Pirates 4, Astros 3
by Mr. Happy
Tonight’s ball game reminded me a lot of part of the refrain from Frankie Valli’s solo hit My Eyes Adored You: so close so close and yet so far. This Astros team is very creative when it comes to figuring out a way to lose. They’ve actually gotten quite good at it. In fact, that’s one of the reasons why I still watch the games. It’s sort of a sadistic view wondering where the loss is going to come from today.
Tonight, it was a passed ball that was really on the pitcher that helped send the woeful Astros down to their club record 12th consecutive loss, dropping their record to 34-68. Anytime you see a cross up on the signs, it’s the pitcher’s fault, almost every time. The catcher knows what he called. It’s the pitcher who has to interpret the signs. What’ll it be tomorrow? A balk? That’s why you have to watch the comedy of errors unfold. It’s quite fun.
The Astros had Wandy on the ropes several times but left him off with very little damage. Frankly, Wandy was not good today. He had no command whatsoever of his hammer, tossing 103 pitches in his six innings of work, walking five. Galarraga, God bless him, didn’t look that good either. How he racked up five punch outs in his five plus innings of work is beyond me, although most of the punch outs came from the freer swingers in their lineup, notably Marte, who has shown that he’ll swing at just about anything in his brief big league career, Barajas, Barmes and Alvarez. The strikeout of Pressley, who had homered off of him earlier, was a legitimate swing-and-miss strikeout.
I didn’t think that Galarraga’s slider looked that sharp, yet it was attracting some swings and misses, so what do I know? I didn’t have to face him. He did give up two long balls, both to left-handed hitters, as well as a triple, also to a left-handed hitter. Perhaps in Galarraga’s next start, he’ll look better, but I’m not hopeful. He is an Astro for a reason.
Chuckie Fick took tonight’s loss, welcoming him to the Astros party. Fick looked, well, like a pitcher who was recently exposed to the waiver wire, i.e., not that good. Fick has to keep the ball down in order to be successful, which he didn’t do that well today. Maybe next outing? Again, I’m not going to hold my breath. He too is an Astro for a reason.
We’ll end this one by looking at the bright side, which, admittedly is very hard to do when you’re mired in a 12 game losing streak that doesn’t get any easier tomorrow with McDonald on the bump, facing our “ace,” Harrell. The Astros were actually 2-9 tonight with runners in scoring position, and Maxwell got two RBIs on a two out triple, so he’s got that going for him. Two out RBIs have been few and far between this season, so you fucking celebrate them when they occur. Yahoo!!! See y’all tomorrow for more fun and frivolity! Everybody dance!