Saturday, May 7, 2011

Eddie's Farm: May 6

Oklahoma City (13-15)

OKC won their 5th straight game with some hot pitching from Ryan Rowland-Smith, winning 3-2 over an Eric Hosmer-less Omaha. The Hyphen threw 6.1IP, 7H/1ER, 4K:0BB. Ross Wolf got five outs against four batters, and Sergio Escalona picked up his 2nd save of the year, allowing 2H/1ER, 1K:1BB in the 9th to make it interesting.

The RedHawks only got seven hits, with two from Brian Dopirak - including a homer in the 6th. Collin DeLome hit his 3rd homer, two batters before Dopirak. Those were your only two XBHs of the game.

Man of the Match: Ryan Rowland-Smith.

Corpus (12-16)

So that Danny Meszaros ER-less streak came to an end in a 7-5 loss to Midland. Ross Seaton threw a strong 6.2IP, 7H/4ER, 2K:1BB. Then the 7th happened. With two outs, Seaton left one on base for David Berner, who gave up a hit. With the bases loaded for Danny Meszaros, Midland's Stephen Parker hit a two-out grand slam to put Midland over the top, giving Meszaros the BS/L. Patrick Urckfitz allowed a hit in an otherwise uneventful 9th.

Jake Goebbert, in his first start for Corpus (in LF), went 2x4 with a double, walk, and an RBI (and an error, but whatever). Brandon Wikoff was also 2x4 (BB, RBI). Wladimir Sutil hit a two-run homer, and David Flores provided the other RBI. The Hooks were 2x12 w/RISP.

Man of the Match: Jake Goebbert. Why not?

Lancaster (13-16)

The JetHawks bounced back from Thursday night's brutal loss to take the series opener against Inland Empire, 5-4, after a two-run 8th. Jake Buchanan threw 5IP, 5H/4R (2ER), 3K:2BB, while Wes Musick threw 3IP of 0H/0ER, 3K:1BB relief. Kirk Clark threw an uneventful 9th.

Rene Garcia and Grant Hogue (2RBI, BB) each got two hits and a double. Johnathan Villar was 1x3 with 2BB. Jose Altuve had two RBI, including the game-winning RBI.

Man of the Match: Grant Hogue

Lexington (15-13)

If you had May 6 in the "When Foltynewicz Gets His First Professional Win" pool, you lost. Hagerstown took a 3-0 lead into the 7th when the Legends got two back, and then promptly gave them right back. Legends lose 5-2. But it wasn't his fault. Foltynewicz allowed 8H/3R (2ER), 4K:2BB in 5IP, getting five groundouts to two flyouts. Murilo Gouvea - back from Wherever - allowed 2ER (thanks to Brian Streilein) on 2BB and a WP. Streilein gave up 2H/0ER in 2IP.

The top three in the lineup (DeShields, Mier, Bailey) went a combined 0x13 with 2BB - both DeShields', who also had a stolen base. Tyler Burnett and Jhonny Medrano were both 2x4 with a double. And there were errors by Bryce Lane, Foltynewicz, and Medrano.

Man of the Match: Uh. DeShields? For drawing two walks?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Great article on Keuchel

So here's an interesting article on Corpus pitcher Dallas Keuchel. In it, we find that he owns perhaps 80 pairs of shoes, studied apparel design at the University of Arkansas, and is an artist.

"I take great pride in just being free out on the mound. You can't be tense out there, it's a hard game to play. You have to relax and be free. It's just like art, where it's me, the pen and the paper."

I love this guy.

From the Office of the County Clerk - G32: Astros @ Pirates

The Astros get two late runs and Melancon gets his 1st career save for a 3-2 win over Pittsburgh, avoiding becoming the first NL team to 20 losses.

*The Astros were 11-4 against the Pirates in 2010, but just 2-4 at PNC Park.

*And the Astros improve to 6-5 in one-run games, while this is their fourth win in the last six games.

*Wandy did his thing, throwing 7IP, 5H/2ER, 4K:2BB. He has thrown 7IP in each of his last four starts, and has allowed 25H/7ER, 26K:88BB in those 29IP.

*Before Brandon Wood doubled in Lyle Overbay, he had thrown 16 consecutive IP without allowing a run.

*Mark Melancon got the first save of his career, getting three outs - all flyballs - in eight pitches, with seven for strikes.

*Jason Bourgeois was 3x5 with his 12th stolen base, but Michael Bourn was 1x4 with a walk and two stolen bases to reclaim the league lead at 13. Bourgeois, with 87 fewer ABs, is tied for 2nd with Jose Reyes.

*Hunter Pence was 2x4 with 2RBI, to extend his hitting streak to 10 games - in which he is 15x42 with 10RBI.

*In his first game back from injury, Carlos Lee was 2x4 with a walk and the go-ahead RBI. His 8th inning single, scoring Pence, was the 3rd go-ahead hit of the season for Lee.

*The top four in the lineup (Bourgeois, Bourn, Pence, Lee) went for a combined 8x17 with 1K:2BB. 5-8 in the lineup (Hall, Sanchez, Barmes, Towles) went 1x14, with 3K:2BB - and both BBs were Sanchez'.

*Towles' 0x4 night marked the first time in 12 games that he didn't get on base, and his 2nd 0-fer of the season (the other one, in G18 @ NYM, he drew two walks.)

*Bill Hall was 0x4 with 2Ks, giving him 37K in 99ABs, one behind Drew Stubbs for the NL lead. Of the top-10 in NL Ks, only Kelly Johnson has a lower OPS (.580 to Hall's .588).

*Hall has struck out in 37.4% of his ABs. He probably shouldn't be the #5 hitter, what with his six extra-base hits in 105 PAs.

*The Astros have now gone three games without a homer for the first time this season. They went seven games between homers in 2010 (between June 16-June 24).

*Man of the Match: What the hell, Carlos Lee!

*Goat of the Game: Bill Hall - 0x4, 2Ks, 0x3 w/RISP.

*You may as well mark it down, if Brett Wallace comes in as a pinch-hitter, he's drawing a walk. In 3PAs as a PH, he has 3BB.

Tranzactionz - May 6

Our buddy Greg Rajan says that there's been some activity on the Corpus roster:

RHP Erick Abreu is back up to Oklahoma City, while Jake Goebbert is at Corpus from Lancaster.

FanGraphs, on Aneury Rodriguez

FanGraphs has a nice post on The Aneurysm today, and the Astros get (kind of) applauded:

At the minimal cost of the Rule 5 pick, Rodriguez is worth the “take and see” approach. It was also wise of them to remove a future-less Figueroa for a younger, more talented arm. The switch is simply a better use of assets. In his Rule 5 recap, Hulet said Rodriguez has the ceiling of a #3 starter. Even if he doesn’t reach that potential, the Astros are losing nothing this season by giving him a shot.

Heyman acknowledges the Astros

SI's Jon Heyman takes a little time to mention the Friedman-to-Astros rumor:

If the elder Friedman gets the Astros, one would think he could have interest in hiring Andrew, one of the game's better GMs, at some point. One of Andrew's top lieutenants, Gerry Hunsicker, also was one of the Astros' more successful GMs and is believed to have left because working for McLane wasn't all it was cracked up to be.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Eddie's Farm: May 5

Oklahoma City (12-15)

OKC had a remarkable rally, coming from a 3-0 deficit in the bottom of the 7th to 4-3 win over Nashville for a four-game sweep. Sergio Perez allowed 4H/3R (2ER), 1K:4BB in 6IP, while Andy Van Hekken and Fernando Rodriguez allowed 3H (all Van Hekken's)/0ER, 3K:1BB in 3IP.

Drew Locke was 2x3 with a walk and an RBI, and Brandon Barnes was 2x4 with his 2nd homer of the year (for OKC). Brian Dopirak had a pinch-hit walk-off RBI double. But the story was the stolen bases, provided by Locke, Clemens, Shuck, and Robinson Cancel.

Man of the Match: Brian Dopirak

Corpus (12-15)

Despite a 5-2 lead, Corpus blew it and lost to Midland 6-5. Jonnathan Aristil allowed 5H/3ER, 6K:4BB in 5IP, and Matt Nevarez got the BS/L with 1.2IP, 3H/3ER, 2K:1BB. Arcenio Leon allowed 2H/0ER, 5K:2BB in 2.1IP.

Every Hook got a hit, with Jon Fixler getting the start at DH (his first since coming off the Suspended List) going 2x4 at DH. J.D. Martinez pulled his hamstring and left after an RBI single. David Flores took his spot and hit a two-run homer in the 3rd. Jimmy Van Ostrand was 1x3 with a double and 2RBI.

Man of the Match: David Flores

Lancaster (12-16)

Good God. You would think that a 10-1 lead is safe. Not last night. Rancho Cucamonga was down 10-1 after four, and then scored 16 of the next 17 runs for a 17-11 win over the JetHawks. Robby Donovan allowed 7H/6ER, 5K:4BB, 2WP; Zach Grimmett allowed 7H/6ER, 3K:1BB in 2.2IP. Kirk Clark allowed 2HR and 5H/5ER in 1IP, while Mike Ness got the last two batters of the game.

Austin Wates was 4x5 with two doubles and an RBI and Rene Garcia was 3x5 (double, RBI). Jonathan Meyer was 2x5 with his first homer of the season and three RBI, and Kody Hinze was 1x4 with a homer and 3RBI. Johnathan Villar went 2x4 with a stolen base, walk, and three runs scored.

Man of the Match: Austin Wates

Lexington (15-12)

Hagerstown straight brought it to Lexington with an 8-2 win. Juan Minaya allowed 7H/4R (3ER), 5K:1BB, WP, Balk; and Gabe Garcia allowed 4H/4ER, 2K:1BB in 3IP.

Tyler Burnett went 3x4 with an RBI, while Jhonny Medrano was 2x4 with two doubles. Delino DeShields (2B, RBI) and Adam Bailey also had two hits on the night. DeShields was caught stealing for the 6th time - tied for second-most in the SAL.

Man of the Match: Tyler Burnett

Sale of the Astros to be completed in a couple of weeks?

With a captip to Citizen Street, we get word that Drayton may be closer than we expected to selling the Astros to Jim Crane.

Mark Berman has the details from Drayton, indicating that the middle of May could be when the Astros are sold:
"Jim would be a very good owner, a very responsible person, but he's working on his financing and we're negotiating the deal, so there's more work to be done. So It's premature to say anything has been concluded."

Lyon to DL

Brandon Lyon has been placed on the 15-Day DL with a partial rotator cuff tear and biceps tendinitis. He will not undergo surgery - as of now.

The Chronicle's Nick Mathews relayed that Mills said he was unaware of any injury to Lyon, but there had been some concern about how hard he wasn't throwing:

“We’ve had some questions about whether the strength in there is exactly where it needs to be. To get that fully addressed, we wanted to get an MRI and see exactly where it was.”

Jose Valdez has been called up from OKC.

Click the link, and then just to recap:
1. Lyon had been getting treatment for "minor biceps tendinitis."
2. Mills was unaware of any physical injury.
3. Mills and Wade questioned how weak Lyon's shoulder was.
4. Sure enough! He has a physical injury!

How you can be getting treatment for tendinitis and the manager remain unaware is beyond me. But I've never been in that locker room. Maybe it's big.

Bill Hall is pissed

Ooooh, Bill Hall is pissed. After getting tossed in the 7th inning, he had a lot to say. Here's an excerpt - click the link for the whole thing:

It’s amazing how umpires can get away with so much stuff and nothing happens to them. It’s all about them trying to get something on ESPN punching someone out or getting their spot on ESPN. I have no idea. It’s getting ridiculous. It’s gotten worse over the last few years, and hopefully somehow some way it can be calmed down a little bit because it’s a little out of hand.

The umpire in question was Tom Hallion. Hallion has a, ahem, definitive style in which he twists his body around 180 degrees on a third strike call.

From the Office of the County Clerk - G31: Astros @ Reds

The Astros dropped to 12-19 with their 10-4 loss at the hands of Cincinnati, two games ahead of their 2010 pace.

*The Astros are 3-6 in day games.

*The loss drops the Astros to 2-4 against the Reds, and 7-11 v the NL Central.

*It's the fourth time the Astros have allowed 10+ runs this season - two are against Cincinnati (and have been outscored 39-25).

*Myers failed to get 18 outs for the first time this season, allowing 9H/6ER, 4K:3BB in 5.2IP. It was the fourth time in his last five outings that he averaged 1+ hits/IP.

*Myers' 28 Game Score was his 2nd-lowest in his two seasons with the Astros. The only one lower was a 20 he posted on September 30 at...Cincinnati.

*After productive appearances by Del Rosario (a former Red) and Fulchino, Nelson Figueroa came in and Figueroa-ed it up: 1IP, 5H/4ER, 0K:0BB. Figueroa's ERA is now an even 9.00 - allowing 27ER in 27IP. It took him until appearance #28 (73IP) in 2010 to allow 27ER.

*Fred Lewis homered off Myers for his first of the year, in his 2nd PA of the season. He had not hit a homerun since August 14, 2010 - a span of 83 plate appearances.

*Otherwise, the offense was passable. Bourn-Bourgeois-Pence combined for 3x10 with 3BB and 4RBI. Bourgeois drew two walks. So after 43PAs without a walk, he has now walked three times in his last 7PAs.

*Bourgeois also stole two bases, tying him for the league lead at 11, with Bourn (111ABs) and Jose Reyes (134ABs). Bourgeois has 46ABs.

*Brett Wallace went 0x4, giving him back-to-back 0fers for the first time (in starts) since G2/3. He's now gone 0x10 since hitting a homer in G29 vs. Cincinnati.

*Michael Bourn went 0x4 (with a walk), and now has one hit in his last 14PAs.

*Hunter Pence was 2x4 with 3RBI. It's his first 3+ RBI game since April 12 v. Chicago, and he now has a nine-game hitting streak.

*Man of the Match: Jason Bourgeois

*Goat of the Game: Nelson Figueroa. After the Astros brought it back to 6-4 in the 8th, he goes and gives up four runs.

You thought this. You know you did.

Jerry Crasnick's article on the resurgence of Berkman gives Lance's view of how it all went down:

"They gave me an opportunity to play in the big leagues. They paid me a lot of money, and they showed tremendous faith in me at times. They were good to me. But [in the end] I feel like they didn't give me the benefit of doubt and they kind of cast me aside. They basically said, 'You're bad. We're bad. Let's cut ties and get on down the road.' And that was hurtful.

"What do the Minnesota Twins do when Joe Mauer has a knee problem? They take care of him. What do the Phillies do when Chase Utley has a knee problem? They don't let him on the field. That's what's kind of frustrating for me. I don't want to come across like, 'Woe is me,' but I definitely felt like I was dealing with some physical issues that didn't get pointed out. It was almost like, 'Hey, this guy is washed up. He's lost it.' I'm not trying to blame my whole year on [the injury], but it was definitely a factor."

Old cyst is Lyon's concern

Brandon Lyon is concerned that there may be a cyst in his throwing shoulder - similar to the one he had removed prior to 2010. Pardon, it was not removed, just drained (hopefully you're not like me, and just returned from lunch).

"I have a cyst. It's still there. I just had it drained (last year). I want to make sure it's not inflammed. I just feel like when I'm going out there I'm not helping the team right now. I need to get it checked out for peace of mind, why there's soreness and weakness in my shoulder.

In other Meat Wagon news, Carlos Lee is feeling better:
"The more I got warmed up, the better I felt. Swinging the bat is not a problem. I was chasing balls in the outfield and I ran pretty good. It's just a matter of getting comfortable with the pain. It's not going to go away overnight or in the next day or two, but I've got to get used to it."

Lee may come back this weekend, and Jason Michaels is expected to go on a rehab assignment with OKC on Sunday.

It's natural to assume that, if Kenny Friedman bought the Astros, his GM son also be interested.

Apparently not.

Rays GM Andrew Friedman:
"This has no bearing on me professionally, and I'm very happy in my job. And it would not be proper for me to comment on the business of another team."

Writer Marc Topkin:
There had already been speculation that Crane might try to hire Friedman, who like other top execs under Stuart Sternberg doesn't have a contract.

This speculation indicates - for the first time - that Ed Wade might not survive the change in ownership. (Update: Phil Rogers apparently said a while back that Crane would be interested in Friedman. Hey, if you're not going to hire Hunsicker, hire Hunsicker Jr.)

Melancon is now CL1

Brian McTaggart quotes Mills saying that, in Lyon's absence, Mark Melancon is your closer. Not bad for a guy who, one year ago, was a reliever in Scranton-Wilkes Barre.

Here's the tale of the tape:


Courtesy of Brooks Baseball, we see that Lyon threw his fastball at an average of 89.75mph, topping out at 90.3mph. Melancon has been averaging 92.1mph on his fastball.

Breaking: View inside Astros' organization

We were able to get an exclusive look inside the Astros organization:

Meat Wagon picks up Telvin Nash

We mentioned the other day that Lexington outfielder Telvin Nash was out with a hand/wrist injury. Now there's an update: Nash is out with a hamate bone issue. If it's broken, then like Pablo Sandoval, he's looking at 4-6 weeks.

Corporan breaks finger, dominoes fall

Carlos Corporan broke his middle finger in last night's game, according to McTaggart, and will be out for a month. That means that Brian Esposito is up to OKC from Corpus, and Jon Fixler is back at Double-A.

Now this is awfully convenient

Alyson Footer says that Brandon Lyon is flying back to Houston to be examined by Dr. David Lintner for shoulder weakness.

We are awaiting results of the Pitching Weakness test.

And now it's coming out that Lyon had previously been diagnosed with biceps tendinits. So it made perfect sense to keep running him out there, trying to preserve close games.

Sickels, on 2010 draft

With a captip to the Crawfish Boxes, Minor League Ball's John Sickels wrote a review of the first round of the 2010 June Draft.

On Delino DeShields:
Georgia prep with major league bloodlines is struggling so far: .200/.274/.307 for Low-A Lexington in the Sally League. Appears quite raw, has been caught stealing four times in ten attempts, has already made seven errors at second base, plate discipline poor.

On Mike Foltynewicz:
Struggling thus far, but not out of expectation for an Illinois cold-weather high school guy who is just 19 years old. Reportedly very impressive in spring training.

And Mike Kvasnicka:
Better than his weak NY-P performance last year, but the BB/K isn't great, and his defense at third base remains rough, with eight errors in 21 games.

Good rundown of the 1st round, and it's always interesting to see how the hitters stack up against each other, even with a small sample size.

Hitting isn't apparently the problem with Lee

As Carlos Lee heals from Angel Sanchez' slide tackle, hitting apparently isn't the problem, it's throwing.

It seems funny, and somewhat sinful, to think about how the thing the Astros aren't worried about is his hitting.

Eddie's Farm: May 4

Oklahoma City (11-15)

Drew Locke hit a 2-out 10th-inning pinch-hit homer to give the RedHawks a 4-3 win over Nashville. Jordan Lyles threw 6IP, 5H/2ER, 9K:2BB, with 73 of his 109 pitches coming in for strikes. Gustavo Chacin allowed 1H/1R (0ER), 1K:1BB in 0.2IP. Ross Wolf threw 1.1IP, striking out two, and Sergio Escalona struck out three of the seven batters he faced in 2IP.

Collin DeLome was 4x5, giving him six hits in his past 9ABs. Koby Clemens (who got the start at 3B) was 2x5 with an RBI, and Anderson Hernandez had an RBI double. J.B. Shuck was 1x3 with 2BBs. But it was Locke who came through with the clutch, game-winning hit. OKC is on their first W3 streak of the season. Which means that Brandon Lyon will destroy it the next chance he gets.

Man of the Match: Jordan Lyles

Corpus (12-14)

And Corpus gets their first W3 of the season as well, with a 4-2 win over Midland. Xavier Cedeno threw 5IP, 4H/1ER, 2K:5BB to bring his record to 3-3. Erick Abreu threw a perfect 6th, and Patrick Urckfitz allowed 3H/1ER, 2K:0BB in 2IP. David Carpenter allowed one hit in the 9th for the save.

Andy Simunic was 3x4 with a double, and Wladimir Sutil (SB, RBI), Brandon Wikoff, and J.D. Martinez (RBI) were each 1x3 with a walk. Jimmy Paredes stole his 12th base of the season. T.J. Steele hit his 2nd triple.

Man of the Match: Andy Simunic

Lancaster (12-15)

Lancaster was beat up by Rancho Cucamonga 10-1, and have lost the first three games of this series by a margin of 22-6. Luis Cruz - making his debut - allowed 8H/7ER, 1K:2BB in 2.2IP. Our Boy Andrew Robinson shut 'em down with 4.1IP of long relief, allowing 2H/0ER, 2K:0BB. Jose Trinidad had a perfect inning before Wander Alvino allowed 2H/3R (1ER), 2K:3BB in 0.2IP, and Colton Pitkin got out of a bases loaded jam with no further damage.

Jose Altuve was 2x4 in the #5 spot, and Ben Heath with 2x3 with a walk and the lone RBI. Jonathan Villar was 1x3 with 2BB.

Man of the Match: Andrew Robinson

Lexington (15-11)


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Oswaldo Navarro to DL

McTaggart says that Oswaldo Navarro has been placed on the DL with a groin injury, and Joe Inglett will take his spot.

Last night Navarro drew three walks and provided an RBI.

Rob Neyer, on Lyon

You know when the Astros lose in dramatic fashion, that's when people will start to pay attention. And so Rob Neyer discussed Brandon Lyon:

Brandon Lyon isn't a bad pitcher. He really isn't, no matter what those four blown saves and 7.12 ERA might suggest. He's a perfectly fine major league relief pitcher, with a perfectly fine 2-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in his career. He's just not good enough to be routinely given the chance to blow one- or two-run leads in the ninth inning.


Justice gets called out in Canada

Toronto's Sportsnet has a post from Mike Cormack revisiting the Brett Wallace/Anthony Gose trade.

To date, the Jays' fan base and media has -- for the most part -- remained extremely patient and supportive of Anthopoulos' moves as he restocks the farm system with as many high-ceiling prospects as possible.

And with Adam Lind enjoying a fine offensive season of his own at first base, Wallace's absence hasn't even been felt at the major-league level...

...But you wouldn't know it if you read Richard Justice's latest blog.

On Wednesday, the Houston Chronicle baseball reporter opined that with Wallace possibly heading to all-star status in 2011, "in Toronto, they’re crushing Blue Jays management for trading Wallace."

Really? Crushing?

We'd love to know who exactly Justice is referring to because, as mentioned above, there's been little, if any, criticism of the deal from within the GTA.


The Reds can't believe their luck in facing Lyon

The appropriately-titled Cincinnati Reds Blog (from the Cincinnati Enquirer) has some post-game reaction from the Reds.

Jay Bruce:
“It was like we were sleeping. Then we woke up."

Interesting, because it's like the Astros were dreaming. Then they woke up.

Chris Heisey:
“It’s still hard to believe. We (get) one hit and then we send five to plate without making an out. Hitting’s contagious. It kind of snowballs. On the other side, we’ve been through it. The last three outs are the hardest to get.”

From the Office of the Coutny Clerk - G30: Astros @ Reds

I don't know that anybody really saw this coming: a pitcher who struggled in the rotation in the minors, who struggled in the bullpen, having thrown more than 25 pitches just once, who goes out and throws a one-hitter in his rotation debut. And then Brandon Lyon came in and dry-humped the hell out of it. Astros lose 4-3. And Lyon, you're buying Rodriguez' dinner.

*Aneury's line: 5IP, 1H/0ER, 3K:1BB, throwing 49 of his 83 pitches for strikes. There's really nothing to base this on, so we'll just leave it at that. Excellent job.

*Before Lyon corn-cobbed the game, a bullpen of Lopez, Abad, Melancon and Fulchino threw 3IP, 0H/0ER, 3K:1BB.

*Then Brandon Lyon Porky-Pigged It, and he allowed 4H/3ER, 0K:1BB in 0IP. 19 pitches, 10 for strikes. Here's the breakdown: Four pitch walk to Stubbs. Stubbs to second on wild pitch, seven pitch single to Heisey, 1-1 single for Votto, 2-1 single for Phillips, and Jay Bruce hit a first-pitch double to score Votto as the winning run.

*Lyon has four blown saves in eight save opportunities, two in a row, and three in his past five outings. In 12 appearances this season (11.1IP), he's allowed 21H/9ER, 5K:3BB. He's allowed runs in four of his past five games.

*Lyon has also thrown 228 pitches (that's 6.7 pitches per out), with 139 strikes, for a 60.9% strike rate (funny comment in response: "The other 39.1% is earned runs")

*Brett Wallace's hitting streak is over at 11, after an 0x4, 2K game. It's his 5th multi-K game of the season.

*And maybe twelve hours after posting that Jason Bourgeois had the most ABs without a walk, he drew one in AB #44. In seven starts for Bourgeois this season, he's hitting 12x30 with 3XBH-4RBI.

*Pence and Bourgeois had the RBIs for today, giving Pence an 8-game hitting streak.

*Man of the Match: Aneury Rodriguez

*Goat of the Game: Brandon Lyon.

Eddie's Farm: May 3

Coming at you all nice and late!

Oklahoma City (10-15)

The RedHawks are now 1-0 when hitting a 1st inning grand slam. RedHawks win 12-4. Henry Villar threw 5IP, 5H/4ER, 4K:4BB, while Wesley Wright struck out three, walking one, and allowing 2H/0ER in 3IP. Andy Van Hekken allowed a hit in the 9th.

Collin DeLome provided said grand slam, getting another hit and a walk. Tommy Manzella (2B, BB) had your other two-hit game. RBIs were provided by Brandon Barnes (2B, BB), Oswaldo Navarro (3BB), Carlos Corporan (2-run double), and Anderson Hernandez (BB), who also stole home.

Man of the Match: Collin DeLome

Corpus (11-14)

Corpus jumped out to a 6-0 lead on Midland, and rode it out for a 7-1 win. Kyle Greenwalt threw a strong 6IP, 5H/1ER, 8K:3BB. Danny Meszaros continues his scoreless streak with another 2IP, and that streak is now at 5IP. He allowed his first hit of the season, as well. David Carpenter threw a perfect 9th.

Jimmy Paredes (2B, SB) and Jimmy Van Ostrand (1B, 3B, HR, 2RBI) had three hits each. Brandon Wikoff was 2x4 with 2RBI and a walk, and Andy Simunic was 1x2 with 2BB. J.D. Martinez was the only Hook to not record a hit.

Man of the Match: Jimmy Van Ostrand

Lancaster (12-14)

That's what you call a bullpen meltdown. Lancaster and Rancho Cucamonga were tied 2-2 heading into the 8th after the JetHawks scored two in the bottom of the 7th. Then the Quakes scored the next six runs, including five in the 9th, for an 8-2 win. Jose Cisnero threw 7IP, 3H/2ER, 13K:3BB - yes, 13K. Mike Ness allowed 4H/4ER, with 0K:1BB in 1.1IP. Kirk Clark gave up two unearned runs, including two runs charged to Ness, allowing 3H in 0.2IP.

Jose Altuve was 2x4 with a double, and Jay Austin (2BB), Austin Wates (BB), Jake Goebbert, and Jonathan Meyer (2B, 2RBI) had the other hits.

Man of the Match: Jose Cisnero

Lexington (15-11)

Game 1: Play resumed with the Legends up 4-0 in the 2nd, and the Legends picked up where they left off, pummeling Augusta for a 15-2 win. Brad Dydalewicz was pitching well in his 2IP, but Carlos Quevedo finished the game with 7IP, 6H/2ER, 5K:0BB. Chris Wallace was 3x5 with a double and an RBI. Delino DeShields was 2x6 with a solo homer, Mike Kvasnicka was 2x4 with a walk and an RBI, and Dan Adamson was 2x4 with a double, walk, and 3RBI. Adam Bailey also hit a three-run homer, and Tyler Burnett hit a two-run homer.

Man of the Match: Dan Adamson

Game 2: Augusta scored four in the top of the first, but Lexington answered with five runs in the bottom half, and won, 8-4, to complete the sweep. Ruben Alaniz allowed 3H/4R (1ER), 4K:2BB; Yordany Ramirez walked three batters, and only got two out, and Alex Sogard did the grunt work, striking out six in 3.1IP. Jhonny Medrano was 2x4 with 2RBI, Delino DeShields was 2x3 with a triple and a walk. Ben Orloff was 1x2 with 2BB and an RBI. Roberto Pena had a two-run single.

Man of the Match: Alex Sogard

Towles don't need no stinking hitting coach

Lexington Herald-Leader's Mark Maloney profiled the seven former Legends currently with the Astros, with good quotes from Bogusevic and Norris. But the most interesting one was from J.R. Towles, on his month-long success in 2011, and what changed:

"I figured it out on my own. Someone needed a picture for a charity event, so I was digging through some pictures at my house and there was a picture from '07. I was like, 'man, my hands look lower there.' So I went and looked at some film and some more pictures from when I was going well in '07 and the beginning of '08, and my hands were lower then than they were in 2009 and 2010."

From the Office of the County Clerk - G29: Astros @ Reds

That was quite fun! If the Betting Man didn't get even more neurotic about having to make his picks public, he would have lost a lot more money. Astros win 10-4.

*G27-29 marks the first W3 of the season. In 2010, the first W3 came in G11-13.

*That said, the Astros are 12-12 since the 0-5 start.

*J.A. Happ pitched decently enough, allowing 8H/4ER, 5K:1BB in 6.1IP. He walked nine batters in his first two starts (11.2IP), and in his past four starts has walked six batters (23IP).

*The bullpen of Del Rosario, Abad, Melancon, and Figueroa allowed 1H/0ER, 1K:2BB in 2.2IP. And they were efficient, getting eight outs in 37 pitches. (Abad's one-pitch-one-out appearance helped).

*Mark Melancon enjoyed a baserunner-less outing for the first time since April 13, and it had been four appearances since he had not allowed a hit.

*Chris Johnson got a triple and a homer - his second homer in the past four games (12PAs). It was 33PAs between his 1st and 2nd HR.

*Brett Wallace also got a jack, and he has as many HRs in 2011 as he had in 2010. Wallace is hitting .383/.448/.543. Wallace has an 11-start hitting streak (pinch-hitting three games ago), and has reached base in 25 of the past 26 games.

*Jason Bourgeois is making the best case for going ahead and letting Carlos Lee rest up until 2013, going 3x5 with two doubles, 2RBI, and a stolen base. He has ten hits in his last 17 PAs.

*Bourgeois is the last position player on the team with 10+ PAs to not draw a walk, going 41PAs to start the season without reaching that magic four-ball count. Joe Inglett had joined him (24PAs), but obviously now finds himself in OKC.

*Bourgeois' 41ABs is actually the most in the National League without a walk. Laynce Nix has 38ABs, and no walks.

*Clint Barmes got his first two hits - both doubles - as an Astro, and also drew a walk.

*Man of the Match: Jason Bourgeois

*Goat of the Game: Going with Hunter Pence, who was 1x5, but 0x3 w/RISP.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

More Tranzactionz

Courtesy of Brian McTaggart, we find that:

*Joe Inglett has cleared waivers, and has accepted his assignment to Oklahoma City.
*Telvin Nash hits the DL again, but this time with a wrist/hand injury.
*Erick Abreu is back to Corpus from Oklahoma City to take Dallas Keuchel's roster spot.

Friends Close, Enemies Closer: G29 - Astros @ Reds

J.A. Happ will get the extra day of rest, thanks to the rainout, against Mike "Slippery Fingers" Leake.

Friends Close

*Happ hasn't lived up to his 2009 or 2010, but that's mainly because we're convinced he's still hurt from his strained intercostal. He has dropped his last three starts, throwing 16.2IP, allowing 18H/12ER, with 13K:5BB in those starts.

*In his last two outings, he threw over 210 pitches, but recorded 29 outs.

*Brian McTaggart notes that Happ has the lowest strike percentage in the National League, throwing strikes 57.7% of the time.

*Dating back to 2010, the Astros have lost nine of the last ten games Happ has started.

*He's been throwing fastballs at about the same rate, but his average fastball is 88.4mph this year, down from 89.8mph in 2010. His velocities are down across the board.

*That said, he did throw a max fastball at 91.1mph his last time out against St. Louis, averaging 88.7mph. In his previous start, his average fastball was 87.8mph, maxing out at 90.4mph.

*Lefties are hitting .385/.444/.538 against Happ (in 18PAs, for clarification).

*His home splits are much better than his road splits. Opponents are hitting .239/.325/.418 at Minute Maid, and .342/.435/.605 in their place.

*3-6 hitters are lighting him up for a .364/.463/.682 line.

*With the bases empty, opponents have a .989 OPS, and a .664 OPS with men on.

*Happ is 0-1 in two starts against the Reds, allowing 15H/9ER, 6K:9BB in 9IP.

Enemies Closer

*Mike Leake is our bag-stuffing opponent for the evening, and he's been pretty lights out for Cincinnati against the Astros, going 2-1 with a ND in his five starts, with a 2.49 ERA/1.26 WHIP.

*He throws a four-seam fastball 37.2% of the time at an average of 87.9mph, with a cutter he throws almost as much (31.5%) at 87.2mph. He also throws a changeup (18.2% - 82.5mph) and a slider (11.4%).

*In two starts since being arrested for theft, he's 1-1 with a 3.21 ERA, allowing 11H/5ER, 12K:2BB.

*At home, Leake is allowing hitters a .175/.274/.254 line, with a 16K:8BB ratio.

*OPS, by time through the order: 1st - .595; 2nd - .588; 3rd - .922.

*The Astros have two stolen bases against Leake, and have never been caught stealing off of him.

*Michael Bourn is 4x11 off Leake, while Hunter Pence and Chris Johnson have the only homers for the Astros. Another reason to give Carlos Lee an extra day: Lee is 1x12.

Keuchel to DL

As a result of last night's collision, the Hooks have placed pitcher Dallas Keuchel on the DL.

Friedman interested in buying the Astros (and it's not Kinky)

Brian McTaggart has an article on a potential new bidder for the Astros: Kenny Friedman, Houston attorney, chairman of the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority (meaning that he's Drayton's landlord), and father of Rays' GM Andrew Friedman.

Friedman, who says he's already been approved by MLB:
"It's been just a very short period of time, just a few weeks, but I've been very pleased with the response we've gotten from a number of people. I understand they recently entered into an exclusive negotiating period with Mr. Crane and his group, which is not surprising. They're well ahead in their efforts. I'm going to continue to keep pushing until someone tells me not to."

But Zach Levine says Jim Crane is the sole focus, at least at this point.

Drayton, on Friedman:
“We’ve been talking to Kenny Friedman a number of times. They’ve never made a solid proposal.”

So it seems that, if Drayton has any lingering issues with Crane, he at least has a Plan B.

Brad Mills won't even try to slow Bourgeois down

Nice article from Zach Levine on Jason Bourgeois, in which Mills explains what kind of light he has when on base:

“I have full confidence that he’s comfortable with it. A lot of times if you pull the reins back too tight, then he’s not sure when to go. But he’s fine, and there’s no reason to try to put a harness on it at all.”

Bourgeois, despite limited playing time, is tied for 9th in the NL in stolen bases, and is only 3SB behind league leader Michael Bourn.

And by limited playing time, I mean 36ABs. Of the Top 10 in NL steals, Bourgeois has 51 fewer ABs than his closest competitor - Will Venable - who has 87ABs.

Eddie's Farm: May 2

Oklahoma City (9-15)

It was a low-scoring affair, and OKC managed to strike last, ending up with 2-1 win over Nashville. The RedHawks' pitching staff only allowed two hits, but Doug Arguello was a touch off - throwing 6IP, 2H/0ER, 5K:5BB. Fernando Rodriguez struck out three of the seven batters he faced, allowing no hits, and walking one. Jose Valdez got his 3rd save in his return to OKC, striking out two.

Arguello had the only RBI for the RedHawks, with Jose Vallejo and Tommy Manzella scoring runs. J.B. Shuck was 0x2 with 2BB, and Collin DeLome was 0x0, drawing three walks on the night. Tommy Manzella had the only XBH of the night with a double.

Man of the Match: Doug Arguello

Corpus (10-14)

Corpus jumped all over Frisco, destroying them in a 15-6 win. Dallas Keuchel had thrown 2.1IP, allowing 1H/1ER, 0K:1BB before an infield collision with David Flores knocked them both out of the game, and two batters later Jon Gaston went face-first into the wall, and he was out of the game (you can read Greg Rajan's game report here). Shane Wolf got the win, allowing 2H/3ER, 4K:1BB in 4.2IP. Arcenio Leon threw 1IP, 2H/2ER, 1K:2BB, and Danny Meszaros has yet to allow a run - throwing a scoreless inning.

Wladimir Sutil (2B, 2RBI, 3R) and Jimmy Paredes (HR, 3RBI, 4R, SB) had four hits each, and J.D. Martinez hit a grand slam - those three players accounting for 9RBI. Thanks to the spat of injuries, Andy Simunic played RF-3B-RF and went 2x3 with an RBI and 2BB.

Man of the Match: Jimmy Paredes

Lancaster (12-13)

Rancho Cucamonga got a run in the top of the 9th to provide a 4-3 win over Lancaster. Bobby Doran threw his best game of the season, going 6IP, 7H/3ER, 3K:0BB. Colton Pitkin allowed a hit and a walk in 1.2IP, and Wes Musick took the loss, giving up an unearned run on Jonathan Meyer's throwing error in.

Jake Goebbert was 1x4 with 2RBI (and added an outfield assist), and Jose Altuve provided the other RBI with a 1x3, BB night.

Man of the Match: Bobby Doran

Lexington (13-11)

Suspended in the 2nd due to rain, the game will resume this evening with Lexington up, 4-0.

Monday, May 2, 2011


We're collectively having a difficult time getting motivated talking about baseball today, so it's a good thing that tonight's game is canceled. That said, here are some tranzactionz for you.


May 1: Placed Casey Fien on the 7-Day DL with a strained right elbow. This could explain his recent struggles (4H/3ER, 2HR allowed in 3.2IP).

May 1: Erick Abreu was assigned to Oklahoma City from Corpus. Abreu has allowed 11H/6ER, 10K:6BB in 12.2IP for Corpus.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

From the Office of the County Clerk - G28: Astros v. Brewers

Rubber Match! And Bud Norris stepped up huge as the Astros finish the homestand 3-3 with a 5-0 win.

*The Astros held the Brewers to one run in the last 18 innings. The last time that happened was August 30-31, 2010, when the Astros shutout the Cardinals twice in a row.

*Bud Norris won the race to two, as he becomes the first Astros starter with multiple wins on the season, throwing an absolute gem: 7.2IP, 3H/0ER, 11K:3BB. It's the most strikeouts he's thrown since an August 2010 game against the Pirates, when he struck out 14.

*Norris' 81 Game Score is a career high, and also a season-high for the Astros. The last time an Astros starter had an 80+ Game Score, it was the aforementioned August 30, 2010 game against the Cardinals when J.A. Happ threw a complete game shutout.

*With the 11Ks, it gives Bud Norris 43Ks on the year - good enough for 4th in the NL and tied for 6th in all of MLB.

*The three hits allowed tie a season-low (Padres, G13).

*Carlos Lee was heading for his best game of the season (2x3, 3RBI) before Angel Sanchez donkey-kicked him in the ribs. Seriously, if you haven't seen that play, watch it, because it's nasty. His 3RBI were the most since G2 against the Phillies, when he had 4RBI.

*Lee's homer was his 3rd of the season, but remember - at this point last season, he didn't have any. And at least he now has more homers than triples. It was his 334th career homer, and his 68th against a lefty.

*Jason Bourgeois got two hits, giving him seven hits in his last 12 ABs. He has also stolen three bases in the past two games, his 8th of the year, three behind Michael Bourn, who has had 81 more PAs.

*Hunter Pence extended his hitting streak to six games, with a 1x4 day.

*Angel Sanchez' seven-game hitting streak is over, going 0x4.

*Man of the Match: Bud Norris!

*Goat of the Game: No Goat today...

Andrew Robinson was just adopted

Congratulations to Andrew Robinson, who had an impressive win in the 3rd Annual Astros County Adopt-a-Player poll, getting 57.49% of the vote (against four other nominees).

Andrew, you can expect your first care package soon.

Wilton Lopez could be activated tomorrow

Within the same notebook, we find that Wilton Lopez could be activated from the DL tomorrow.

"He threw the ball really well. He's probably on target in the next few days to be able to be active. We'll see how he is after the icing and treatment and everything, but there's not reason to believe he won't be ready to go."

Should he be activated, the Astros will have a decision to make regarding the 25-Man roster. Jose Valdez is our guess as to who will rejoin the Pacific Coast League in the corresponding move.

Figueroa out, Aneury in

Nelson Figueroa is "so valuable," says Brad Mills, that the Astros would rather him not throw the ball as long in games.

The Nelson Figueroa Experiment fell flat on its face after five starts, three of them of the Disaster variety. His 5IP, 6H/4ER, 2K:3BB outing against St. Louis in G25 actually lowered his ERA to 8.28, and nine of the 37 hits he allowed were for extra-bases. So he moves to the bullpen.

"It's a dual move to help strengthen our bullpen a little bit because Figgy's so valuable because he can do everything -- short [relief], long, middle, whatever we need. And I think that's another experienced arm that we're going to be able to put down there, and he's active for tonight."

Aneury Rodriguez moves into that spot, and has pitched better after a rough start to the season, where he has allowed 1ER in his last 4.2IP. He was a starter for the large majority of his career in the minors.

Astros Employee of the Month

Your Employees of the Month for the Houston Astros are...

Brett Wallace. This was a no-brainer. He led the team in hits, doubles, batting average, OBP, SLG, and - by default - OPS, which is 10th in the National League.

Wandy Rodriguez. You may have thought that Brett Myers would have been in this spot, but Wandy has walked just nine batters in 38IP - and his 4.26 ERA is inflated by a .356 BABIP.

If Brett and Wandy would like to drop by the office, they will also get a free sno-cone.

Eddie's Farm Employees of the Month: April 2011

And now we can start up the Employees of the Month segment again. Just a reminder, Employees of the Month get to park up front, and get 10% off in the store.

Oklahoma City

Position Player: Koby Clemens. Led the team with a .923 OPS, hitting .284/.369/.554, with five doubles and five homers.

Pitcher: Jordan Lyles. In 27IP, allowed 29 hits and walked six batters, with 19Ks.


Position Player: Would have gone to Brandon Wikoff, if he had played in more than 13 games. Wladimir Sutil was also in on the honor, but we're going with J.D. Martinez. Martinez hit .341/.394/.553 in 22 games, with 12 doubles and 23RBI, and also drew 10 walks.

Pitcher: Dallas Keuchel. In four starts, Keuchel posted a 3.81 ERA/1.15 WHIP, and walked only three batters in 26IP.


Position Player: Jose Altuve. Altuve hit .435/.485/.652, but also had 11K:10BB and stole 12 bases during April. His 40 hits in April are 13 more than 2nd-best Kody Hinze and Jay Austin.

Pitcher: Jake Buchanan. Threw 28.1IP with a 1.91 ERA/0.88 WHIP, walking just six batters over the month.


Position Player: Chris Wallace, obviously. Wallace hit .368/.468/.795 with 17 of his 33 hits coming in for extra-bases.

Pitcher: Tanner Bushue. Bushue was 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA/0.97 WHIP, walking just five batters in 26.2IP.

Jose Carlos Thompson to Corpus

2B Jose Carlos Thompson was assigned to Corpus on Friday. So you know.

The Astros signed Thompson back in January for $250,000, and was thought to be heading to Lancaster.

It would have made perfect sense to me to have gone ahead and sent Thompson to Lancaster, and bring Jose Altuve up to Corpus.

Eddie's Farm: April 30

Oklahoma City (8-14)

New Orleans got a pinch-hit homer in the 8th inning to provide a 5-4 win over OKC. Sergio Perez threw 4.1IP, 6H/3ER, 4K:2BB (with a balk, and two errors). Gustavo Chacin allowed 3H/1ER in 1IP, Andy Van Hekken threw a scoreless outing, and Fernando Rodriguez gave up the late HR for the loss.

Carlos Corporan was 2x4 with a double and an RBI, and Brandon Barnes was 2x4 with a two run homer - his first at Triple-A. Jose Vallejo also hit his first homer of the season. Oswaldo Navarro had a hit and a walk.

Man of the Match: Brandon Barnes

Corpus (9-13)

Frisco hit three homers for a 5-3 win over Corpus. Jonnathan Aristil threw 5.2IP, 5H/3ER, 5K:3BB while Patrick Urckfitz got the loss, even though the 2-run homer in the 8th came courtesy of David Carpenter.

David Flores was 2x4 with a two-run homer, while Brian Esposito provided the other RBI.

Man of the Match: David Flores

Lancaster (11-12)

Lancaster scored a run in the top of the 10th on Kody Hinze's single for a 5-4 win. Robby Donovan threw 6IP, 4H/2ER, 4K:3BB; Zach Grimmett got the BS/W with 3IP, 4H/1ER, 3K:0BB, and Kirk Clark notched his 8th save of the season.

Jonathan Meyer was 3x5 with a double, while Austin Wates (BB, 2SB), Kody Hinze (2RBI, BB), and Jake Goebbert had two hits each. Jose Altuve snapped his 9-game hitting streak with an 0x4.

Man of the Match: Kody Hinze

Lexington (12-11)

Augusta jumped on Lexington early and rode it out for a 5-1 win. Mike Foltynewicz threw 5.2IP, 6H/5ER, 3K:1BB, 2HBP; Yordany Ramirez got his first appearance, throwing 1.1IP and striking out three. David Martinez threw 2IP, allowing 0H/0ER.

Jiovanni Mier was 2x4 with a double, while Tyler Burnett and Dan Adamson also added two hits each, with Adamson getting plunked twice.

Man of the Match: Yordany Ramirez!

From the Office of the County Clerk - G27: Astros v. Brewers

It's a walk-off. It's a walk-off. The Astros look like they nutted the game in the top of the 9th, but Jason Bourgeois came through for the 2-1 win.

*Wandy did work on the mound last night, throwing 8IP, 7H/0ER, 6K:0BB - looking very much like 2nd Half Wandy. The six hits give him 46 allowed for the season - most in the NL.

*Wandy had not thrown 8IP since July 31, 2010 - against the Brewers, at home.

*It's the 2nd time this season Wandy had an outing without a walk - he only had one outing like that in all of 2010.

*Wandy is averaging 2.1 BB/9, a full BB/9 lower than 2010.

*In Wandy's first three starts, he posted the following line: 16IP, 26H/13ER, 11K:3BB, .887 OPSa, .427 BABIP. In his last three starts, that's: 22IP, 20H/5ER, 22K:5BB, .706 OPSa, .288 BABIP.

*And Brandon Lyon. There's no shame in giving up a homer to Prince Fielder, but he has now given up runs in three of his last four outings. It's the first HR Lyon has allowed this season, and all three homers he has allowed in his time with Houston have come at home - and two of those have now been against Milwaukee.

*Jason Bourgeois bailed him out, though! Bourgeois got three of the six Astros hits last night, including the big one that scored Bill Hall, who was running for Brett Wallace, who was pinch-hitting for Brandon Lyon.

*It was Bourgeois' first three-hit game, and the seventh multi-hit game of his career. And it wasn't just his first walk-off, it was the first go-ahead hit of his career.

*Carlos Lee was 0x3 with an intentional walk (who would intentionally walk Carlos Lee!). Lee's now 2x24 since April 24, and has the same number of stolen bases (1) as he has XBHs in that span.

*Lee's OPS+ is 56. There are 15 everyday players in the NL with an OPS+ worse than Lee's.

*Hunter Pence was 1x4 with an RBI in his first game in the cleanup spot, and he has a five-game hitting streak, with RBIs in four of his last five games.

*Brett Wallace made an appearance after sitting, thanks to the collision in G26, drawing the walk that scored the winning run. Wallace has made two pinch-hit appearances, and walked in both of them.

*Wallace has an 11-game on-base streak, and has reached base in 24 of the 26 games in which he has made a plate appearance.

*The Astros were 1x10 w/RISP. It's the first time this season that they had 10+ ABs w/RISP and got only one hit, but they are 1x16 w/RISP in the last two games.

*The Astros also drew more walks (5) than they struck out (4) for the second time this season - and wouldn't you know it, they won that other game, too.

*After grounding into DPs in four straight games, the Astros have now gone three games without a GIDP.

*Chris Johnson was 0x4 for the second straight game, and has four hits in his last 31 PAs.

*Man of the Match: Actually going with Jason Bourgeois here.

*Goat of the Game: Carlos Lee, who got one ball out of the infield all night.