Saturday, September 30, 2006

Play In-Round One (The NLPI Series)

I want to see this smiley face for at least two more weeks.








There are few people who have the entire state of Texas' hatred.
Francisco Cabrera, welcome to the club.
You gave the St. Louis Cardinals a victory today after Ben Sheets and Jeff Cirillo had won the game for the Milwaukee Brewers.


They didn't want you in Arlington, Houston now wishes you nothing but scabs and influenza. Milwaukee may not be too fond of you anymore either.
So praps you lofted one right over the heart of the plate to Scott Spezio today.
After being up 1-2 in the count.

Break a slider! He already whiffed at one.
Just do not PITCH IT DOWN THE MIDDLE!
















The 'Stache goes to Andy Pettitte in a must-win tonight in Atlanta.
The 'Stros know that nothing matters except winning tonight.

Then tomorrow. So long as St. Louis is playing in San Francisco or Houston on Monday, it's a victorious season.
These next two games at Atlanta are the play-in round of the NLDS.
The National League Play In Series if you will.
This is Round One. And it's a two-game series right now, so let's win out boys!

Friday, September 29, 2006

WE GOT US A RACE, FOLKS!

That's a pretty sight! I shouldn't really have to say much else. They won their 9th in a row and the Cardinals dropped another. Hell, even the Reds are still technically in it.

One half game behind the NL Central lead, can you feel it now? The Astros are officially 3 games over .500. We've got ourselves a race people.
I only got to see the final few innings of the game yesterday, but Roy pitched well, scattering 4 hits over 7 innings, and recording an BB RBI in the 5th. The Astros' 3 hits and 4 walks were enough to move another step closer.

The Cards got all beat up by the Brewers last night, 9-4. Preston K Wilson IV was the offensive star last night for the Cards. He went
2/4 with 3 RBI and 2 Ks

If the Cardinals have to rely on Preston t
o provide the offensive spark for the team, that's terrible and highly humorous. I mean could this be any more perfect? The guy the Astros booted playing for the team they're up against, and despite playing well, they're still getting beat.

Go brews!!!!
Tonight's Matchups
Clemens (7-5, 2.35, 95, 29) vs Chuck James (10-4, 3.94, 83, 45)
Chris Capuano (11-11, 3.87, 172, 44) vs. Jeff Weaver (7-14, 5.79, 105,46)


The pit
ching matchups favor all the right teams today. Clemens start should almost be an automatic victory at this point with the way the team has been playing. As for Chris Capuano, he was one of the best pitcthers in the first half (10-4, 3.21 ERA) but has gone 1-7 with a 4.84 ERA since the break. We need him to come up with a solid Dubya to get the Astros in the lead.

Did we mention that Roy should get the CY and Lance the MVP?
OH, and there was a shutout last night too, but the good kind this time. Heeeeere's Walter!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Slammin' The LID(ge)


The waiting is indeed the hardest part.
Woke up early to catch the 11:30 a.m. game (I work nights usually) and waited.
And waited.
Then, well, I took a walk. Then I waited.
Then the Astros started working walks. And they WON.

*************************ATABOY***********************************
That's the Brad Lidge we all love and know.

These are the Astros that turned a a baseball audience into a legit Baseball Town, U.S.A.
Ready for Hyperbole's?

ROYoung (let's just rename the trophy).


The 'Stache = Inventor of clutchitude.

Lance. Most Valuable Player on a National League team that has no other legit everday masher. They got hitters, but no Lance's. Pujols missed time, and is the best hitter, but not most valuable PLAYER. Ryan Howard has Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins. Both MVP candidates.
Plus that Phillies infield rivals the NYY and NYM as the top infield in all of baseball. Sorry, Cleveland.

Roy goes seven strong to go with an RBI walk and improves his record to 15-8. Woulda coulda shoulda been a third-straight year 20-game winner.
Oh Well, I'll take my boys.
Ensberg RBI walk.
Most importantly, Adam Everett with a beautiful RBI-single back up the gut with Chris Burke taking off for third. Good baserunning, good hitting.

Now we wait.
To see if the Brewers can take down the Cardinals.
Doug Davis vs. Jason Marquis. I like the Wisconsinerites chances. Go Sausages!
Make the Cardinals flightless, like the Penguin.

TRUST YOURSELF

15 innings for the win last night, and they're still 1.5 games back. No gound gained or lost last night because Bochy sure botched that one for the Padres.

St Louis's Magic Number is now 4, with 5 games left. Which means that regardless of what the Astros do, if the Cards win their remaining 4 games against the Brews, they're in. That powerless feeling sucks...

I'm sending good vibes to everyone in Milwaukee because the fate of the Astros ultimately rests in their hands. Sure, the Astros pretty much have to win out, but if the Brews can't take 1 or 2 games from the Cardinals, it won't matter.

BOO Cardinals, and much love to The Brews.
Beat 'em up Brews!!!

Garner spent ~8 years as Brewers Manager (1992 through most of 1999). Maybe he should put a call into Ned Yost and inform him that pitching to Pujols with the game on the line is MURDER and to avoid it like, well, murder. Simply Murderous...


Damn, I've never hoped so hard for a win by the fuckin-Brewers.

LET'S GO ASTROS
TRUST YOURSELF


Lies! All Lies!!

First Off, How F#$(#_%(#(-ing stupid is Bruce Bochy??? (VERY, VERY STUPID)

Are not the Padres in a penant race as well?
Has the National League not learned?

WHY would you EVER pitch to Albert "Automatic" Pujols with the game on the line??? Thanks a lot fucking
Bochy for giving the Cardinals a freebie and some momentum.
MORON!

I hope you miss the postseason and are fired. You suck. Enormously.
And no, I am not bitter.

OK, maybe a tad.


Onwards and Upwards.

ROYoung needs to go CG SHO today. Yes, he is pitching before I usually get up.
Alas, it is my 26th, so I will be up with coffee (Irish?) in hand watching the 'Stros.























Let's All Hope ROY got some rest before that game ended.....

The message coming from my bones says leave it alone.
Go 'Stache! Keep up yer magic! Go 'Stros!!!

The Astros are just dodging Knives at this point. Jack and Meg, give us some magic!















"I am a baker
And today is my birthday
And I just turned 26 years old

And I’m very cold
Cause I just found out
I’m a baker man
And I live inside a baking can
With soft and pretty
Baker’s hands
And I’m also meeeeee!!"



The Wizird's Baker: It Makes You All Nipply.
Go Astros

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Drunk By Noon


Following the past two Astros games via internet gamechannel while working nights has been a lot like rolling in the snow naked.

It stings and seconds last hours, to say the least.



Alas, there has been no true pain as the hometown boys have continued their resurgence and the Padres clipped another Cardinal wing with a comeback against the Carp. All along we've strongly hinted that consistency is a big key, and the boys with the Star on their hat have been playing very consistently.

Tonight I'll be heading out to the local bar to watch the game live via baseball package.
Tomorrow it gets even funner, as it's my 26th birthday, and ROY Young is set to start in a game with the first pitch at 11:30 A.M.!!!
That is correct, for probably about the, oh, third time all year, a MLB game is starting before noon.

Surely I shall be out watching that one as wel
l. If I have to sacrifice bodily functions and normal trains of thoughts for watching the game and drinking on my birthday in salute of the CY season of ROYoung and LANCE-V-P, then so be it.

Beeeeeelieve in the Boys of H-Town! GO 'Stros!!

Jason Hirsh, CEO

Jason Hirsh is at the helm tonight of the Astros-mobile. Bound for the playoffs.

Next stop...

Pittsburgh. vs Shawn Chacón

Hirsh looks to even his record with his 4th win

CARDINALS against the Padres again tonight

--Matchup-- (W_L, ERA, K, BB)
Chris Young (11-5, 3.55, 158, 67) vs. Anthony Reyes (5-7, 4.92, 64, 30)

Astros can move to one half game behind the Cardinals if everything goes right. Go Padres and Hirsh, wins all around, cept none for the Cards.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Lance Berkman for MVP, and some love for Biggio

If the Astros can pull off this playoff thing again, Lance Berkman's name should be in there with Pujols and Ryan Howard for NL MVP. Ditto that for Roy Oswalt and the NL Cy Young. But check this out.

Lance's 2006, before tonight's game

.316 AVG
.419 OBP

1.044 OPS
43 HR

130 RBI
92 runs

All of those averages are better than his career average. Also, the next highest RBI count on the team belongs to Craig Biggio at 58 RBI. If we're talking most valuable player to a team, Lance wins. The Astros would have been the Cubs or Pirates this season if it weren't for Lance's clutchness? clutchatude... umm, clutchisity?

Vote Berkman/Oswalt in 2006

Ah, the wonder of MS Paint

Onto the game

Top 1-
A series of singles by Scott & Huff. 3-0 Astros


Bottom 1-
Andy goes 1-2-3 in the first.

Top 2-
1-2-3 for Snell as well.

Bottom 2-
Jason Bay and
José Bautista dinger to tie the game at 3.

Top 3-
Lamb singled, to second base on Lance's ground out, to thi
rd on a past ball. Luke Ks. Morgan walked to set up Biggio with runners on 1st and 3rd. Biggio weakly singles through the right side of the infield to plate Lamb. 4-3 Astros.

(Only 73 more to 3,000)

Bottom 4-
Another hit by
Bautista, but Pettitte get out the inning clean.

Top 5-
Mike Lamb walks. Lance Ks, but Luke Scott singles, and Lamb advances to 2nd. Aubrey singles to load the bases now for Biggio with 1 out. Sac fly to make the lead 5-3. Alredy 3 RBI for Biggio tonight.

Hell, why not Biggio for MVP?

Sure, he's batting .246 this year (.197 since the break and .173 on the road), but he can be as valuable as anyone on the team, given the chance.

Oh, and Adam Everett singled to score Luke Scott for another run. Is now 6-3 Astros.

Bottom 7-
Pettitte allows 2 base runners and gets yanked for Springer, who beans Jason Bay to load the bases for X Nady. AH! getting sketchy. Wheeler works the count full, and Nady fouls off a fastball before popping out to Mike Lamb in foul territory. Whew, still 6-3.

Top 8-
Willy singles with 1 out. Then Lamb walked for the 3rd time. 2 on for Lance, who singles and scores Willy for their 7th run. 7-3, Astros!

Bottom 8-
Nieve walks one, no hits or runs.

Bottom 9-
Nieve heads back to the mound, gets 1 out, the gives up consecutive doubles to Jack Wilson (who I thought was with the Yanks, but that's Craig) and Freddy Sanchez. Wilson scores, 7-4.

Nieve gets the final 2 outs, and the Astros move to 1 game above 500.

A strong outing by Pettitte limited the work needed by the Astros bullpen, after being seriously worked last night. A solid win with smart play, productive outs and, most importantly, many runs scored.

KEEPING AN EYE ON THE CARDINALS<------------------------------------------->
Don't think I forgot the key to the Astros and their playoff run; the Cardinals LOSING.

GameNotes

Padres scored in the first, Cardinals tied in the 2nd with a
Ronnie Belliard home run. (since when have they had him?>? trade deadline?). Padres take the lead back with another run in the 4th, 2-1. Cardinals come back with another home run by Belliard. Sweet Jeebus! Cardinals add 2 more the next inning on a single by Edmonds. Chris "reigning-Cy" Carpenter is on the mound tonight for the Cards, so I don't expect the Padres to pull this out.

Well surprise, surprise, just as I'm about to post, the Padres score 4 in the 7th to take a 6-5 lead over the Cardinals. 1.5 games back looks within reach.
It's the best position they've been in all year.

...
...
...

And the I thought to myself, "END IT ALL WITH A WEIRD AL VIDEO"

enjoy




Pirates Pre-Game

The Astros are 10-3 against the Pirates this year, including 2 sweeps, April 21-23 and August 8-10.

Pettitte's career line against the Pirates...

6-1, 2.30 ERA, 34 Ks and 10 BB, 11 earned runs.

Can you feel it??

Post Philles, Pitts Preview POST

How's about them Astros? 6 up for Houston while St Louis falls 6. And now the Astros stand only 2.5 games back of the NL Central lead. Also, keep an eye out for the Reds. They are only 3.5 games back. But finally we have a playoff race with only 6 games left.

The Astros won a coin flip yesterday so that if
there were to be a tie in the NL Central between the Cards and Astros, the game would be played in Houston. I'm not sure why it came down to a coin flip because with the 4 game sweep, the Astros have won 9 of 16 games between the 2 this season. The Astros should get home field advantage for a tiebreaker because even though the Cards have been in the lead all year. Heads up, the Astros have the better record.

On to the game last night. Sampson only lasted 3 and 2/3rd innings, and the Astros ended up using a total of NINE pitchers last night.
Now, I have mixed feelings about this. They won, which is great, but used almost the entire bullpen. I don't think this is a great idea considering they are entering the most important stretch of games. Granted, after Sampson, no one pitched more than 1 inning, but time will tell if this has an effect on the rest of the week.

Just for fun, here are the pitch counts from last night.


Sampson 45
Springer 7

Rodriguez 23

Nieve 8

Borkowski 23

Miller 8

Lidge 11

Qualls 6

Wheeler 17




So no one was used in excess, which hopefully should help in the long run.

Last night, the Astros won with a series of great pinch hits. First Jimerson hit a 1 out single in the 5th. And in the 7th, the Astros took the lead back on clutch RBI pinch singles by Orlando Palmero and Mike Lamb.

Every one contributed to the win last night. Let
's keep it up and surprise the crap out of everyone, including myself.

Next up the Pirates of Pittsburgh.


--matchups-- (W-L, ERA, K, BB)
Tuesday: Pettitte (13-13, 4.31, 169, 68) vs. Ian Snell (14-10, 4.67, 166, 71) Wednesday: Hirsh (3-4, 5.83, 28, 21) vs. Shawn Chacón (7-6, 6.25, 57, 62)
Thursday: RoyO (14-8, 3.07, 160, 36) vs. Tom Gorzelanny (2-4, 3.79, 38, 28)

PNC PARK at night
Hey, I've been there!!!

Monday, September 25, 2006

It's Sampson Time

No Albers tonight like I previously indicated.

It's Chris Sampson time, and as I write this, he's got a 1 hitter going.


Hope this doesn't jinx anything. Oh, and the Astros only have 1 hit too. C'mon offense!!

Go Sampson!!
---------------------------------
Then, of course, just a few minutes after I posted the above comments about Sampson, he gets pulled after giving up 2 hits in a row in the 4th. Russ Springer is in now.

Maybe The 'Stache was planning on only letting Sampson pitch a few innings? Maybe now's not the time to be letting rookies get their experience? It is a playoff race, right?

But still, only 3 hits given up by Sampson, already 3 Ks, no walks? Why not let Sampson try to get that 3rd out?

Fine, so it's not Sampson's day to shine. But good for him. Now, let's see how the rest of the bullpen is today...

Can They Keep It Up?

A sweep of the Cardinals, and the Astros 2nd place in NL Central (3.5 games back) and 3rd in Wild Card (5 games back) - probably still boned, but the people in Houston have something to root, since the Texans started 0-3. Again.


Well, screw the Wild Card. That's going to the Phillies, Padres or Dodgers. If the Astros are going to make it to the playoffs through the backdoor, then it's got to be via winning the NL Central.

Both the Cardinals and Astros have 7 games left. Here is the breakdown...

Cardinals
- 3 against the Padres, starting today at home
- 4 against the Brewers, at home

Astros
- 1 against the Phillies

- 3 against the Pirates
- 3 against the Braves


The Cardinals appear to have the easier road to the playoffs, with all of their remaining games at home. The Astros may get to play the worse teams, but they are all on the road. Plus, the Braves are always a problem.

If they are able to pull this out, it would be the stupidest thing ever. Or as Habeab puts it, "the most awesomely stupid great fucking thing ever." They've been playing like poop most of the year, and they just may be able to pull another playoff run outta their ass. All because the rest of the NL has been almost equally as poopy.


Up tonight is a makeup game against the Phillies. The Phillies also have a 5-game win streak going and are looking to make their way past one of the NL West teams to the NL Wild Card.

--TODAY'S MATCHUP--
Matt Albers (0-2, 6.00, 11, 7) vs. Randy Wolf (4-0, 5.47, 39, 28)


As Rage Against the Machine might say, "Rally around the rookie with a pocket full of Ks"


One Strong Buzz














Let's all give a huge hand to our boys for plucking the Cardinals at the big box o' baseball.
And of course, to Mr. Clemens. No explanation necessary.

I believe that The 'Stache believes it can still happen.

Can it? For now, it's great that the Phillies are in first. After they shellacked the 'Stros at home some 10 days ago, its time for payback. Too bad it's just a one-game makeup and not a series.

Three more wins, and there's a chance. Any more losses and no way. Plenty of teams can still beat up on each other. Can Roy start six more times??

Let's throw all our coulds and cannots into the rubble of Astroworld and just say thanks, boys. I've had a blast these past three years, and for one, have not counted ya'll out.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Biggio Praise


Holy Cow! Biggio hit well last night. 3/5 with 3 RBI and a SB.

77 hits to 3,000

first walk-off of the year?

they're playing fun, competitive baseball again

3 Dubyas inna row

WC update-
they won, but so did the Padres, Dodgers and Phillies

still 5.5 games back, 9 left

Rookie Reyes vs. Roy

RoY-O wants his 15th W

tonight at 6

will it continue?