Friday, June 24, 2011

Jake Buchanan added a cutter

Nice article on Lancaster's Jake Buchanan from his hometown paper on what he's been doing, besides trying to maintain his sanity from pitching in Lancaster:

I’ve been using a cutter more than before. It’s really helped me. The more success I’ve had with it, the more I’ve used it.

Hey, so what's next?
“I’m not too sure of their plans. If they’re going to make any moves, I’m told it’s usually after the All-Star break. I’m just going to work as hard as I can to my best while I’m here and if they want to move me up, that’s great too.”

Austin Chronicle: Kind of a jerk

The Austin Chronicle has a new post up in advance of the OKC v. Round Rock series, where they do a Tale of the Tape between the two teams, and are quite proud of the Rangers' farm system:

The intro, then you click the link:
As that's the case, let's take a look at a few positions on both teams so we can highlight just how much better it is to watch the new and improved Express compared to "last year's team," the RedHawks.

Astros ratings down 34%

David Barron's Media Notebook tells us a little more about how many people aren't watching the Astros on TV:

Through Tuesday, Astros games on Fox Sports Houston are averaging a 1.7 Nielsen rating, down 34 percent through 63 from a year ago, when their final season average was 2.4.

And if people tell you that the Astros won't move to the AL West because of the potential tanking of ratings, you can slap them in the mouth:

The Rangers averaged a 3.9 rating for 12 left coast games in 2010, a half-point above their season average, and the Astros averaged 2.6 for five late games in 2010, two-tenths above their season average. This year, the Rangers have averaged 2.6 for three late games while the Astros averaged 1.8 for four.

Eddie's Farm: June 23

Oklahoma City (32-43)

Crazy one in Albuquerque as the Isotopes took a 2-0 lead, then OKC tied it up, then Albuquerque had a 3-2 lead going into the top of the 8th, where OKC busted out for five runs in the top of the 8th and added one more in the top of the 9th for an 8-3 lead. Albuquerque scored three in the bottom of the 9th, but couldn't get enough, and OKC wins 8-6. Gustavo Chacin allowed 8H/3ER, 4K:2BB in 6IP; Ross Wolf struck out two of the three batters he faced; Jose Valdez allowed 3H/3ER, 4K:0BB in 1.1IP, and David Carpenter struck out one and walked one to close it out.

Brian Bogusevic (BB, 2RBI, SB) and Anderson Hernandez (2RBI) had three hits each; Robinson Cancel was 2x4 with a double and an RBI. Even Chacin got in on it, going 2x2 with a run scored.

Man of the Match: Bogusevic!

Corpus (25-47)

This was never very close as San Antonio dominated Corpus 7-2. Jonnathan Aristil got the Ugly, allowing 7H/7ER, 4K:3BB in 2.1IP; Shane Wolf allowed 3H/0ER, 3K:2BB in 3.2IP; Brad Hennessey, Blake King, and Arcenio Leon combined for 3IP, 1H/0ER, 2K:0BB.

Jose Altuve had your only multi-hit game of the night, going 2x3 with a walk, and now hitting .381. Jimmy Paredes hit his 5th homer of the year - a pinch-hit 2-run shot - and Emerson Frostad, playing 1B, was 1x4 with a triple. Chris Wallace got his first start at Double-A, going 0x3 with a walk, RBI, and a strikeout.

Man of the Match: Jose Altuve

Lancaster (28-42)

The JetHawks had a 3-0 lead going into the bottom of the 1st, but Rancho Cucamonga scored the next six runs, winning 7-5. Our Boy Andrew Robinson went 2.2IP, 6H/5R (4ER), 0K:2BB, WP; Mike Ness gave up 5H/2ER, 5K:0BB in 4.1IP, and David Berner struck out two of the three batters he faced.

Jiovanni Mier, in his Lancaster debut, went 2x4 with an RBI; Kody Hinze was 0x2, but drew 2BB. Jose Carlos Thompson had your only extra-base hit, a double, and Austin Wates (2RBI), Thompson, and Jonathan Meyer had your other RBI.

Man of the Match: Jiovanni Mier

Lexington (35-36)

Ben Orloff's throwing error led to four unearned runs, and Greenville beat Lexington 8-2. Ruben Alaniz allowed 5H/5R (1ER), 6K:2BB in 5IP; Chia-Jen Lo made his season debut, allowing 1H/1ER, 2K:1BB in 1IP, and Juan Minaya allowed 4H/2ER, 3K:1BB in 3IP of relief.

The Legends only got four hits - one of those was Adam Bailey's 14th homer of the year, with Enrique Hernandez, Jhonny Medrano, and Tyler Burnett getting the other hits. Delino DeShields was 0x4 with 2K, and is hitting .194.

Man of the Match: Adam Bailey

Tri-City (3-3)

Lowell got two runs in the top of the 8th to tie the game 2-2, but Tri-City responded with one in the bottom half for a 3-2 win. Juri Perez allowed 2H/0ER, 9K:1BB in 5IP; Travis Blankenship got 2K:1BB in 1.2IP; Brad James allowed 3H/2ER, 3K:1BB in 1.1IP - but got his first win since 2009; Ryan Cole got his first save, striking out two in a perfect IP.

Justin Gominsky was 2x4, Zach Johnson had a double, and Brandon Meredith was 1x2 with a walk and two stolen bases.

Man of the Match: Juri Perez

Greeneville (0-3)

Bristol extended Greeneville's winless streak with a 5-0 win over the Gastros. Luis Ordosgoitti allowed 5H/5R (1ER), 7K:1BB, WP, HBP in 5.2IP while Brad Propst gave up 4H/0ER, 2K:0BB in 2.1IP.

The Gastros only got two hits - Jose Vargas, and a double by Ronald Sanchez. Jorge Sosa and Alex Todd also drew walks.

Man of the Match: Luis Ordosgoitti.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Battle Royal! Clemens vs. Gaston vs. Hinze!

Deputy Street did such an amazing amount of work that it would be ridiculous not to post this. Many of you have sent emails or messages via Twitter asking why in the hell Kody Hinze wasn't promoted to Corpus with Chris Wallace. I have no idea, but let's get an idea about what Hinze is doing so far in Lancaster this season, compared to two of the finest seasons Lancaster has seen: 2009 Koby Clemens and 2009 Jon Gaston. Both players saw their Prospect stock rise dramatically after breaking out in a ballpark with the relative gravity of the Moon, let's compare, shall we?

At Home, Pre-All Star Break:

Clemens (09)216.352/.438/.65348:3135-72
Gaston (09)260.308/.404/.69278:3852-56
Hinze (11)120.325/.464/.60832:3116-26

On the Road, Pre-ASB

Clemens (09)224.330/.409/.58963:2338-51
Gaston (09)258.248/.342/.50486:3329-44
Hinze (11)114.368/.503/.71928:3020-33

Alright, before we get much further, let's take a look at a few things:

1) Prior to 2009, where Clemens posted an OPS of 1.036, his career high in OPS had been .859, and that was in 42 games at Greeneville/Tri-City. In 2008, his OPS was .792 (.268/.369/.423). So to have a 210 point bump in OPS is what you might call a "fluke." And sure enough, in Corpus, his average was down 100 points, and his OPS was .825. So far he's hitting .231/.332/.396.

2) Same thing with Gaston. His OPS in 62 games at Tri-City in 2008 was .577. He had two homers and one triple in 236 plate appearances. So when he goes off for 35 homers and 15 triples in 2009 with a .966 OPS, it makes no sense, other than it's a product of the environment - and that holds up with his road splits.

3) Kody Hinze, however, is a little bit of a different animal. He struggled in 2009, only playing in 59 games and posting a .722 OPS. This is coming off a 2008 where he had an .831 OPS in 55 games at Greeneville. So aside from an injury-plagued 2009, his SLG hasn't been below .457, and his OBP has been above .370. In other words, he has a track record of high OBP/SLG. Now, is a line of .346/.483/.662 ridiculous? Of course - it's video game ridiculous, but Hinze also has 60K:61BB so he's otherwise getting on base.

4) While there's plenty of time for his to regress back to just "stupid good," it's important to note that Hinze's OPS is 151 points higher on the road than it is at home, while Clemens' Road OPS dropped by 92 points, and Gaston's dropped by 250 points. This sort of removes the doubt about the Lancaster Effect.

5) So why didn't Hinze get moved up? After all, he will be 24 and, wouldn't you know it - the average age of Hooks batters is 23.9 years old. A couple of reasons, maybe: (a) Jimmy Van Ostrand is having a decent year at 1B for Corpus, hitting .288/.360/.454 where as a team the Hooks are hitting .261/.321/.373. His .814 OPS is 4th on the team. And if you want to advance JVO as a 1B to OKC to clear the path for Hinze at Corpus, then you'll need to do something with Koby Clemens, currently "holding down" 1B at OKC. (b) The Astros don't have a clue what they're doing, with no rhyme or reason to who advances through the system.

Seaton looking for consistency

Stephen Goff interviewed Ross Seaton, and found that he was looking for more consistency:

"What I want to do is start getting results. I'm showing positive glimpses by having good games, and then I'll have a few bad ones. It's time to get more consistent, instead of stringing two or three good starts together, and then having a bad one. Becoming more consistent is my big goal."

Good interview, worth your time.

Astros Blog Survey

The Constable is working on a post for the Chronicle on Astros blogs, bloggers, and their readers. So if you don't mind...

Baseball Analytics on Myers

Baseball Analytics took a good look at Brett Myers (note: prior to last night's start).

Spoiler Alert: Location, Location, Location

Crashburn Alley, on J.A. Happ

After J.A. Happ's latest Disaster, I got to wondering whether or not Phillies fans are surprised by the meltdown that is J.A. Happ's 2011. So I asked our resident go-to Phillies blogger, Crashburn Alley what he thought about Happ. His response, in its entirety:

As a Phillies fan who liked Happ, I'm saddened by his struggles since joining the Astros. Still, though, I am not in the slightest surprised. I had taken considerable heat from the traditionalists in the Phillies community for being so pessimistic towards the lefty. In this article, which I wrote two weeks prior to the Happ deal last year, I said, "Happ pitches like a 4.50 ERA pitcher and that is what should be expected. His 2009 was a complete and utter fluke."

Not much has changed for Happ in 2011 compared to last year. His K/9 is similar (7.5 to 7.2), his BB/9 is similar (4.4 to 4.8), and his xFIP is similar (4.45 to 4.63). Unlike last year, however, Happ isn't benefiting from an unsustainably-low BABIP. If you're not familiar with DIPS theory (defense-independent pitching statistics), studies have conclusively shown pitchers to have little control on what happens to batted balls outside of them being on the ground or in the air. Pitchers tend to hover around .300; in this more pitcher-friendly era that seems to be blossoming, .295 is more accurate. This year, Happ's BABIP is .298, which is quite normal. However, his BABIP in 2008, '09, and '10 was .266, .266, and .262, respectively.

The low BABIP marks helped Happ keep a lot of runners from touching home plate, but it just wasn't representative the results we should have expected from a pitcher with his peripherals.

Happ's ERA is currently at 5.33, but even an eternal pessimist such as myself cannot see Happ continuing to flounder this badly. His strand rate is 63 percent, 10 percent lower than the league average. Strand rate is tied to good old-fashioned luck, the quality of defense behind him, and park factors. The Astros are near the bottom in nearly every respected defensive metric (including UZR and defensive efficiency), so his defense is to blame for some of his struggles. Additionally, Happ has been even more air-prone than normal, allowing four percent more line drives and four percent more fly balls compared to last year. More balls in the air means more home runs. Combined with the extra base runners allowed on account of the shoddy defense, Happ should be expected to give up slightly more runs than the DIPS metrics indicate.

I would expect Happ to finish the season with an ERA in the 4.50-4.75 range. That's not great by any means, but it would be right in line with the production of other pitchers with similar skill sets. Happ will disappoint, but only because the expectations of him were unrealistic to begin with. He is a perfectly capable #5 starter.

Big thanks to Crashburn Alley for the jolt of reality.

Corpus' corresponding moves annoucned

So last night, after Chris Wallace got brought up to Corpus from Lexington, there were your requisite corresponding moves:

Brought Up

Chris Wallace, from Lexington to Corpus

Sent Down

Federico Hernandez, from Corpus to Lancaster


Matt Nevarez


Pitcher Mike Perconte

Perconte is a 25-year old RHP who has spent three full seasons in the minors - from 2008-2010 with the Cubs, and 2011 with Double-A Frisco in the Rangers system. He has a career 4.18 ERA/1.37 WHIP, with 229H/110ER, 235K:94BB in 236.2IP.

For Frisco, he allowed 27H/17ER, 28K:15BB in 28.1IP.

Nevarez' releasing is unsurprising given that, in Corpus in 2010-11, he has 64K:71BB, and had walked 23 batters in 21IP in 2011. Nevarez did come to Houston from Texas as part of the Pudge trade in August 2009.

Greg Rajan said it best about Hernandez:
Not shocking that Federico Hernandez was demoted, just that it took this long took many around the team by surprise. After all, how many MLB teams keep a .140 hitter as their No. 1 Double-A catcher for an entire half? Not sure what #Astros were thinking.

Eddie's Farm: June 22

Oklahoma City (31-43)

OKC held off a late Albuquerque rally for a 5-4 win. Ryan Rowland-Smith threw 4IP, 4H/1ER, 2K:0BB, departing after 61 pitches; Wesley Wright got the win with 2IP, 0H/0ER, 1K:0BB. Jose Valdez allowed 3H/3ER, 2K:0BB, 2HR and David Carpenter extended that scoreless streak to 17.1IP with 1.1IP, 1H/0ER, 2K:0BB.

Tommy Manzella was 2x3 with a two-run homer and a walk, while Koby Clemens hit a pinch-hit homer in the 7th. Robinson Cancel got a walk and an RBI, while Collin DeLome and Brian Bogusevic both had triples.

Man of the Match: Tommy Manzella

Corpus (25-46)

There was only scoring in two half-innings, but San Antonio got more in theirs, winning 5-3 over Corpus. Xavier Cedeno had a rare rough start, allowing 4H/5ER, 6K:2BB in 5IP. The bullpen of Kyle Greenwalt (2IP), Brad Hennessey (1IP), and Henry Villar (1IP) combined for 4IP, 3H/0ER, 4K:0BB.

Jose Altuve was 2x4, and Jonathan Villar, J.D. Martinez, Jake Goebbert (2B, RBI), T.J. Steele, and Cedeno had hits.

Man of the Match: Jose Altuve

Lancaster (28-41)

Off - final day of All-Star Break, play resumes Thursday against Rancho Cucamonga.

Lexington (35-35)

Off - final day of All-Star Break, play resumes Thursday against Greenville.

Tri-City (2-3)

Game postponed due to inclement weather

Greeneville (0-2)

The Gastros took a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the 9th, but Bristol tied it up, and then got the walk-off in the 12th for a 4-3 win over Greeneville.

Chris Lee threw 0.2IP in his debut, allowing 2H/1ER, 0K:3BB, 2WP; Jamaine Cotton threw 4.1IP effective IP, allowing 2H/0ER, 3K:1BB; Jeremiah Meiners gave up 3H/1ER, 2K:0BB in 2.2IP. Matison Smith threw the symmetry - 3.1IP, 3H/1ER, 3K:1BB; and Paris Shewey took the loss, allowing 1H/1ER, 0K:2BB.

Catcher Ernesto Genoves was 3x5 with a double, RBI; Jose Vargas (2B), Garen Wright (RBI), and Jose Monzon had two hits each. Chase Davidson hit his 2nd homer of the season.

Man of the Match: Ernesto Genoves

From the Office of the County Clerk - G76: Astros @ Rangers

Well, I'll be... The Astros score five runs in the final two innings - four in the 9th - for a 5-3 win over Texas.

*This was just the fourth time this season the Astros have scored four runs in an inning, and the first time the Astros scored that many in the 9th. It's also the 9th time this season that the Astros scored 2+ runs in the 9th inning, in 68 9th innings.

*Last night was the second win the Astros have enjoyed over the Rangers since the beginning of 2010.

*With the completion of the game, the Astros have played 76 game: 38 at home / 38 on the road. They're better on the road (15-23) than they are at home (13-25).

*The win also gives the Astros a 3-3 split on this 6-game road trip, marking back-to-back road trips where the Astros earned at least a split for the third time since the beginning of 2009.

*Brett Myers threw well enough to where he should have gotten the win, throwing a symmetrical 6IP, 6H/2ER, 6K:2BB and yes, allowing a homer to Nelson Cruz in the 5th. That makes 20 homers allowed for Myers in 102.2IP, matching his 2010 total, when he allowed 20HR in 223.2IP.

*Myers also threw two wild pitches, where he had two on the season coming into the game. In each of the previous three seasons, Myers has had two or fewer wild pitches...for the entire year.

*On the road this season, Myers has thrown 59IP, allowing 57H/26ER, 35K:18BB for a 1.27 WHIP. At home, that's 43.2IP, 47H/27ER, 40K:14BB and a 1.40 WHIP.

*Wilton Lopez got a scoreless 7th, and Mark Melancon came in for six outs - something he had not done this season. It was certainly interesting, with Melancon walking three batters. He had walked three batters - total - since May 1 (22 appearances).

*Melancon's 5th win brings him back into a tie with Wandy Rodriguez for the team-high.

*The 9th inning was a wild one - with Neftali Feliz throwing for the second straight day, and after throwing 35 pitches in 2IP against the Astros in G75. Carlos Lee led off with a double, Wallace popped out, Michaels reached on an infield single, and Johnson got an RBI double then scored on Yorvit Torrealba's passed ball. Matt Downs then hit a 400' homer to left, scoring Michaels and giving the Astros the 5-3 lead.

*It's Downs' 5th homer of the season. As a pinch-hitter, he's hitting .389/.560/.833, going 7x18 with four extra-base hits (2HR), 2K:5BB. Pretty impressive considering NL pinch-hitters as a group are hitting .211/.289/.302 with 31HR total.

*Brett Wallace was 0x3 with a walk - and has no hits in his last 24 plate appearances (4BB). On this six-game road trip, Wallace was 1x21.

*Jason Michaels was 2x4 for the only multi-hit game the Astros enjoyed. As a starter, he's 13x54, and as a pinch-hitter, he's 2x17.

*Jeff Keppinger was 1x4, and has a 10-game hitting streak (hits in 14 straight starts).

*Brett Wallace and Carlos Lee were a combined 0x4 w/RISP.

*Man of the Match: Matt Downs

*Goat of the Game: Let's go with the catchers - Corporan and Towles - who, if you add their OPS', have a combined OPS of .901

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

And Mier moves up

Zach Levine says that Jiovanni Mier has been brought up from Lexington to Lancaster.

Chris Wallace gets rewarded for winning SAL Home Run Derby

Lexington catcher Chris Wallace ain't messin' with no Lancaster, getting called up to Double-A Corpus Christi.

Wallace was hitting .285/.356/.550 despite hitting .194/.225/.500 over his last ten games, and .238/.306/.540 in June. This is actually better than his May, where he hit .219/.294/.344.

It makes perfect sense for Wallace to not play in Lancaster, but it negatively impacts one of three catchers: Federico Hernandez, Brian Esposito, or Emerson Frostad. Frostad had played in 12 games, Esposito in 14, and Hernandez got the majority of the starts, with 48. Except Hernandez is hitting .142/.202/.226, Esposito is hitting .150/.164/.167, and Frostad actually has an OPS above .SUCK with a .292/.327/.375 line.

Lyon out for the year

So it's going around The Twinker:

Brandon Lyon will have his shoulder surgery next Thurs with Dr. James Andrews. He said he won't pitch again this year.

It sucks for Lyon, but he'll still get his money, and he may be ready for the beginning of 2012 - the final year of his contract. That said, he probably should have had surgery, or been examined by Andrews weeks ago. Lyon was never going to be Mariano Rivera, but he's not as bad as he's been in 2011. For instance (career listed first, 2011 in parentheses like these):

K/9: 5.8 (4.1)
HR/9: 0.9 (2.7)
Hits/9: 9.6 (18.2)
WHIP: 1.38 (2.40)

Minor League Trends!

Let's play Minor League Trends - June 22 version!

Oklahoma City

*In June, the RedHawks are 7-14.
*Brandon Barnes is hitting .111/.200/.185 in his last ten games, and is hitting .191/.304/.419 against righties in Oklahoma City.
*Koby Clemens' has ten extra-base hits since April.
*J.B. Shuck is hitting .262/.350/.291 on the road.

*Ryan Rowland-Smith has allowed 74H/43ER, with 10 homers, in his last ten games (54.2IP). Righties are hitting .338 against him.
*Andy Van Hekken's last two starts: 14IP, 9H/1ER, 13K:3BB.
*David Carpenter, this season, has allowed 26H/7ER, 34K:8BB across Corpus and OKC. With OKC, he has thrown 16IP, 12H/0ER, 17K:5BB.


*Corpus is 6-13 in June.
*At Corpus, Jose Altuve has struke out six times in 82ABs. At Whataburger Field, Altuve's OPS is .985. On the road it's 1.067.
*Lefty Jake Goebbert's OPS vs. LHP: .644; against RHP: .913.
*T.J. Steele is hitting righties to the tune of .172/.189/.267, with 55K:3BB.

*Three of the four homers Xavier Cedeno has allowed have been solo shots.
*Despite a 2.43 ERA/1.13 WHIP in his last ten games, Dallas Keuchel is 4-5, throwing7+ IP in five of his last six starts.
*Matt Nevarez has walked 18 batters in his last 12IP, and eight batters in his last 4.2IP.
*Ross Seaton has allowed six homers in his last 20IP, and is 0-3 with two NDs since May 22.


*In the ten games leading up to the All-Star Break, Kody Hinze is hitting .368/.510/.816, with 11K:1BB. In June, Hinze hit .444/.583/.852 (1.435 OPS)
*On the road, Austin Wates has a .792 OPS, compared to .699 at home.
*In May, Jose Carlos Thompson's OPS was .875. In June? .675.
*At home, Ben Heath hits .333/.396/.529. On the road, he hits .155/.242/.310.

*Jake Buchanan's ERA at Lancaster is 8.89 (27.1IP, 44H/27ER). On the road, that's 2.16 (58.1IP, 41H/14ER).
*Bobby Doran has the opposite problem. At home, his ERA is 7.34 and opponents are hitting .333. On the road, it's a 15.53 ERA and a .429 BAA.
*Yordany Ramirez' last ten games: 11.2IP, 19H/16ER, 7K:13BB.


*After hitting .400/.438/.533 in May, Emilio King is hitting .276/.338/.414 in June. With runners on (59 ABs), King has a .948 OPS.
*In his last 40ABs, Delino DeShields has three hits, with 11K:9BB for a .075/.245/.175 line. DeShields is hitting righties to the tune of .168/.262/.286 in 185 ABs.
*Mike Kvasnicka is going through his worst month, OPS-wise, with a .640 OPS, after two months of .800+.

*Going back to the beginning of 2010, starter Carlos Quevedo has walked 12 batters in 159.1IP.
*Since apparently being moved to the bullpen as of June 4, Juan Minaya has posted the following in four appearances: 7IP, 6H/7ER, 1K:6BB.
*After starting his professional career 0-9, Mike Foltynewicz hasn't lost since May 11, allowing <2 ER in six of his last seven starts.


Here are a couple of Tranzactionz for you!

June 21: Casey Fien activated from DL by OKC
June 20: Shane Wolf activated from DL by Corpus

After 75 games...

It's a nice round number. 75 games. 46.3% of the season. The Astros are 27-48.

YearRecordGBEnd RecEnd GB

Giants sign Max Ramirez

Just a quick note that the Giants signed former OKC catcher (for however briefly) Max Ramirez to a minor-league deal.

Will the Astros be talking to Andrew Friedman?

It sure seems so, according to Richard Justice, and it could happen this week:

Coincidentally, one of baseball’s five best general managers will be in town this week. Tampa Bay’s Andrew Friedman also happens to be a Houston native, and about the surest bet in the universe is that Crane and Postolos will approach him about running the Astros.

Eddie's Farm: June 21

Oklahoma City (30-43)

Brutal game for OKC as Albuquerque had a 10-run lead at one point before the RedHawks "rallied" in the 9th. Isotopes win 11-4. Sergio Perez allowed 10H/6R (2ER), 3K:7BB in 5IP. Patrick Urckfitz continues to struggle at AAA, allowing 5H/4ER, 0K:2BB in 1.2IP, and Danny Meszaros allowed 2H/1ER, 1K:0BB in 1.1IP.

Brian Bogusevic was 2x4 with a walk, double, triple, SB, and 2RBI; Brian Esposito was 2x4 with a walk.

Man of the Match: Brian Bogusevic

Corpus (25-45)

Corpus led 6-2 after two innings, but San Antonio rallied for a 10-6 win, anyway. Erick Abreu got his first loss of the season - well-earned - with 10H/7ER, 5K:3BB, 2HR in 5IP. Shane Wolf allowed 3H/2ER in 2.1IP, and Sam Gervacio allowed 1H/1ER, 2K:1BB in 1.2IP.

J.D. Martinez was 3x4 with a walk, 2-run homer, and 3RBI total; Emerson Frostad was 3x4, and Jimmy Paredes was 2x5 with an RBI and his 23rd stolen base.

Man of the Match: J.D. Martinez


Off, but the California League defeated the Carolina League 6-1 in the All-Star Game. Jake Buchanan got the win, with a perfect 3rd inning, striking out one. Kody Hinze was 0x1 in a punch-hitting role, but won the Home Run Derby with 10 homers over Ian Gac.


Off, but the SAL South defeated the SAL North 6-3 in the All-Star Game. Chris Wallace was 1x2, and Mike Kvasnicka was 0x2 with a strikeout. Chris Wallace won the SAL League Home Run Derby, with 20 homers.

Tri-City (2-3

Connecticut got all their runs in the bottom of the 8th for a 5-2 win over Tri-City. Nick Tropeano made his debut, allowing just 1H/0ER, 3K:2BB in 5IP of work. Dayan Diaz allowed 1H/2R (1ER), 2K:1BB in 2IP; Travis Smink got the BS/L with 2H/3R (1ER) in 0.1IP (allowing both the runners Diaz left to score), and Ryan Cole struck out one in 0.2IP.

Justin Gominsky was 2x3 with 2BB, SB, and an RBI; John Hinson was 1x3 with 2BB, and Drew Muren was 0x2 with 3BB. Matt Duffy and Brandon Meredith (BB) got the other hits.

Man of the Match: Nick Tropeano

Greeneville (0-1)

Rough opener for the Greeneville Astros, as Bristol was up 13-1 by the end of the 5th on their way to a 13-4 win over Greeneville. Jose Perdomo got the Ugly, allowing 8H/7R (4ER), 0K:1BB, 2HR. Danilo Del Rio allowed 5H/6R (4ER), 1K:1BB, 3HBP in 3.1IP. Mark Jones allowed 2H/0ER, 2K:2BB and Rodney Quintero allowed 1H/0ER, 1K:1BB.

Chase Davidson was 2x3 with a triple, homer, and 2RBI, while Ariel Ovando was 1x4 with an RBI. Jorge Sosa and Alex Todd (2 errors) added a hit each.

Man of the Match: Chase Davidson

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Rumble! Grumble!

Jayson Stark's new Rumblings and Grumblings column has some info pertaining to the Astros:

A source familiar with baseball's schedule-making says that if realignment happens, it's "unlikely" to happen by next year.

Stark goes on to talk about how realignment won't make sense unless the playoffs are expanded.

Even the Rangers are tired of beating the Astros

The Star-Telegram's Jennifer Floyd Engel talks about realignment and the Astros, and how much of a drag both of those things are:

Of course, the Rangers want to play Houston more. It fills up The Ballpark and leads to a lot of Ws. And I like the idea of putting the Astros and Rangers in the same league, love the idea of the Rangers playing in a jerry-rigged AL West with them and love, love the idea of not having to stay up until midnight to watch division baseball in September when every game matters...Either bring Houston to the AL, or do not. Just do not bring them back to Arlington and call this fun. What we do not need is to see more Astros baseball.

Or any more interleague play.

Re-aligment, in some form, "will happen"

Yahoo's Jeff Passan just tweeted:

Source: MLB reticent to push for unalignment because it's such a drastic change. NL team moving to AL to even leagues at 15 "will happen."

"Unalignment," we're assuming, is the process of getting rid of the divisions. But somebody is moving to the American League, and it's basically between the Astros and the Diamondbacks.

Eddie's Farm: June 20

Oklahoma City (30-42)

The RedHawks were able to salvage the last game of a four-game set with a 2-1 win against New Orleans. Andy Van Hekken was lights out with 7IP, 6H/1ER, 6K:2BB; Jeff Fulchino threw another scoreless inning, and David Carpenter kept that scoreless streak rolling at 16IP with 2Ks in the 9th inning.

OKC only managed three hits (with five walks), Koby Clemens - batting 8th - was 1x2 with a double, walk, and RBI. Brian Bogusevic also got the H/BB, and Collin DeLome provided a sac fly for the other RBI.

Man of the Match: Andy Van Hekken

Corpus (25-44)

Corpus got four in the 4th, and that was enough for a 4-1 win over San Antonio. Dallas Keuchel did what Dallas Keuchel does, throwing 7IP, 5H/1ER, 5K:3BB, with the lone run coming off a solo homer. Arcenio Leon picked up his first save, striking out four of the seven batters he faced in 2IP.

Jimmy Paredes, Jake Goebbert (2B), and Jimmy Van Ostrand (2B, RBI) had two hits each. Jose Altuve was 1x4, J.D. Martinez was 1x2 with a walk, and Johnathan Villar was 1x3 with a walk. Federico Hernandez drew two walks, and got an RBI.

Man of the Match: Dallas Keuchel

Lancaster (28-41)


Lexington (38-32)


Tri-City (2-2)

Tri-City went off, scoring the final nine runs of the game for an 11-2 win over the Oneonta Connecticut Tigers. Kyle Hallock went 5IP, allowing 5H/2ER, 3K:0BB. Garrett Bullock threw 2IP, 1H/0ER, 1K:0BB, and shortstop-turned-pitcher Ebert Rosario struck out four in 2IP, allowing 2H/0ER.

Matt Duffy continued a hot start to his professional career, going 3x4 with a walk and 3RBI (in four games he's hitting .529 with a .706 SLG). Justin Gominsky was 1x4 with 2BB and 3RBI. John Hinston, Drew Muren (BB, RBI), and Zach Johnson (2B, RBI) had two hits each. Brandon Meredith, Kellen Kiilsgaard had a hit and a walk, and Neiko Johnson was 1x3 with 2BB in his season debut.

Man of the Match: Matt Duffy

From the Office of the County Clerk - G74: Astros @ Rangers

These are getting less and less fun to do. Astros lose at Arlington, 8-3.

*This loss drops the Astros to 2-11 against the Rangers since the beginning of 2009.

*The Astros have played 36 games on the road, and 38 games at home. They're 13-25 at home, and 14-22 on the road.

*Since May 30, they're 6-5 on the road, and 2-8 at home.

*J.A. Happ only lasted 2.2IP, allowing 8H/7R (5ER), 3K:1BB, and only threw a first-pitch strike to six of eighteen batters. His nine losses are the most in the NL.

*It was his shortest outing since his season finale on October 2, 2010, when he allowed 8H/8R (7ER), 3K:5BB in 3IP against the Cubs; and it was the first time he didn't get out of the 3rd since his season finale on October 4, 2009 (2IP, 4H/2ER), 1K:1BB).

*The Astros are 3-12 when Happ starts, and haven't won one of his starts since May 14 (0-7).

*Four times the Astros starters have posted games scores of 20 or less: Nelson Figueroa (April 6), Wandy Rodriguez (April 2), and J.A. Happ (April 5 and last night).

*Aneury Rodriguez dominated in relief, allowing just 2H/0ER, 2K:0BB in 4.1IP. In 5.2IP (yeah, two games) since rejoining the bullpen, Aneury has allowed 2H/0ER, 4K:1BB.

*Mark Melancon allowed a 9th inning homer to Mitch Moreland, giving up 2H/1ER in 1IP. It's the first earned run he has allowed since May 30, and he has given up four hits in his last 2IP. It's also the 2nd homer he's allowed, with the other one coming on May 17 at Atlanta.

*Jeff Keppinger was 2x4 with a double - the only extra-base hit of the game. The Astros have five extra-base hits (all doubles) in their last three games, and have not hit a home run since June 10 - a span of 90 innings and 385 plate appearances.

*Jason Michaels also was 2x4, and got 2RBI out of the day. Your top five in the lineup went a combined 6x18, 0K:1BB. Your bottom four in the lineup went a combined 1x14, 5K:2BB.

*Congratulations to Michael Bourn, who stole his 30th base for the 4th straight season, getting that 30th SB in the 74th game, the fastest in his career. In 2010 he reached it in his 93rd game; 2009 - 86th; 2008 - 75th (also against Texas).

*Man of the Match: Jason Michaels, I guess.

*Goat of the Game: J.A. Happ

Monday, June 20, 2011

Towles vs. Corporan

The Constable has some astute, and not-so-astute, observations on the catching prowess of J.R. Towles, over at the Chronicle.

Heyman on possible trade candidates

Jon Heyman ran down a list of early trade market candidates (position players only), and there are a few Astros on there:

At #4, Michael Bourn:
A tremendous defensive centerfielder with as much speed as anyone in the game (he leads the NL with 29 stolen bases), it's something of a surprise the Astros are listening at all. But word is, they are. Their one concern, apparently, is trouble with lefthanded pitching (his OPS vs. lefties is only .544 this year compared to .737 overall). The Braves could use speed in the outfield, though Jordan Schafer has looked a bit better in recent weeks.

At #9, Hunter Pence:
The sense is Houston wants to hold onto him even if it isn't thrilled Pence beat them in arbitration for $6.9 million this winter. Pence is not only having a big year (.321, 51 RBIs) but is seen as someone who provides a great example of how to play the game for a team in transition.

At #10, Jeff Keppinger:
The versatile player has hovered around .300 (he's at .302 now) and could be a useful man for a contender.

I understand why the Astros are listening on Michael Bourn - because Bourn switched his representation to Scott Boras. Or because Jason Bourgeois is only a year older, and is kind of the same player. With perhaps a better bat. I understand holding on to Pence for Heyman's expressed reasons, but for the life of me can't figure out why they're shopping Keppinger. He's the only 2B that can hit, unless clearing out Keppinger creates room for Jose Altuve in 2012.

Greeneville preview

The Astros' Appalachian League affiliate in Greeneville kicks off their season tomorrow. We thought about doing a preview. But figured - correctly - that Appy Astros would do a better job. Check it out.

Logan Morrison got a little snippy

The Marlins, who are embroiled in a 10-game losing streak, and have lost 18 of their last 20, and whose manager just resigned, and who just re-hired their old (literally and chronologicall) octogenarian manger, are having a rough time.

Compulsive tweeter Logan Morrison fielded a question from someone who doesn't seem like a Marlins fan:

@LoMoMarlins ur on the worst team in baseball any comments?

Comments...sure. I play for the Marlins not the Astros.

It's time for "Let's Take Issue With Gil LeBreton!"

I generally like the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Gil LeBreton. But not so much today. Now, what we won't do is to FJM it (because it seems cheap, and I simply cannot do it justice), but there are a couple of things that should be pointed out about LeBreton's column on realignment and Jim Crane.

I love interleague play. I was at the ballpark that night in June 1997, when the Giants and Rangers played history's first interleague game, and the appeal of matching the two leagues hasn't wavered.

As anyone with the DirecTV MLB Extra Innings package could see last weekend, interleague play adds an extra layer of drama to an otherwise routine day on the baseball schedule.

So LeBreton likes baseball, but finds it boring. So when the A's and Giants play, it's an extra chance to get jacked up. I do not understand this.

On realignment, which he is very much in favor of:
Except... proposed new Astros owner Jim Crane has been quoted as saying he has no interest in moving the team to the American League. Crane grew up in St. Louis and reportedly considers himself a traditionalist.

But since when did Crane, a previous three-time loser at trying to buy into the MLB fraternity, earn the right to dictate anything to the other 29 owners?

Think Crane will get Ray Davis' and Bob Simpson's vote, after the way he helped to jack up the price of the Rangers last summer?

I'm sure owners are petty and vindictive (just like writers and bloggers and other humans), and I'm sure that some owners aren't terribly fond of Mr. Crane, but it's my understanding that Crane's (and his group's, and Bank of America's, and...) $680 million earned the right to veto 29 owners forcing his team into another league.

Also, did Jim Crane help drive up the price of the Rangers? Yes. But that's because he was trying to buy them. It's not like the sale of the Rangers was some wacky episode of Full House where Uncle Jesse was trying to screw Danny Tanner out of a car, or a leather jacket, or a Beach Boys LP. Crane was trying to buy the damn franchise, not screw over Nolan Ryan (allegedly). And so if the Rangers take it out on Crane and the Astros because they're pissed that Crane tried to buy a team, then part of me hopes that the Astros do get moved to the AL West, and routinely beat the piss - in a jackass sort of way, a stealing-bases-with-a-40-run-lead kind of way - out of the Rangers.

The Rangers and Astros should be more than novelty opponents.

Neighbors shouldn't be strangers.

How would he feel if the Astros weren't 875 games under .500 this season? Anyone who is against radical realignment, says LeBreton, is a traditionalist. And traditionalists are nonsensical. Like that column.

Eddie's Farm: June 19

Oklahoma City (29-42)

The RedHawks are a Monday loss away from a home sweep at the hands of the Zephyrs after a 7-0 beatdown on Sunday. Nelson Figueroa allowed 7H/3ER, 4K:1BB in 7IP; Jeff Fulchino struck out two batters in 1IP, and Jose Valdez allowed 3H/4R (1ER), 1K:1BB, committing his own error, and giving up a homer in a 4-run 9th.

OKC got four hits - from Shuck, DeLome, Manzella, and Navarro, but no extra-base hits. Anderson Hernandez drew three walks.

Man of the Match: Anderson Hernandez.

Corpus (24-44)

The Hooks had a 4-0 lead after the first, but gave four runs right back in the top of the 2nd, and the game was tied 7-7 after three innings. But then Frisco got two in the top of the 12th, and Corpus could only get one back for a 9-8 loss. Ross Seaton threw 3IP, allowing 7H/7ER, 2K:1BB, 2HR. Blake King threw 3IP of 0H/0ER, 3K:1BB relief, and Brad Hennessey struck out one in 2IP. Henry Villar allowed 2H/0ER, 3K:0BB in 2IP, and Matt Nevarez gave up 2IH/2ER, 2K:2BB in 2IP, taking the loss. Nevarez has allowed 14ER in his last 12IP, with 11K:18BB.

Johnathan Villar was 4x6 with an RBI, J.D. Martinez and Jake Goebbert were 3x6, and Jimmy Paredes and Emerson Frostad were each 2x6 with an RBI. Jon Gaston was 1x4 with 2RBI, and Brandon Wikoff was 1x4 with two walks.

Man of the Match: Johnathan Villar

Lancaster (28-41)

Lancaster scored five runs in the bottom of the 7th, but it just wasn't enough - losing 8-7 to Inland Empire. Robby Donovan allowed 6H/4ER, 1K:1BB in 1.2IP; Wander Alvino (3IP) and Colton Pitkin (1.1IP) gave up two runs each, while Yordany Ramirez (2IP) and Kirk Clark (1IP) threw scoreless outings.

Ben Heath was 2x4 with two doubles, a walk, and an RBI. Miguel Arrendell was 1x4 with a triple and 3RBI. David Flores was 1x2 with three walks, and Kody Hinze was 1x3 with two walks. The JetHawks were 2x15 w/RISP, leaving 11 men on base.

Man of the Match: David Flores

Lexington (35-35)

The Legends finished up the first half at .500 with a 4-2 win at Rome. Mike Foltynewicz allowed 7H/2ER, 3K:1BB in 5IP to improve to 4-6, while Brian Streilein and Jorge De Leon (10th save) combined for 4IP, 3H/0ER, 1K:0BB.

Jiovanni Mier (2B, BB), Adam Bailey (RBI, BB), Chris Wallace (BB, 3-run HR), Enrique Hernandez (2BB), and Bryce Lane (SB) had two hits each. Tyler Burnett drew two walks and stole two bases on the day.

Man of the Match: Chris Wallace

Tri-City (1-2)

Tri-City went from being up 2-0, to being down 6-2, and an 8th inning rally fell short in a 6-5 loss to Vermont. Euris Quezada allowed 6H/3ER, 4K:1BB in 4IP, while Adam Champion allowed 5H/3ER, 3K:0BB in 1.2IP. Brad James threw another scoreless outing, while Travis Blankenship and Ryan Cole threw scoreless innings.

Matt Duffy was 3x5 with a double, John Hinson was 2x4 with a walk and a double, and Drew Muren was 0x2, but with an RBI, three walks, and an outfield assist. Kellen Kiilsgaard, Miles Hamblin, and Ryan McCurdy also added RBI singles.

Man of the Match: Drew Muren

From the Office of the County Clerk - G73: Astros @ Dodgers

It's important to remember that the Astros had already won this road series with the Dodgers before Sunday's game. That doesn't make it any less frustrating. Astros lose 1-0.

*The Astros are now 1-2 in 1-0 games, having lost by that score twice now in the past five days.

*They have scored 0 or 1 run in 12 games this season (1-11), and <2 runs in 22 games (3-19).

*Astros pitching has allowed three or fewer hits in four games this season, but that's the first time they've lost when doing so. In fact, it's the first loss while giving up three hits since August 27, 2010 (more recent than I guess I expected), when Nelson Figueroa and Mark Melancon combined for a three-hitter against the Mets, and lost 2-1.

*Bud Norris allowed 1H/0ER, 5K:1BB in 6IP, throwing nine first-pitch strikes to 20 batters faced. Since taking the loss at St. Louis on May 18, Norris has thrown 39IP, allowing 27H/10ER, 31K:15BB for a 2.31 ERA/1.08 WHIP.

*Norris' 1H allowed set a career low.

*Three Dodgers saw a 3-0 count, but only Matt Kemp was able to get that fourth ball and get on base. The other two grounded out.

*Sergio Escalona made things interesting, walking Andre Ethier and allowing a single to James Loney (with a Matt Kemp flyout in between). But Wilton Lopez got Casey Blake to GIDP to end the inning. That was Escalona's first walk since June 5 (15 batters faced), and the first time he had allowed multiple baserunners since May 30.

*Lopez gave up the game-winning homer to Dioner Navarro, marking the first homer Lopez has allowed this season. He last allowed a homer on September 26, 2010 against the Cubs - a span of 153 batters.

*The Astros set a season-low with three hits, something they had already done three times by this point in 2010. Interestingly enough, the Astros set a 2010 season-low with two hits, against the Rangers, on June 19, 2010.

*Chris Johnson got two of the Astros' three hits, with Keppinger getting the other one, plus a walk. Barmes also got a walk. Johnson has an eight-game hitting streak, with two hits in each of his last three games (six hits - four doubles), is hitting .435 in the last week, and .317 in June.

*The Astros were 0x5 w/RISP, with Carlos Corporan going 0x2. Corporan, though, has caught 63IP, allowing 49H/17ER, with 59K:13BB, and a .622 OPS - coming into yesterday's game. Opponents OPS with Towles behind the plate is .762, and it's .795 with Quintero catching.

*Man of the Match: Bud Norris

*Goat of the Game: Hard to find a goat when nobody hits. So how about everybody?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Wesley Wright no longer throwing side-arm

Good article in The Oklahoman today on Wesley Wright's sidearm experiment which, like so many of my own personal experiments, was abandoned.

“I was just trying to see if it would benefit my career and see if it would help me get back to the big leagues...It just wasn't me. I didn't feel comfortable and I was out there thinking too much. Now I'm able to go out there and focus on what I've been doing my whole life and that's just letting my natural athletic ability take over.”

Wright says the experiment taught him the unteachable lesson of keeping the ball down, though. /blinks.

Eddie's Farm: June 18

Oklahoma City (29-41)

OKC got the final three runs of the game - and had the bases loaded with two outs in the bottom of the 9th, but Drew Locke flied out. Chris Sampson notches the win for New Orleans in a 4-3 win. Gustavo Chacin threw 6IP, 7H/2ER, 3K:2BB; Ross Wolf allowed 3H/2ER, 1K:2BB; Wesley Wright walked one in 0.2IP, and David Carpenter extended his ER-less streak to 15IP.

The RedHawks only got five hits - two from Brian Bogusevic (2B, BB), two from Brian Esposito, and one from Anderson Hernandez. 5-8 in the lineup went for a combined 0x13.

Man of the Match: Chacin

Corpus (24-43)

Kyle Greenwalt gave up a three-run homer in the top of the 13th as Frisco beat the Hooks, 9-6. Jonnathan Aristil allowed 9H/4ER, 2K:2BB in 5.1IP; Matt Nevarez allowed 1H/0ER, 0K:2BB in 1.2IP (throwing 10 of 24 pitches for strikes). Arcenio Leon allowed 3H/2R (1ER) in 1IP; Sam Gervacio allowed 1H/0ER, 1K:1BB in 2IP, and Greenwalt gave up 4H/3ER, 1K:2BB in 3IP of relief.

Jon Gaston was 3x6 with an RBI, and Emerson Frostad hit his 1st homer as a Hook, going 2x4 with a walk. Jose Altuve and J.D. Martinez were each 1x6.

Man of the Match: Jon Gaston

Lancaster (28-40)

Despite being down 4-0 to Inland Empire at the middle of the 1st, the JetHawks got seven runs in the bottom of the 2nd, and worked it for a 14-8 win. Jake Buchanan allowed 8H/7R (6ER), 1K:1BB in 3.2IP while Mike Ness got the win with a shutdown 3.2IP, 2H/0ER, striking out eight of the 13 batters he faced. David Berner allowed 2H/1ER in 1.2IP.

Okay. Jay Austin (2B, 3RBI) and Jose Carlos Thompson (2B) had three hits each. Austin Wates (HR, 4RBI), Kody Hinze, Ben Heath (HR, 2RBI), Jonathan Meyer (BB, RBI) and David Flores (2B, grand slam, 4RBI) had two hits each.

Man of the Match: Going with Mike Ness here.

Lexington (34-35)

Dramatic! Lexington scores four in the top of the 10th for a 14-10 win over Rome for the Legends' 5th straight win. Alex Sogard gave up 7H/7R (4ER), 0K:1BB in 1.1IP. Murillo Gouvea allowed 4H/1R (0ER) in 3.2IP; Juan Minaya allowed 3H/2ER in 3IP, and David Martinez got the win with 1H/0ER, 3K:1BB in 2IP.

Jhonny Medrano (RBI), Tyler Burnett (two doubles, BB, 2RBI), Ben Orloff (2RBI), Roberto Pena (2B, 2RBI), and Emilio King (2B, RBI) had two hits each. Delino DeShields was 0x4 with two walks, and is now hitting .202.

Man of the Match: Tyler Burnett

Tri-City (1-1)

And...that's total domination as the ValleyCats bounce back for a 10-0 win against Vermont, scoring ten runs on nine hits. Jonas Dufek allowed 2H/0ER, 2K:2BB in 3IP, while Dayan Diaz gave up a hit and three walks in 3IP; Travis Smink allowed 2H/0ER in 3IP to close it out.

Drew Muren was 2x3 with 2BB, Zach Johnson was 2x4 with an RBI, and Kellen Kiilsgaard was 2x3 with a double, homer, two walks, and 2RBI. Matt Duffy was 1x3 with 3RBI, and John Hinson drew two walks. Justin Gominsky, John Hinson, and Drew Muren also stole bases.

Man of the Match: Gotta go with Kiilsgaard.

From the Office of the County Clerk - G72: Astros @ Dodgers

I bet Dodgers fans are pissed! The Astros score five runs in an inning - again - and go on to win 7-2, even without Hunter Pence.

*The Astros had five runs in an inning for the second straight game. They hadn't scored five runs in consecutive games - total - since May 30-31.

*The shutout is the first for the Astros since May 1, when the Astros beat the Brewers 5-0. It's the first road shutout since September 29, 2010 (Cincinnati), and the first shutout at Dodger Stadium since July 16, 2009.

*Wandy threw 6IP, 7H/0ER, 6K:1BB and moved to 5-3. The win makes him the team leader, separating from Bud Norris and Mark Melancon. It also gives Wandy a career 67-67 record, with a 4.09 ERA.

*It's Wandy's 2nd consecutive scoreless outing since returning from the DL, where he has allowed 9H/0ER, 11K:5BB in 12IP. He last threw back-to-back scoreless starts on July 25/31, 2010.

*A bullpen of Abad/Lopez/Rodriguez allowed a combined 3H/0ER in 3IP, throwing 23 of 30 pitches for strikes, and first-pitch strikes to 10 of 11 batters. In June, Wilton Lopez has made seven appearances (6IP), and allowed 6H/0ER, 8K:1BB.

*The 5th inning was a wild one for the offense. Brett Wallace started with a walk, Chris Johnson singles, and Clint Barmes reached on a bunt single. Then Carlos Corporan and Wandy both struck out, and it looked like the same old Astros. Then Bourn drew a walk, scoring Wallace, Bourgeois reached on an infield single, scoring Johnson, and Keppinger singled to right, scoring Barmes and Bourn. Carlos Lee walked to load the bases - again - and Jason Bourgeois scored on a wild pitch. In his second PA of the inning, Wallace struck out to end it.

*But still, the Astros had only enjoyed 63 PAs with the bases loaded all season, They had four, just in the 5th inning.

*Michael Bourn was 2x4 with a walk and an RBI. In his last ten games, he's 13x38 with 5K:4BB, 4SB.

*Clint Barmes got his second straight 2-hit game, raising his batting average to .226, with an OPS of .657.

*Chris Johnson also had two hits, giving him a seven-game hit streak, and raising his line to .242/.279/.398. His .677 OPS is the highest it has been since G3, and he's hitting .319/.361/.492 since May 30.

*Carlos Lee also drew a walk and got a hit, and he's hitting .344/.440/.484 in June. The .924 OPS would be the highest OPS he has had in a month since August 2008, when he had a ridiculous .500/.605/.967 line in nine games before breaking his finger.

*Man of the Match: Wandy Rodriguez

*Goat of the Game: No Goat!