Archive for Houston

Say There, Need A Tonic What Ails Your Rubber Arm?

Posted in Astros rivals, Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 21, 2010 by Astropolithecus


Okay ladies and germs, now listen good and listen fast and listen with your wallets out, no seriously folks I’m only gonna say it three or four hundred more times, no now I’m absolutely serious, so listen tight, peel your ears proper and lean close to my friendly lips whilst I reveal to you this fine evening the most locked down, whizbang, firecracker, hardsmack, sharp as diamond can’t miss cure for  all your pitching troubles.

Your team struggling? Right at .500? WAYYYYY BEELLOOOOWW .500? Not a problem here! Got a wily veteran losing his stuff?A young gun with a herky jerky throwing motion? Wild man who can’t find the plate?  Mental case?  Just your standard ace in need of a real confidence booster?  Heck be burned I’ve got The SOLUTION!

Why bottled and glittering right here on my state of the art sanitized portable laboratory table I’ve got two ounces of the best kept secret in all of stickball! See now, just three drops of WADE HOUSTON’S HITTING SAUCE, and those pitiful pitchers will perk up like hounds at a hotdog stand!

This sauce is a scientific miracle for revolutionary relief. Drawn from the center of each Houston Astros game used baseball bat, this cold, syrupy, flavorless goo is sure to wipe out any lineup!

Simply sneak into your visiting clubhouse, flick three drops onto any bat of your choosing, even pour it on their fancy catered spread, and watch the futile unfold!

I promise your pitcher has never had it so hunky dory! He’ll think he’s Cy Young reincarnated!

I have clients in San Francisco that swear by the stuff. Trust me!

You’ll see more first pitch swinging, pop up lifting, caught looking, ground outing, double play inducing goodness than you can shake a stick at. Or shake a stick at and miss for that matter! No seriously folks, I tell you with WADE HOUSTON’S HITTING SAUCE your paralyzed grandmother could pitch a three hit complete game shutout backwards against the New York Yankees!

Facing a patient hitter? Not anymore!

In town against a team with thunder rolling in the middle of the lineup? More like refreshing spring showers for your starting staff!

Worried about an overworked bullpen? Ha! Tuck those late inning babies tight at 9:30 sharp, because they won’t be needed this series!

And all after only ONE application of WADE HOUSTON’S HITTING SAUCE!

It’s just one thin dime, one tenth of a dollar for 15 drops of my most efficient elixir!

Here now, all of you step right up and make me the richest man this side of the Mississippi! And I thank you dearly for your business!

******side effects may include harmless infield singles and long home-run distance foul balls: Do not be alarmed*******


Never, under any circumstances, open a bottle inside your own clubhouse!!!

Astros Sweep Cardinals!

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , , on July 23, 2009 by Cabeza De Vaca
Okay, so, I pretty much use this blog as a place to voice my frustration with the club.  My love for the Astros comes accross mostly as love-hate, with the latter half of that relationship predominating.  Mostly, though, I’ve been frustrated with the way this team has been run.  My rants on player performance are normally limited to the context of how it should affect Ed Wade’s decision-making and Drayton’s long-term strategy.

Today, though, I’m just freakin’ excited that the Astros swept the Cardinals.  I honestly did not expect to have this much fun at any time this season.  My only concern comes when I think about how much this series sweep helped the Cubs.  I hate the Cubs.  I like the Cardinals.  I like LaRussa, Pujols, and the remaining Duncan.  I like the moustaches. I like the St. Louis Post-Dispatch sportswriters, and I like knowledgeable baseball fans. If any team other than Houston has to win the NL Central, I want it to be the Cards.  As teams who have finished 1-2 in the standings so often in recent years, I hope they can continue to be each other’s well-respected adversary.

Still, there was something so satisfying about sweeping a first place St. Louis team.   Let me say it again: the Astros swept the Cardinals!!  It helped that the club’s three best starters lined up for the three game series, but I still can’t believe it.  The team couldn’t believe it either.  They were jumping around like they just made it to the World Series.  You take the excitement wherever you can get it, and to lots of us who have been underwhelmed so far this year, there was a playoff atmosphere to this series.

As an Astros fan, I have been conditioned to believe that come-from-behind victories simply do not go in our favor.  I have been conditioned to expect opposing teams to get out of late-inning, bases loaded, no-out jams.  Prior to one of the Geoff Blum walk-off singles against the Cubs, it had been months since the team had won a game it trailed after the sixth inning.  To come back in the bottom of the ninth against a closer who has looked fantastic this year is remarkable.  Miguel Tejada has been a spark plug that ignites this team’s confidence and enthusiasm night after night.

Keppinger gives Miggy the rare double-spotlight.

Keppinger gives Miggy the rare double-spotlight.

In all honesty, I still think this team’s pitching is too weak, and I’m worried that the injury bug will continue to strike the… uh… less-than-youthful members of the team.  But for now, who cares? While I’m not jumping aboard the bandwagon just yet, at times like these, even a website called “Disastros” can be downright gleeful.

Astros outdo themselves, lose 2 games in one day.

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , on March 14, 2009 by Cabeza De Vaca

Another day, another loss… er… Two losses. Not really much of a story here, except that Russ Ortiz seems to be regressing to his mean, surprise surprise. Also, AJ Burnett pitched 4 perfect innings for the Yankees.

In the Astros defense, with a split squad, Cecil Cooper couldn’t put together a regular season-type, veteran lineup, which he will undoubtedly be using to get in the win column. Sorry, young players, with a 1-13 record, unfortunately, player evaluation will take a back seat.

Astros Place Fernando Nieve on Waivers

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , on March 13, 2009 by Cabeza De Vaca

In an interesting story about how bad the Astros have been this spring, Fanhouse reported today that the Astros have placed Fernando Nieve on waivers.  So, another team can claim the pitcher.   If no one picks him up, he’ll be sent to start the year in Round Rock.

If someone picks him up, it’s because he still has potential (and a mid 90s fastball) and his negative feelings about this organization caused him to stop trying. Or, if no one picks him up, it’s because he sucks, and won’t get back to what he showed us he could be early on. Either way it’s a loss for the Astros.

In 2006, Nieve pitched 96 innings, struck out 70, walked 41, and had a 4.20 ERA. He was wildly inconsistent, but definitely showed flashes of brilliance.  I remember when Roy Oswalt was scratched from a start at the last minute due to injury, and Nieve stepped in to start on a moment’s notice. He allowed only 2 runs.  At that point, I thought he had it figured out.  His time as a starter hadn’t gone well prior to that, and he was really putting it together as a reliever, being projected as a future closer.  He wasn’t happy about that move to the bullpen, though, and indicated that he thought he was being treated unfairly.

His dissatisfaction grew over the next couple of years of being called up and sent down, and then there’s the little issue of having to undergo Tommy John surgery in May of 2007.

All in all, I don’t blame the guy if he has quit on us.  Purpura and the gang weren’t exactly great with how they handled him, but the great potential with mixed results made things tough.

The Padres will probably pick him up, since they’ve been the only team willing to take our leftovers in recent years. He’ll pitch at Petco, look great, and I’ll bitch and moan, forgetting that he would be angrily wasting away in Round Rock with this organization.

Is this the face of the Astros franchise?

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , on March 12, 2009 by Cabeza De Vaca

How many Roy Oswalts does it take to get people to care about the Astros?



Astros 5, Venezuela 5

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on March 5, 2009 by Cabeza De Vaca

They say a tie game is like kissing your sister.  In the Astros’ case, I think it’s a supermodel step-sister, because this sure feels like a win to me.

In the past four games, the Astros have tied two and lost two.  When the alternative is losing 12-2 (Rays) or 13-1 (Mets), you have to appreciate anything other than a punch in the face. 

Jose Capellan threw 3 innings of shutout ball, allowing only a hit and a walk.  Rule 5 lefty Gilbert De La Vara shut Venezuela out for 2 innings, striking out one batter and allowing a hit.  It will be interesting to see how the pitching situation shapes up.  With Backe unable to throw breaking balls, and looking characteristically command-less, we could have a nice little competition on our hands. 

More so than most GMs, Wade seems committed to hanging on to Rule 5 picks.  The strategy of taking a lefty pitcher is probably a good one.  As we saw last year with Wesley Wright, it’s not hard to find a spot in the bullpen for a lefty.  With Byrdak and Wright, it might be tougher for De La Vara this year, but Wright is probably not a lock to make the team. 

On the other hand, Lou Palmisano, who I would have put money on to make the team to fill the gaping hole at our back-up catcher spot, has no hits or walks this spring in five at bats.  However, this is a tiny sample size, obviously, and the fact that he hasn’t struck out is encouraging.

Damn You, Law of Averages!!

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , on September 18, 2008 by Cabeza De Vaca

Goodbye six game winning streak, hello four game losing streak. A .600 winning percentage ain’t bad, but it’s sure not what it looked like we had going before Ike washed all our mojo away. Goodbye .305 team batting average, hello .092 team batting average. Goodbye 32 1/3 scoreless innings, hello four run first. Wait, back up, we’re hitting .092??!! Over four games??!! Okay, things will get better over the remaining games. Things CAN’T stay like this.

Chances are, we aren’t going to make the playoffs, but heck, is this a team that deserves to go to the playoffs? We’ll finish with a winning record, which is pretty darn impressive for a team that had to trot Runelvys Hernandez onto the bump more than once. Honestly, if this team does regain the magic to make the playoffs, I’ll be overwhelmed, overjoyed, and also a bit worried about the validation that would provide to the tactics of Ed Wade and Drayton McLane (more on that next time).

The law of averages catches up to a team like this, to guys like Brian Moehler, Randy Wolf, Darin Erstad and Geoff Blum. It was fun while it lasted, but now it’s time to salute a group that didn’t quit after being in last place at the All Star break. These guys are winners.