Archive for Kazuo Matsui

It’s Official Astros Fans: Never Gonna Happen 2010

Posted in Astros rivals, Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 19, 2010 by Astropolithecus

Folks,

Though our fair broadcasters on both radio and television might gloss over  a very ugly season by not saying anything very negative or critical, I want to make an announcement. Houston is done as of today, June 19th. This is from an eternal Astros optimist.

We are a crap team this year, and for the first time since I can remember I’m questioning the effort team wide, which bothers me deeply. Oswalt wants to leave, and rightly so.

I say blow it up and start all over.  Youth movement in Houston helmed by new hitting coach Bagwell is about the best we can hope for in the next two years.   Buckle down, ladies and gentlemen, judging by the listless nature of this mediocre squad, your fandom will be tested Pittsburgh Pirates style until the blessed day in early October when this train wreck(Wooo!Wooo! my ass) is over.

I knew the playoffs would be a miracle, but I never imagined what I’ve been watching these last 3 months. Only up from here, I hope.

Onward and Upward,

Berkmaniac

Advertisements

Matsui Goes Yard Off Santana

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , on March 9, 2010 by beckeesh

Contract year, what!

Does anyone else have MLB network?

Ooh,  Jason Michaels is up. Gotta go!

You Mean the Rockies Can Score Twelve Runs in One Game?

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2009 by beckeesh

Rockies 12, Astros 1

I was keeping score for this one.  I stopped keeping track of RBIs after Stewart got to 5, so let’s just start there.

Even after his 2 HR night, Stewart’s avg for the season sits at a meagre .211.  He’s batting eighth in the order.  His first home run came off of Paulino.  The grand slam was off of Tim Byrdak.  Most of the runs were charged to Paulino, which helps keep Byrdak’s ERA at a respectable 3.46 even though he’s given up 3 HR in just 13 innings this season. Yikes!

I’m willing to let both home runs go, and say that Stewart was due and Byrdak is not Byrdak so far this season.

Let’s look at the other dingers.

Brad Hawpe hit one out in the 6th, off of Russ Ortiz.  He’s now 6 for 13 off of Ortiz, with an OPS of 1.577, and he’s having a good season in general.

I’m willing to call Hawpe a good hitter who likes facing the reliever that Cooper put in there, and let this one go.

Then there’s Helton’s third inning home run off Paulino.  I don’t know if Paulino knows this, but Todd Helton has been around a little.  You can’t serve him up a fast ball like that and expect him not to hit it.  The count was 1-1 and Paulino threw it right over the plate.

So, I won’t let that one go.  But good for Todd Helton.

As for the Astros offensively, I’d say the key to the game was Kazuo Matsui.  He had an opportunity to get us on the board in the 5th, when he came to the plate with runners on second and third and two outs.  He grounded out to the pitcher.  Again in the 7th he came up with two outs, bases were loaded.  Again back to the pitcher.   Luckily, Kaz is 4 for 16 against tonight’s Colorado starter, Marquis, so he’s got decent chances of hitting one past the infield.

Speaking of tonight, I hope Kaz, Mike Hampton, and the Astros can get something going.  I for one would like to see less of the back of Michael Bourn’s head.

New-han’s On Deck, or, Predictions Schmictions

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2009 by Astropolithecus

Quick check in on our beloved and terrifyingly inconsistent disAstros.

I have not blogged in a bit, mostly because I was intently watching my NCAA Tigers go all the way to the Sweet 16, only to be dismantled by Missouri. And Now I’m watching Kentucky try to woo Memphis’ future away.

ANYhoo, this is not a Memphis blog, though Calipari could learn from the loyalty of Bagwell, Biggio, and Berkman.

This is an Astro blog, and though hope springs eternal yada yada, No one in baseball has the slightest respect for the Astros’ chances to even compete in the NL Central. Despite our scrappy pedigree, even the Reds are consistently picked ahead of us, though they have proven nothing more than the Stros as far as I’m concerned.  

I state this now. Listen oh predicting and Astro loving world.  A very slow start, or more than 3 early injuries, and we can kiss the Astros’ season goodbye, but even a medium start, and I will guarantee you the Astros hang around for postseason contention.  Our pitching staff, though the weak point of the team, isn’t as horrifying as everyone predicts.  I respect Moehler, Hampton is solid if healthy, and Wandy could easily have his best year this year, put it all together, so to speak. 

How many times has a team’s pitching staff proven saltier and more durable than anyone expected.  There are at least two story lines like that EVERY YEAR in Major League Baseball. 

And don’t get me started on how disrespected our hitters are, at least as a group.  Now that we’ve got Pudge too, Our lineup is very solid. I’d take our club’s hitters over the Red’s any day of the week.  Berkman and Lee are blue chippers, and the only knock against Pence is that his sophomore season wasn’t spectacular. The only knock on Matsui is his health, which is a legitimate worry, but when he’s playing, baby, money all the way.  Remember the Rockies folks? Not that long ago.   And Tejada? Still one of the best hitting shortstops in the game. And he’ll have something to prove coming in.

I’d put our bullpen up against any in the majors.

So, there you go. All the predictors can BITE ME!

The 2009 Astros probably won’t win the division, but they will compete for the Wild Card.    

My only major concern now(besides injuries)?

                                                            Management.

After Cabeza’s research, and after reading about Newhan’s anger concerning Cooper’s handling of his release, I am worried about his leadership. I was a big supporter last year, and I think he is a gritty, cool guy, but he may not be a good leader with the Astros. Now, he may be, Newhan could just be blowing justifiable steam, but if the players don’t respect Cooper, we’ve got a problem.  Wade may not be liked all around, but I bet he’s got some respect from the boys.

If the players leave it out on the field, then the weird Wade and Cooper vibes will dissipate, but if not…

Of course Drayton McClane is a weirdo, and they’ve been fine under him for a number of years. 

A player, and soon, should make a statement of solidarity concerning Cooper. Please.

P.S. Concerning Wade, I’ll hear other arguments, but don’t bring up Chacon and how Wade handled that badly.  Shawn Chacon is an idiot.  Don’t attack your boss after you instigated an argument.  Don’t PHYSICALLY attack him anyway.

I repeat, I don’t care what Oswalt said, Chacon is a hot headed moron, who blew a chance at late career glory because he wanted to flex up against a sixty year old man who gave him a second chance to start. At least Caminiti waited till he was retired.

Reunited And It Feels So Good

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 12, 2008 by beckeesh

With last night’s win over the San Francisco Giants, the Astros reached the .500 mark for the first time since June 11.  Here’s a look back at the road from and to .500.

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

First of all, on June 11, we actually lost our game to Milwaukee.  We had been doing a lot of losing.  Although the month of May was in large part a fun one, with the ‘Stros winning seventeen out of twenty-eight games (for an overall wining percentage of .607), they lost four in a row at the end of May and began June by winning only three out of their first seven games (through June 10th).  On June 11, we were either going to stay above .500 or drop to just .500.  We did the latter, and went on to lose the next seven games in a row.  In June, we won only ten out of twenty-five (for a winning percentage of .400).  Yikes!

July was also a tough month to be a ‘Stros fan.  We kicked it off by losing four straight, and won only ten out of twenty-four games total.  July would also be the first month of Lance Berkman’s career in which he did not hit a homerun.

This August, we are trending up.  Having won nine of eleven to begin the month we are finally back to .500 ball.

Here’s a list of ‘Stros-related events that have occurred since the last time we were respectable:

6/11 Astros lose to Milwaukee, drop to .500.

6/12 – 6/19 Astros lose seven in a row, ending with a sweep by the Baltimore Orioles, and our winning percentage drops to .452

6/22 Shawn Chacon is moved to the bullpen.

6/24 Kaz Matsui strains hammy, is put on the 15-day DL.

6/25 Ed Wade confronts Shawn Chacon, Shawn Chacon throws Ed Wade to the ground, Shawn Chacon suspended, later released (here, here, here… and opinion here, here…)

7/1 Humberto Quintero is hit on the head  by Dodger Luis Maza’s bat, diagnosed with a concussion, and placed on the 15-day DL.

7/6 MLB All-Star rosters  are announced.  Lance Berkman and Miguel Tejada are voted onto the NL team.  Carlos Lee is on the ballot for the final fan vote. 

7/8 The Astros make an All-Star fan vote campaign video for Carlos.  (If you have never seen this, you should check it out!)

7/10 Oscar Villarreal  is designated for assignment, eventually released.  Matsui returns from the DL.

7/15 MLB All-Star game.  (Carlos Lee did not make the team.)

7/19 Roy Oswalt is placed on 15-day DL (left hip adductor).

7/21 Humberto Quintero returns from the DL.

7/23 Astros acquire Randy Wolf  from San Diego. 

7/28 Roy Oswalt returns from the DL, starts, defeats Reds.

7/31 Astros acquire LaTroy Hawkins  from the Yankees.

8/4  We all almost die in a tornado / lightning storm in Chicago, but survive to get the win.

8/11 Astros defeat Giants, return to .500!

Scenes from a Tornado, aka On the Road with the ‘Stros

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 5, 2008 by beckeesh

I’m on the road with the Astros this week, catching their three game series at Wrigley.  And I have great seats!!! 

One of the things we’d really like disastros.com to offer readers is a fan’s look at the team.  For this reason, I’ll be blogging with all the insights and pure speculation I can gather based on seeing the team up close and personal. 

What went down at Wrigley yesterday:

1.  Humberto Quintero goofed around with both Matsui’s interpreter and his massage therapist.  Check out these photos!

        

2.  Erstad and Pence practiced their swings outside the dugout:

    

3.  The game started.  Matsui started us off by grounding out to first.  At least he looked appropriately ashamed afterwards:

 

4. Following Matsui’s out, Tejada got a single, tagged up on a fly ball by Berkman to advance to second, and  then Lee drove him in with a double to right.  I cheered, and a crazy Cubs fans sitting near me (70 years old?  80?) yelled that I “stop putting my hands together.”  (No photo)

5.  The game continued.  Moehler pitched well.  He only allowed 4 baserunners, while striking out 4.  According to the Chicago radio experts, this was due to the home plate umpire (Laz Diaz, I believe) giving him too much on the outside corner.  Whine, whine, excuse, whine.  The Astros scored again in the 4th on a bases loaded RBI walk by Humberto Quintero.  Drayton McLane, who was sitting very near me, cheered loudly for “Q.”  I’ve never seen him cheer on TV, so I found that interesting.

Oh, here are some more shots from the game in progress:

        

6.  I went to the ladies room in the bottom of the 5th and heard some announcement about a tornado warning.  I returned to my seat in the top of the 6th and sprinkles fell.  They quickly turned into full-fledged drops as a drizzle came down. We abandoned our uncovered seats and went up to the upper deck, where I took this photo:

7.  An announcemet came over the PA.  We couldn’t hear it very well, but it ended with “get to the main concourse.”  Even the bleacher bums headed out.  Check out the trash they left behind!

   

8.  I’d just started a fresh beer, and anyway it looked crowded down below, so we weren’t going to leave our seats in the upper deck, but then they set off police sirens across the street, and everyone got kinda alarmed, so we made our way down the ramp.  haha!  Not fast enough, because heavy heavy winds blew in along with the rain, and everyone had to run down the ramp as fast as they could, since being on the ramp left one most exposed to the elements.  It was hairy for a while there.  We took cover on the first deck.  Here was the scene:

 

Of course, concessions were still being sold below:

 

8.  We hung out for about 20 minutes until the rain let up.  I got some good field-level shots on our way out.

 

9.  We made it home safely, thanks for wondering.  The game ended up being continued for a couple more innings, then another delay.   Unfortunately, I saw none of this, as ESPN and WGN conspired to blackout the final innings.  I woke up the next morning to find that the game was called in the 8th.  Astros win!

I’m off to today’s game.  Let’s go, ‘Stros!