Okay, I admit first that Houston is playing hideous “monkey escapes the zoo” baseball. That is the form of baseball in which, much like a chimp breaking out of its cage, a team beginning the season doesn’t run free or gain any ground but instead freaks out, looks ridiculous, is completely wild, and swings at everything. Everyone is embarrassed for the escaped ape, they feel bad for it, and it ends up covered in its own poo before being sedated.
But before tranquilizing these young Astros and putting them back into their cage until 2012, I’d like to grant this HAPP-less young squad a caveat. They are certainly playing poorly, but they are also experiencing hilariously bad luck. Five errors, Scorched line drives caught by the suddenly brilliant Phillips, and smarmy little droopy bloops falling all over the field for the Reds and Phillies. Also, the strike zone, at least according to Gamecast, seemed all over the place. Who umpired home tonight, Frank Drebin?
And the best of all, at an incredibly crucial point in the game, Towles rares up on a pitch and is ready to fire a strike to third base when his arm catches the stalwartly motionless bat held like a true champion by Ramon Hernandez. Damn, Ramon, you’re a bona fide hero, standing there like a bump on a log. Almost as breathtaking as you’re opening day three run bomb. Next time I hope he throws it into the side of your helmet.
Yes, that is the right call, error on Towles, as all the Reds come around to score, but you know tonight, if that had been the Astros, there would have been a batter’s interference call, and the umps would have called every visiting player out for the next three innings. What the hell?! His arm hit the damn bat? I’ve never even seen that before. And when a red-hot team is given freakish momentum, they will dance on your grave. 12-4.
A painful way to start the season, facing the three toughest aces in baseball and then the team that tormented you all last year in their house. Still, you should be able to win one in each series. We’ll be very lucky to win tomorrow.
I like to think some demons have been exorcised early, and that we’ll start to play some real baseball coming up shortly. I also like to believe I might win the lottery every week.
Still Houston, let’s try to prove all the doubters wrong instead of backing them up so assertively.
At least bite the zookeeper a few times before he shoves you back in your enclosure. We, the fans, have earned a little fight.
Going Bananas Early,
Berkmaniac (soon changing his moniker)
P.S. Bright spot of the post – We have an excellent manager. It may not seem so at the moment, but he is a strong leader and the Astros are lucky to have him.