Archive for russ ortiz

One Game Under

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , , on July 9, 2009 by Cabeza De Vaca

Here we are again. One game from returning to .500. Not since being 1-1 on April 7th, have the Astros been winners, err… I mean, non-losers. Actually, with an extra game to be finished up, the Stros have a chance to be winners tonight for the first time all season. First, the Astros and Nationals will pick up where they left off, albeit 1,500 miles southwest. With an extra-inning win to start the night off, the Astros can either go on to be winners, or quickly follow a step forward with another step back.

During Spring training, my brother and I talked about how we thought the season would play out. I predicted that it would look pretty ugly throughout, but that somehow the old never-say-die attitude would land the team at (an over-performing) 80-82 – with scattered winning streaks to justify management’s claims that we’re still in it. My brother predicted that through the course of the season, the Stros would have great runs to get them to 2 games below .500, slipping back down each time. It appears he was one game off. Here we are again with a third chance in a week. Each time they approach the plateau, they roll back down like a car in neutral that couldn’t build up quite enough momentum along the way.

Who’s gonna stumble this time? In San Francisco, the offense was characteristically baffled by their first view of a rookie, Ryan Sadowski (who?), and against Pittsburgh, the defense faltered. Odds are, this time it’s the pitching. Lately you have no idea what’s gonna happen with Russ Ortiz, so it’s anyone’s guess. Hopefully, though, Lance and Hunter finally teach the rest of the boys that in Texas we take two steps forward before taking another step back.

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This is Why We Call the Blog Disastros

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , on May 24, 2009 by beckeesh

Ugh.

I planned my afternoon around this game… And what happens?  Blanked by the Rangers. 

Let me put that in context.  Swept by the Rangers.

It was one of those games when we didn’t hit and we didn’t make any miraculous fielding plays either.  It was one of those games when our starting pitcher gave up hit after hit and then our hitters countered with one pitch pop fly outs.  

It was a game I’ve seen before, about a million times.  It’s not even July yet but I’m feeling kind of down about our chances.

OK, bright spots:

Miggy went 4 for 4.  Q got 2 hits.  Russ Ortiz pitched 4 shutout innings.  Cooper got the lineup right.

We need something to pump up this team, and this fan blogger. 

Bagwell for team manager!

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.

Off-day Notes

Posted in Houston Astros, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 12, 2009 by beckeesh

Have y’all seen Alyson Footer’s blog?

I’m throwing it a shout out because I am so enjoying the Mother’s Day luncheon pics!

First of all, that luncheon looks nicer than my wedding.

Second, I’m enjoying looking in the background of the shots.  I’ve spied Brownie.  He looks hungry.  And there’s a bunch of Japanese men seated at the table behind Russ Ortiz.  Where’s Wandy?  Can anyone find him? 

All I’m saying is, if I had Alyson Footer’s job, there’d be way more shots of JD, Brownie, and players on the bubble.  And Wandy.  This is what the people want to see!  Geez, we see Berkman all the time.

In other news, as much as I don’t look forward to hearing about Micah Owing’s offensive prowess all season (here and here), I am pumped about the Reds! 

Second in the NL Central, the Reds are the only team in our division with starting pitching good enough to challenge the Cubs long term.  It’s true that Bronson Arroyo isn’t worth his salary right now.  (Unless he’s on the road – What’s with that?)  And yes, Volquez needs to settle down.  (He will!  I believe it.) 

Even still, Cincy is on the up.  (See Cueto, Votto, and don’t look now but Taveras’s OBP is over .380!)

Yes, I’m getting on the bandwagon, and I’m getting on now.

Finally, this Onion Sports article made me chuckle.  And it caused me to look into how greedy Drayton is.  I mean, how much MLB tickets cost across the country.  I ended up happening upon this article about how greedy Drayton is.   Go figure!  Check it out and you’ll see that we consistently rank higher in revenue than we do in payroll. 

Wait – I wanted to end on a positive note.

Hey, we play the Rockies tomorrow!  At 12-18, they’re worse than we are!  And I like Paulino.  If he does well enough, I’ll write a post justifying my ridiculous confidence in this unproven arm.

Astros win 4th straight!

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , on March 24, 2009 by Cabeza De Vaca

I know it might seem like I relish in the Astros’ failures, but I swear I really don’t.  My love for the team is complicated.  I know I was posting more when the boys were losing, but SXSW and it’s aftermath of cold-like symptoms have kept me from sharing my delight about the recent victories.  I know the wins don’t count, but it’s good to see us put some runs on the board, even if we have very close to our starting line-up out on the field.  

The best part to me, however, has been the pitching.  Mike Hampton pitched five innings, allowing 3 runs, which might not sound great, but that’s a solid spring training outing.  Russ Ortiz continues to exceed expectations.  Three scoreless innings from Moehler, and scoreless frames from Brocail and Valverde are encouraging.  Jose Capellan had a rough outing, but it was only a matter of time.  Besides, according to Astros.com, he was pitching against… the Astros?

Astros against Astros

Good thing he didn't pitch well. Astros win!

I guess it did look like the ‘Stros had been beating themselves.  Now, though, Houston has five spring training victories.  That’s the same number as the Padres.  And hey, the Diamondbacks, Tigers, and Indians only have eight wins apiece.  Meanwhile, the Royals and Pirates each have 13 victories. All is well.

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.