Postcard from a Disaster, aka Monday Morning Quarterbacking in the Summer of Brett Favre

Well, we survived the tornado, but not the disaster.  Cecil Cooper lost two games for us this week, and he should have to answer for it.

*********************************************************************************************************

Case One:  Tuesday, 8-5-08, Astros v. Cubs

Wandy gave up six, and the Cubs surged to an early lead after two innings played.  However, the momentum began to shift to the Astros’ favor later in the game.  We scored two in the fifth, two in the sixth, and three in the seventh to jump to a one run lead. 

Then, the bottom of the seventh.

Sampson was on the mound after pitching an effective but shaky sixth inning.  He started off the seventh by giving up back to back hits followed by a sac fly from Fukudome.  With the eighth spot due up, Lou Piniella sent in Daryle Ward to pinch hit.

And then, with runners on the corners and one out in the seventh, Cecil Cooper made the call to have Sampson INTENTIONALLY WALK DARLYE WARD. 

I’m sorry, WHY?  Daryle Ward is a career .264 hitter, and this season he’s only hitting .227.  He’s only 1-for-4 against Sampson with two strikeouts, and he’s never faced Wesley Wright.  In fact, I can’t believe Cooper didn’t salivate at the idea of getting the lefty-lefty matchup there.  Why not bring in Wright to face Ward and force Pinella to manage his way out of it? 

WHAT WAS COOPER THINKING?!

I can tell you, I was sitting very close to this action at the time, in a group of ‘Stros fans, and all of us were asking, “What’s he doing here?  Why is he walking Ward to face another pinch hitter?” and  “Wait, doesn’t that mean we’ll see Soriano this inning?” and finally, “Do we have this right?”

We did have it right, and Cecil Cooper had it all wrong.  It would not be his first mistake.

Fontenot (lefty) had been announced to pinch hit for the pitcher, Howry, but Coop went to the bullpen again.  Wesley Wright came in for the Astros, so Pinella burned Fontenot and turned to Geovany Soto (righty) for a better matchup. 

This makes it bases loaded, one out in the bottom of the seventh, Astros 7, Cubs 6, Geovany Soto v. Wesley Wright. 

The count went 1-0, 1-1, 2-1, 2-2… Strikeout!  

Strikeout! Strikeout! 

Now it’s bases loaded, TWO outs!  TWO OUTS!  “Maybe things will turn out OK after all.  Go ‘Stros!” we’re thinking.

We temporarily forgot that coming to the plate was… Alfonso Soriano.

Well, Wright is DEALING, so bring it on, Soriano!

<<<PA Announcement:  Pitching change for the Astros.  New pitcher Doug Brocail.>>>

MISTAKE NUMBER 2, COOPER, SIR.  We fans in the stands were deflated.  Weren’t you?

I’m sure I don’t have to remind you of what happened next:  grand slam, left field.  Grand slam on a 1-2 count! Brocail would give up another run that inning, and we would not be able to come back. 

Eleven, eleven, eleven, 11 runs Cubs, 7 runs, Astros. 

Of the fateful moment, Cooper had this to say:  “It was a pitch that [Brocail] didn’t get where he wanted,” Cooper said. “He wanted to bounce a slider and ended up hanging it. When you hang it to guys like [Soriano], they’ll make you pay.”

I have yet to hear any explanation for walking Daryle Ward.

[We got] down, and I felt like the Cubs, a first-place club and a talented club like that, it’s kind of tough to come back. But we got some big hits and everybody played well.”

Everybody, Coop?

*********************************************************************************************************

Case Two: Wednesday, 8-6-08, Astros v. Cubs

This case is a lot simpler to make:

Brandon Backe, EIGHT earned runs in the third.

No one up in the bull pen.

Two earned runs in the fourth.

Who is that, Byrdak out there?

Eleven, eleven, eleven, 11 runs Cubs, 4 runs, Astros.

What made this loss really hard to take was the fact that once out there, Brydak threw 2 2/3 scoreless, and LaTroy Hawkins, who pitched the eighth (to boos from the Cubs audience) STRUCK OUT THE SIDE!

I’ll call this a WAY #2 loss: bad starting pitching.  But in my mind this game, like the one before it, was lost by Cecil Cooper.

Advertisements

One Response to “Postcard from a Disaster, aka Monday Morning Quarterbacking in the Summer of Brett Favre”

  1. Summer of Brett Favre has made me want to commit suicide, or at least favreicide. Anyone whose last name gets its own section of the ESPN ticker is on my you-know-what list. Hey, no news on Bonds or Clemens lately?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: