Diamondbacks 12, Astros 3
WP: Miley (11-5, 3.02)
LP: Keuchel (1-2, 4.03)
by Mr. Happy
Well, today was an interesting day for Astros fans everywhere, as the club bid farewell to Brett Myers, shipping him to the ChiSox for a couple of prospects
suspects, welcoming 37 year old Francisco Cordero as the new closer, welcoming Dallas Keuchel as the newest member of the rotation (filling the spot formerly occupied by J.A. Happ) and looking forward to playing the Snakes at the ballpark formerly somewhat affectionately known as the BOB.
Maybe Cordero would see some close action and get to notch his first save as an Astro tonight? He did pitch a scoreless frame last night. Maybe Ben Francisco (what was it about this deal with the name Francisco?—is this a mere coincidence or some sort of Luhnow fetish?) would shine in his first Astros start? After all, he did get a sharp pinch hit single last night.
Hopes and dreams were high, the possibilities were endless and the world was our oyster, even though we’d been on the short end of a 13-8 score. And just as quickly, in the very first inning tonight, our hopes and dreams were smashed flatter than a pancake when, with one on (a walk, the first of four for Keuchel, all of which scored), Jason Kubel went oppo with a two run dong, the first of three that he’d smash tonight, two off of Keuchel and one off of EDR. The ballgame was over right there. We just knew it in our gut. But the Snakes weren’t done in the first inning. Not by a long shot. In fact, they were really just warming up, adding ten more runs to best our boys, who, God bless them, fought valiantly to the bitter end, even scoring a run in the top of the ninth inning, 12-3.
A few words to those of you who were excited beyond measure by the possibilities of Dallas Keuchel after his first two outings. Curb your enthusiasm. Seriously, especially if he repeats this sorry ass performance (3.1 innings, seven hits, four walks, six earned runs and two long balls) more, as I fear that he will. In the Game Zone, Ron Brand and I were talking about how Keuchel’s approach reminded me of the way that Gaylord Perry used to pitch.
Wait a minute, Mr. Happy! Isn’t Gaylord Perry in the Hall of Fame? Well sir, the Gaylord Perry I was talking about was the by then washed up Gaylord Perry pitching, just not very well (3-10 4.94 with 18 home runs allowed in 102 innings, for more on Gaylord Perry, check out his page at the Baseball Hall of Fame website http://baseballhall.org/hof/perry-gaylord) for the Seattle Mariners close to the end of his storied career. Everything, and I mean everything, was down and away. And that was Keuchel tonight. A left-handed version of a washed up Gaylord Perry sans Vaseline.
That was Dallas Keuchel tonight. Did he challenge hitters? Did he try to work the inner part of the black? The answer to both questions is a big NO! And when he did attempt to challenge, it was usually from far behind in the count, another huge problem for him tonight, the hitters blasted him. I hate to disappoint you folks who saw Keuchel as the next best thing since the Fowl Poles or Tal’s Hill, but I’ve thus far seen nothing from him that would lead me to suspect that he is anything but a glorified AAA pitcher. A softer tossing version of J.A. Happ, who everyone knows, I loved and will miss terribly.
On a positive note, three of our hitters, Jose Altuve, Justin Maxwell and Chris Johnson, went 2-4, and that hitting phenom from last night-the one and only Carlos Corporan-had a pinch single and an RBI. Of the five pitchers who saw action, Wilton Lopez threw the only scoreless frame, as the Snakes scored at least one run in six of eight innings, batting around (again) in the fourth inning, which chased Keuchel, scoring five runs. The second best performer was EDR, who only surrendered a solo bomb to Kubel in his lone inning of work. Every other pitcher (even including EDR) walked a ton of hitters, eight in all, at least four of which scored. Walks were a problem last night too.
I used to tell young pitchers, “Fuck walking the bum. If you’re going to go down, go down like a man and challenge the hitter. Get in his kitchen. Catch him leaning over the plate with a little chin music or a snappy hammer over his shoulder. Establish ownership, no, dominion, over the inside corner. Losing by walks is reminiscent of little league games. Death by a thousand walks is a slow painful way to go.” Our staff could use that little pep talk right now. Big time.
Speaking of the club, which has gotten worse by the losses of miscreant Brett Myers and Brandon Lyon, I’ve now altered my wins projection to between 50 and 55 (which HudsonHawk thinks is still too optimistic), down from 65 at the beginning of the year in the annual Race for the Lid. I counted on Brian Bogusevic hitting between .250 and .270 with 12-15 home runs-not the groundball to the right side .215 hitting machine that he’s become.
If I was Luhnow, I’d go ahead and DFA Bogusevic right now, declaring surrender on the former 2005 No. 1 pick. And Schreefer too while he’s at it. In Schreefer, besides a pissing and moaning at strike calls, fake bunting machine/juvenile delinquent, I see a decent CF (but no Michael Bourn, by any measure) who can’t steal first base and doesn’t really get on base enough to even hit eighth, even in this lineup.
Fasten your seatbelts, folks, it’s about to get even worse than it is right now, especially if Luhnow successfully moves Wandy for more prospects.