strikes (56.4% in 2010), and 52% of his pitches are in the strike zone.

*Despite that, he's 3-1 with a 2.01 ERA so far in 2011, winning his last three starts, throwing 24.1IP, and allowing 13H/3ER, 17K:3BB in those three wins - two of them on the road.

*It's not like RHBs are tattooing him, posting a .553 OPS, but LHBs are only hitting .123/.180/.158 in 61PAs.

*The first time facing Lohse in a game, opponents are only hitting .098/.119/.098 (4x41, 13K:1BB).

*Current Astros are hitting .272/.312/.449 against him. Bill Hall, who is 1x15 lifetime against Lohse, is out tonight. Pence is 11x31 (.878 OPS), and Carlos Lee has 11 XBHs in 20 hits against Lohse.

The Milo Backlash begins...

John Royal has a post at the Houston Press eviscerating Milo Hamilton for his comments (and various and sundry other episodes):

Milo's game prep appears to be jotting down where he had lunch so he can talk about that during the entire game. He never knows what's going on during a game, and during Alan Ashby's tenure as color commentator, it was well known that Ashby was cluing Milo into what was happening on the field.

Before Milo criticizes Berkman's commitment to the game while with the Astros, perhaps someone should question Milo's commitment to the game.


I understand. I really do. While I don't agree with Milo's comments about Lance, there's something about listening to an Astros game and hearing Milo talk. And, full disclosure: The Wife and I were once able to have dinner with Milo, and it was pretty incredible, because I had listened to him for years. I don't know if it's because we don't live in Houston anymore, but Milo reminds me of my youth, which is quickly escaping me. If that means I have to listen to Milo talk about ointment, or some restaurant he went to for lunch, so be it. I can find out the score/count/situation in any number of other ways.

While Brett Dolan and Dave Raymond do an excellent job with the scoreboard, and filling in for times when Milo is presumably in the bathroom, or getting a foot rub, it's as simple as the fact that I like listening to Milo. Technology has actually advanced in such a way that I don't need Milo to be my eyes and ears. Dolan and Raymond know their role enough to fill in Milo's blanks.

So, yes, Milo is old. Yes, Milo rambles. But it's comforting. To me, anyway.

Scott Wuerz clearly wrote this before the game

The Belleville News-Democrat's Scott Wuerz obviously wrote his column before the game, and certainly before 25,000 people applauded Lance:

I'm really shocked at the hate coming out of Houston directed toward former Astro and current Cardinal Lance Berkman...The Astros-Cardinals rivalry has always had more class than the clashes with the Reds, Brewers and Cubs because both teams were filled with classy players who competed with a healthy dose of professional respect.

Let's not dumb things down by taking personal shots at one of baseball's nice guys because he now wears a different uniform.


Wuerz goes on to reference Jim Edmonds' signing with the Cubs, and how "more than half" of Busch Stadiukm welcomed him back. That's about 40% less than Minute Maid Park.

Eddie's Farm: April 26

Oklahoma City (7-12)

The RedHawks only scored in one inning. Ordinarily, this would mean a loss. But not when, in that one inning, you score nine runs. OKC wins 9-3 over Round Rock, taking three of four at Dell Diamond after getting swept at OKC. Doug Arguello threw 5IP, 5H/2ER, 5K:1BB for his first win of the season. Wesley Wright, Gustavo Chacin, and Sergio Escalona got out of their relief appearances unscathed, while Fernando Rodriguez got tagged with a run.

Koby Clemens was 3x5 with 2HR/4RBI, and both homers coming in the second inning. J.B. Shuck (3B, BB, RBI), Collin DeLome (2B), and Tommy Manzella (BB, 2RBI) had two hits each. Clint Barmes was 1x4 with 2B/RBI, GIDP in seven innings.

Man of the Match: Koby Clemens

Corpus (7-11)

The bullpen straight nutted it, allowing three runs in the bottom of the 9th and two runs in the bottom of the 10th for a 6-4 loss at Midland. Ross Seaton threw another strong start, going 6IP, 7H/1ER, 4K:3BB. Shane Wolf and Patrick Urckfitz each threw a scoreless inning. And then David Carpenter came in and gave up three homers - two homers - two with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th, for 5H/5ER in 1+IP, the BS/L.

Jon Gaston was 3x5 with two triples, Brandon Wikoff and J.D. Martinez had two hits each. Wikoff, after starting the season 0x6, has 9H in his last 16ABs. Brandon Barnes, in his second start at 2B, hit a 2-run homer.

Man of the Match: Jon Gaston.

Lancaster (10-9)

The JetHawks rallied for a come-from-behind (redundant, much?) 3-2 win over Rancho Cucamonga, which is always fun to type out. Jake Buchanan threw 6IP, 4H/2ER, 3K:4BB. Wes Musick got the win with 2.1IP of hitless relief, and Kirk Clark notched his 7th save of the season with 1H/0ER, 1K:0BB in 0.2IP.

Austin Wates had the big stick, with a 3x4 (BB, 2B, RBI, SB) night - he has an eight-game hit streak going on. Jake Goebbert had two hits, while Jose Altuve (1x5) and Ben Heath (1x3) had the other RBIs.

Man of the Match: Austin Wates.

Lexington (10-9)

Rough night for the pitching staff as Lexington falls 13-6 to Kannapolis. Brad Dydalewicz continued his struggles with 3.2IP, 7H/7ER, 1K:0BB. Murillo Gouvea threw 2.1IP and allowed 3H/2ER, 1K:2BB. David Martinez allowed 2H/4R (1ER), 2K:0BB in 2IP, and Jason Chowning threw a scoreless inning.

Ben Orloff was 3x5 with an RBI, and Dan Adamson was 3x4 with a double and 2RBI. Adam Bailey (RBI), Telvin Nash (BB, RBI), and Chris Wallace (BB) had two hits each.

Man of the Match: Would go to Orloff, but he added an error and a caught stealing to his total, so it goes to Telvin Nash.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

From the Office of the County Clerk - G23: Astros v. Cardinals

One thing is for sure tonight: Bill Hall won't be the Goat. And congratulations, Astros fans - I didn't think you had it in you. Well done. Well done, indeed. Astros win 6-5 over St. Louis.

*For the 3rd time in the last four series, the Astros won the series opener, and your Astros are now 4-3 in their last seven games.

*The Astros scored multiple runs in the 9th inning (two, in this instance) for the first time this season.

*When trailing in the 9th inning, the Astros had been 0-13. In fact, when trailing at any point after the 4th inning, the Astros were winless. THAT ENDS TONIGHT.

*Bud Norris was the victim of an ingant-ass play by Angel Sanchez, who flat-out Pele'd a grounder, which led to three unearned runs. In 45.2IP against St. Louis, Norris has allowed 39H/10ER, 41K:13BB. The only team he has a higher K:BB ratio against is the Marlins (3.50 K:BB).

*The bullpen of Abad, Fulchino, and Lyon allowed 4H/2ER, 2K:2BB in 3IP. Lyon has allowed earned runs in multiple games for the first time this season, and since September 14/15, 2010.

*It's been since April 14 (four consecutive appearances) that Brandon Lyon hasn't allowed a baserunner in an outing.

*But hey, how about that Brett Wallace? Berkman may be hitting .378 after his 2x5 night, but Wallace is hitting .347 after his 3x4 evening. It's his 3rd 3-hit game of the season, and his fifth multi-hit game in his last six starts. He's hitting 13x25 in the six-game hitting streak.

*Chris Johnson broke an 0x14 skid with a 5th inning single, and got his 4th 2-hit game of the season. Despite having hits in 11 of his 20 appearances, he's now hitting just .197.

*Hunter Pence hit his 4th homer of the season. It was his first homer of the season that actually came at home, and the Cardinals join the Reds and Phillies as the only teams he has double-digit homers against. That was also his 50th career homer at Minute Maid Park.

*Pence's homer was the only extra-base hit of the game. The Astros are now 2-4 in games where they get just one XBH.

*Carlos Lee was 0x4 with an intentional walk. He's now 0-for-his-last-11PAs. He was up to bat, before Bill Hall got the walk-off, with the bases loaded. And he popped up. With RISP, he's now 8x31, and that was his first AB with the bases loaded this season. He previously had a .678 SLG w/bases loaded for his career.

*And congratulations to Brian Bogusevic who, in his first PA since getting called up after the Michaels injury, singled off Mitchell Boggs and scored the game-winning run. That was his 4th ML hit in a game he did not start (six total).

*But Bill Hall. Hall was 1x3 with 2BB. He has four walks in his last 17PAs, and only had one go-ahead hit this season previous to his 9th inning walkoff which scored Michael Bourn. It was his first multi-walk game in 68 games (July 28, 2010 @ LAA)

*Man of the Match: Bill Hall!

*Goat of the Game: Angel Sanchez. You're quickly making us forget that you're hitting .291 (.213 since his 4-hit game against the Cubs in G11) with your glove/foot.

New logo

So, for now, we've decided to go upscale. Instead of photoshop-ing a random logo, we now have our own logo, submitted by Honorary Citizen/Captain Awesome Dennis Fanning, of Fanning Creative.

You'll also notice that we've removed the Labels section, since it took up way too much space. You can now search Astros County with the handy search box on the side.

More Gasoline for you...

Captip to Citizen Andrew for sending the link, but Berkman's long-time personal trainer - Danny Arnold - responded to Milo's criticism from yesterday on 1560 The Game. Click the link for the audio, but here's a transcript snippet:

"Pretty much what (Milo) is saying is ludicrous, he's an idiot...One of the things that I think has hurt Lance is that he depended on him to be a leader in there - not saying that he wasn't a leader, but doing things that weren't necessarily best for him, he did make those kind of sacrifices. I think in reality it actually hurt him, because he wasn't able to focus on the off-season recovery... They've always made comments about Lance like that, and they try to blame somebody else.

When Lance started working with us, he had his best year, and the following year we did exactly the same thing, and he didn't have a great year, and they try to blame him in the off-season. And then in the following year, he had one of the historic half-seasons for any baseball player. They're just trying to find excuses."


There's a lot more, and it's definitely worth a listen.

Early run differential: It just doesn't matter

ESPN's Christina Kahrl has a tip when examining early run differential stats: Don't. And she uses the 2010 Astros as the reason why.

They finished the year 76-86, with a run differential of minus-118. By the Pythagorean theorem of expected wins and losses, that translated to a record eight games worse. VoilĂ , a conclusion: the 2010 Astros overperformed because they should have won 68 games...

Except the Astros didn't overperform, and that's because of the way their season broke down early. In the first two months, rookie skipper Brad Mills' ballclub went 17-34, with a run differential of minus-101, which gives you an expected winning percentage of .285, worse than the 1887 Cleveland Spiders. The 2010 Astros weren't just initially bad, they were supposed to be even worse.


Click the link for the whole thing, because no one can be worse than the 1887 Cleveland Spiders.

Michaels to DL, Bogusevic called up

Well, that pretty much sums it up. Alyson Footer tweeted that Jason Michaels has been placed on the DL with a left shoulder issue, and Brian Bogusevic has been called up.

Friends Close, Enemies Closer: G23 vs. Cardinals

We're going to switch it up a little bit, and give you some tidbits regarding the Astros into this section.

Friends Close

Bud Norris takes the mound for the Astros in what was hopefully ordained at the beginning of the season, lining up Norris to face the Cardinals.

*Norris is 1-1, but has pitched much better over his past two starts. In 12IP, he has allowed 12H/3ER (10H/3ER in his last start at NYM), 13K:4BB. Opponents hit .250/.308/.375 with a .324 BABIP in those two starts.

*Somewhat troublingly, Norris' fastball velocity has been off in 2011. Actually, velocity on all of his pitches has been off. His fastball, which he throws 56.1% of the time has been averaging 92.6mph, a full 1mph off his 2010 average, and 1.4mph off 2009. His slider sits about 2mph slower (85.6mph) than in 2010, and his changeup is about 84.4mph in 2011, whereas it was 85.7mph in 2010.

*Although opponents are chasing 32.2% of his pitches outside the zone (27.4% in 2010).

*Norris has been much better at home, allowing a .529 OPS compared to a 1.027 OPS on the road (.207 BABIP at home; .433 on the road).

*Three of the four homers he has allowed have been w/RISP so far.

*His success against St. Louis is well-documented. In six starts (39.2IP), Norris has allowed a 2.27 ERA/1.08 WHIP - 32H/10ER, 35K:11BB.

*Colby Rasmus has the highest OPS on the team against Norris (.896), with two doubles, a homer, and a single in 16AB. Matt Holliday is 5x19 with a double, 2HR against him (.895 OPS).

Enemies Closer

*Jaime Garcia has a 3-0 record, with a 1.44 ERA in four starts, allowing 20H/4ER, 24K:7BB in 25IP.

*He has labored in his last two starts, however, needing 102 and 91 pitches to get 15 outs in his last two starts, respectively.

*Garcia throws four pitches - his fastball (55.9%) at 89.3mph, a cutter (19.1%) at 85.4mph, and a changeup (18.5%), with a curve every now and then (6.5%) at 71.8mph in 2011.

*Opponents are making contact at a 75.9% clip - down from 77.1% in 2010.

*Righties are having a hard time against Garcia, posting a .189/.250/.216 line, while lefties are hitting .375/.444/.375. In 82 plate appearances total, batters have two extra-base hits - both doubles.

*The Astros have only faced Garcia once - in August 2010. He lost that game, allowing 10H/8R (4ER) in 5IP.

Bernie Miklasz tells you how to feel about Berkman

For some reason, we can tell you how you should feel, and we see nothing wrong with it. But when St. Louis media tells us how to feel, we get all in a huff:

I can't comprehend why any Astro fan would show hostility toward the Puma over the next three days at Minute Maid. Unlike, say the Cardinals vs. Cubs or Cardinals vs. Reds, the Cardinals and Astros are not hateful rivals. They're not involved in a heated race for first place. It's not as if Berkman made comments critical of Astros fans or the organization. Berkman got older, the Astros moved in a new direction, and Berkman moved to St. Louis. There's no bad guy here.

Wade, on command vs. control

Steve Campbell has an article on Jose Valdez, hard-throwing reliever. What stood out was a little philosophy dropped by Ed Wade:

“We interchange the words command and control, and they’re not the same thing. Control is the ability to throw a strike. Command is the ability to throw a strike where you want to throw it and when you want to throw it. The way I see Valdez right now, he’s got good control. If he ever gets good command, he’ll pitch until 48 with the stuff that he’s got.”

Sugar Land looking at former Astros for their manager

The Skeeters have acknowledged they're looking at Dickie Thon, Terry Puhl, and Gary Gaetti as their first manager.

Berkman: If you boo me, you're fickle

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch covered a reluctant Berkman, as the Cardinals come to town today.

Berkman:
"I'm not crazy about going back in there. I felt like I've kind of turned the page and part of me just wants to be done with it. But I know I'm going to have to go back in there and face a lot of questions. I guess it's inevitable. When I signed here, I knew we were going to go in there three times, so I'm ready to go and to get all the hoopla, if there is going to be any, out of the way."

Hey, Berkman, do you miss playing in Houston?
"It's really not the same place. It's not the same team. It's a totally different environment. It's a totally different atmosphere...I miss those people and not necessarily the place, although the place does have a lot of good memories for me. I'm hopeful they won't hold it against me that I'll be playing for another team, (although) fans are fickle."

Brad Mills is looking forward to having to send someone down

With Barmes' impending return, Brad Mills is looking forward to The Decision, which will be televised in a one-hour special on ESPN.

"It's fun to have difficult decisions. That makes it worth it to be able to do that. Difficult decisions make the team better."

Ed Wade:
"Everybody's contributed since [Barmes] has been gone, which makes it more difficult. Whatever move we make, it's going to involve somebody who's contributed in some fashion in the early stages of the season. That's part of what we have to deal with. We're certainly anxious for him to get back. One of the good things -- it won't be good for the guy who does get sent out -- but it's good for us we've got sufficient enough depth."

More on this today.

Bill Hall's hands weren't cocked

Steve Campbell notes that Bill Hall realized what he was doing wrong:

Hall determined that he wasn’t getting his hands to the cocked position fast enough, leaving him out of sync and causing him to foul off fastballs.

“I had a really good BP,” Hall said. “Good hitters know when their swing path is good,” Hall said. I knew my swing path was good that day. “I kept working on it and started putting the barrel of the bat on the ball.”


Then he went 0x3 with 3Ks on Sunday.

Eddie's Farm: April 25

Oklahoma City (6-12)

Round Rock went off for four runs in the 7th inning, and while OKC countered with two in the top of the 8th, it wasn't enough - OKC loses 5-4. Ryan Rowland-Smith went 5.1IP, 4H/1ER, 4K:2BB, while Ross Wolf allowed 4ER on 2H/1BB, HBP. Wesley Wright gave up the bases-clearing hit that charged Wolf with three runs. Andy Van Hekken struck out two of the final three batters he faced.

All eight of the OKC hits were singles. Drew Locke was 1x2 with 2BB and Anderson Hernandez was 2x4. Koby Clemens was 1x2 with 2RBI. Clint Barmes, making his first rehab start, singled, walked and got on via error.

Man of the Match: Ryan Rowland-Smith

Corpus (7-10)

Lots of runs in this one, but Midland took it, 10-8. Jonnathan Aristil got the start, and it didn't go well, throwing 3.2IP, 5H/7R (6ER), 2K:3BB, with a balk. Cesar Carrillo threw 1IP, 2H/2ER, 2K:2BB, Erick Abreu allowed 2H/1ER, 0K:2BB in 1.1IP, and David Berner allowed 2H/0ER, 3K:0BB in 2IP.

Brandon Wikoff was 4x5 with a double and an RBI, and Our Boy Brandon Barnes got the rare start at 2B, leading off, and responded with a 3x5 (2B) night. J.D. Martinez was 2x4 with two doubles, an RBI, and a walk; and T.J. Steele (RBI, 2SB), Jimmy Van Ostrand (2B, RBI, BB), and David Flores (2B, 2RBI) had two hits each.

Man of the Match: J.D. Martinez

Lancaster (9-9)

The JetHawks scored three of the final four runs of the game for a 5-3 win over Rancho Cucamonga. Robby Donovan threw a strong eight innings, allowing 7H/2ER, 4K:2BB; Kirk Clark got his sixth save of the season despite allowing a 9th inning homer to Tony Delmonico.

Jose Altuve got moved up to the #3 spot, and went 3x4 with a 2B, 3B, BB, SB, and 2RBI. Jay Austin was 2x3 with a walk and an RBI. Austin Wates had a big night, going 1x4 with a HR, BB, 2SB, and an outfield assist. Grant Hogue was 1x2 with two walks.

Man of the Match: Jose Altuve

Lexington (10-8)

Lexington had a 6-0 lead going into the 7th, but nutted it, and ended up having to win 7-6 in 10 innings on a passed ball that scored Ben Orloff. Deputy Street noted that Tanner Bushue's scoreless streak was snapped at 22IP, but he still threw 6.2IP, 8H/4ER, 2K:1BB. Jorge De Leon allowed two unearned runs, and Brian Streilein got the win with 1.2IP, 1H/0ER.

Dan Adamson went 3x4; Chris Wallace, hitting 5th, went 2x4 with two doubles and a walk; Telvin Nash was 2x5. Mike Kvasnicka hit a 3-run bomb for his first HR of the season while Jiovanni Mier hit his 3rd HR, a two-run shot.

Man of the Match: Chris Wallace

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Constable, on Berkman's return

So The Constable has a post for the Chronicle on Berkman's return, and how you should feel.

Milo, on Lance

Captip to Zach Levine for the link, but Milo went off on Lance Berkman on SportsTalk 790:

"I want to know, if a guy gave you $85 million, and that's what Drayton did in the last contract...and he said, 'This is your team,' and he said that...wasn't in his persona, to be a leader. Yet last night, Tony LaRussa - when asked about Berkman - 'He's now the leader on this team, he is the inspiration to the older players, he goes around an inspires the younger players," and he got in excellent shape by hiring a trainer. If he had done that the last couple of years that he was here, guys, he could have finished out a really fine career in Houston if he had given it that same dedication. I just want a simple answer - why did you think it wasn't necessary to get in shape your last couple of years as an Astro, but now for team you didn't even know, a manager you never played for, you felt it was your responsibility to get in great shape?

...Lance, I love ya. You've got a great family, you're one of the greatest ministers in all of sports...but wouldn't it have been great to have given it that same dedication to the Astros and the owner here that you did in two short months for the Cardinals?"

That's just a snip, but it's well worth a listen, and an answer.

Chris Sampson signs with Marlins

Stephen Goff took special note of Chris Sampson's twitter account, and says that Sampson has signed a deal with the Marlins on a minor-league contract.

Nominations for 3rd Annual Astros County Adopt-A-Player recipient

Over the last two seasons, AC has held an election of sorts in which the minor-leaguer with the most votes gets "adopted" by Astros County. This lucky contestant gets extra adulation and coddling by AC, and occasionally receives gift boxes like this one.

We're holding this year's contest earlier, because by the time the draft comes and goes, and we get the poll results in, there's typically only about six weeks left in the season.

The rules:
1. The player cannot have been drafted in the first five rounds of the draft. They presumably got a bonus large enough where they don't need a bag of Milano cookies.

2. They cannot have previously won an Adopt-A-Player contest.

3. The player cannot yet be in Double-A, limiting options to Lexington and Lancaster.

So here are your nominees:




Poll ends on May 1.

If Sugar Land's Indie team does well, you may be able to watch organized baseball all over Houston

Richard Justice checked in with the Sugar Land Skeeters, and if people are tired of the Astros and go check out what's happening in Sugar Land, then Indpendent League baseball may be all over Harris County:

If the Skeeters are a success, there likely will be more teams added within two or three years. Baytown has been mentioned for a franchise. So have The Woodlands, Conroe and Waco.

And if you were hoping that Sugar Land would be a minor-league stop for the Astros, you can thank Drayton for not allowing that to happen:
Astros owner Drayton McLane rejected the idea, saying a team so close to Minute Maid Park would hurt his attendance.

McLane was firm in his opposition even though the Texas Rangers, Atlanta Braves and Baltimore Orioles have farm teams a short drive from their ballparks.

Since McLane has veto power over any team affiliated with the 30 major league clubs, Sugar Land was forced to go for an independent league franchise.


This is tremendously short-sighted. It takes 48 minutes to drive from the Ballpark in Arlington to Frisco, TX. It's 46 minutes from Turner Field to Gwinnett, GA - home of the Braves' Triple-A affiliate. It's 39 minutes from Camden Yards to Bowie, MD - home of the Orioles' Double-A affiliate - and 44 minutes to Aberdeen, MD, where the Orioles have their NYPL short-season team.

Hurt attendance? If your favorite prospect was playing 45 minutes down the road, and climbed the ladder to Minute Maid, wouldn't you check out the guys you're invested in? Chalk it up, Drayton. Another fantastic idea.

Pujols out for Tuesday?

Albert Pujols hurt his hammy yesterday, and may be out for tomorrow's series opener against the Astros.

Meat Wagon Updates

Steve Campbell has some notes regarding the Hurtstros:

-Brett Wallace was not in the lineup yesterday, thanks to a plunking in the ribs, fouling a ball off his knee, and rubbing/racing with Mark Melancon.

-Clint Barmes will begin a rehab assignment today, and could be activated for the Astros by the end of this week.

-Jeff Keppinger will play some infield tomorrow in an extended Spring Training game.

The Astros and luck

Zach Levine does a good job trying to dispel any rumors/indications of "Luck" in baseball, and notes the walk/strikeout rate among Astros hitters (short version: Bill Hall barely walks, and strikes out a lot. Less/more than just about anyone else, respectively).

But one person we need to examine a touch more closely is Chris Johnson.

In 2010, the NL average for BABIP was .298. Johnson had a BABIP of .387. He put 264 balls in play in 2010, and got 105 hits for a .308 average. If we reduce his BABIP to .298, then he would have managed about 79 hits, which would drop his average from .308 to a much scarier .229.*

(* - This is all provided that I'm doing my math right.)

If we run the same numbers for 2011, the NL average for BABIP is currently .299. Johnson's BABIP is .235, obviously far below the NL average, and he's currently hitting .181. Johnson has put 54 balls in play, resulting in 13 hits. If his BABIP was on par with the league average, it would result in three more hits, giving him 16 on the season, and a .222 average.

Unfortunately, we may have to come to grips that Johnson really is a .220-.230 hitter, and that luck BABIP has impacted him for better and worse in the span of 113 games with the Astros.

Eddie's Farm: April 24

Oklahoma City (6-11)

OKC takes the second straight from Round Rock with a 4-2 win over the Express at Dell Diamond. Sergio Perez looked good with a 7IP, 5H/1ER, 5K:1BB outing, getting his first win of the season. Casey Fien allowed 2H/1ER, 2K:0BB in 1.2IP, and Sergio Escalona allowed the hit resulting in the run charged to Fien, getting the last out of the game and his first save of the season.

Koby Clemens was 2x3 with a double, homer, and a walk while Drew Locke and Anderson Hernandez each went 2x4 with a double. Locke also added a 9th inning homer for his first of the season. Carlos Corporan was 1x3 with a walk and 2RBI. Brian Bogusevic drew two walks and got his 7th stolen base of the year.

Man of the Match: Sergio Perez

Corpus (7-9)

And Corpus jumped on Frisco for their second straight win on the road in a 10-2 win. The Hooks used five pitchers: Xavier Cedeno got his first win with 5IP, 7H/2ER, 3K:0BB. Arcenio Leon, Matt Nevarez, Shane Wold, and Patrick Urckfitz combined for 4IP, 3H/0ER, 4K:1BB of relief.

T.J. Steele was 3x5 with 3R, 2HR, and 4RBI, while Brandon Barnes was 2x3 with 2RBI. Brandon Wikoff also got two hits, scoring two runs, and getting an RBI. J.D. Martinez and Jimmy Van Ostrand got a hit and an RBI.

Man of the Match: T.J. Steele

Lancaster (8-9)

Off.

Lexington (9-8)

Off.

From the Office of the County Clerk - G22: Astros @ Brewers

Wandy pitched well enough, I guess, but the rest of the offense just wasn't up to the task of hitting Randy Wolf. They took Brett Wallace's lead (who got the day off to some nicks and bruises), and sat and watched. Astros lose 4-1.

*The Astros ended this six-game road trip at 3-3, the most successful 6+ game road trip since September 3-8, 2010, when they went 4-2 against the Di'mon''ack' and Cubs.

*They have been held to <3 runs eight times this season, and are 3-5 in those games.

*Wandy threw 126 pitches - a career-high.

*The lead-off batter reached base in three of the seven innings Wandy tossed. The kicker was the 2nd inning, which started off with a Rickie Weeks homer, and by the time it was done, a 1-0 Brewers lead was a 4-0 Brewers lead, and Prince Fielder had tripled. It's an Easter miracle!

*Wandy allowed double-digit hits in an outing for the first time since May 1, 2010 at Atlanta.

*Wandy's walks are down from 2010, and his strikeout rate hovers about what it was. So what's the problem? He's giving up 11.7 hits/9 - 3.4 hits/9 higher than 2010. And that comes from a .368 BABIP - up from .307 in 2010 (and .268 in the second half of 2010).

*The Astros offense was just pathetic. They got five hits - and two of them were from Wandy. Jason Bourgeois, Angel Sanchez, and J.R. Towles had your other three hits, and the Astros only had three ABs w/RISP.

*The lone run of the game came from Towles, who hit an 8th inning homer. That was Towles' 10th career homer, and his second of the season. His career high in a season is four, and it took 54 games for him to do it, compared to eight games this season.

*Towles has a 1.138 OPS, but the Astros are 2-6 in games he starts behind the plate.

*Bill Hall enjoyed his 4th 3K game of the season, going 0x3 with all punchouts. Hall's 26Ks on the season are 6th in baseball, one off of five players who all have more ABs than Hall.

*Chris Johnson was 0x3, and has now gone 13PAs without a hit. We'll have more on this later, but Johnson's BABIP is an even .235 (strangely both at home and on the road). He's put the ball in play eight times in those 13PAs.

*Man of the Match: Wandy, I guess. Nobody else did anything.

*Goat of the Game: THE ENTIRE OFFENSE.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

From the Office of the County Clerk - G21: Astros @ Brewers

That was emotional. Astros win in 10 innings, 6-5.

*The Astros' last extra-inning game was on September 15, 2010...against Milwaukee. The Brewers won that game, with Matt Lindstrom getting the loss.

*Brandon Lyon...Brandon, Brandon, Brandon. Gave up the game-tying run, left the bases loaded in the 9th. Then doubled in a run to put the Astros up 9-6.

*Lyon walked his first two batters of the season, and has allowed a 2+ baserunners in four of eight appearances.

*That was the first hit, and RBI, of Brandon Lyon's career. His OPS+ is now 700.

*Myers wasn't as sharp as usual, allowing 10H in 6.1IP. He gave up 10+ hits in three starts in 2010, and the Astros were 1-2 in those games.

*Myers' 36 Game Score was his lowest of the season.

*Humberto Quintero continues his strong start at the plate, going 2x5 with a run, double, and 2RBI. He also stole a base - the first SB of his career.

*Bill Hall was 3x4 with an intentional walk and an RBI. In his last five games, he's 6x17 with a triple.

*Brett Wallace went 2x4 with two doubles, giving him a five-game hitting streak, and four multi-hit games in his last five starts.

*Man of the Match: Quintero, Quintero!

*Goat of the Game: It's Easter. No Goat.