Sorry for the delay, but a certain someone has been down in Florida at a wedding instead of up in Chicago visiting his little brother.
The big news from the weekend: Astros take 3 of 4 from the Brew Crew, with Oswalt and Clemens leading the charge with tremendous outings. Last night, Clemens threw 7 amazing innings (although he did give up his first run of the year) and even got his second career RBI.
The even bigger news of the weekend came courtesy of the Oakland Athletics: The Stros acquired fireballer Chad Harville for crafty control expert Kirk Saarloos. I'll leave the in-depth analysis to Jack, but I think this could be a huge trade for us right now.
Yes, Saarloos could end up being a terrific starting pitcher in a few years, but both the Astros and I ran out of patience for him. He's been in and out of the majors for 3 years now, and he has yet to impress. And he really hasn't looked good so far this Spring.
Jack and I saw Chad Harville during our baseball road trip through California last summer. I can't say he was incredible (in fact, I can't remember how he did), but I remember how excited everyone was to see him. Jack pointed him out to me when he started throwing in the bullpen, and said he was a tremendous prospect.
His numbers aren't great from last year, but I've heard good things about him. Plus he's got a new change-up to compliment his 95 mph fastball, his curve and his slider. I can definitely see him joining LIdge and Dotel as this year's big three. And I like how we got him on the 25-man roster immediately. Shows confidence in the man. Let's just hope his injuries are behind him.
Eric Bruntlett was sent down to make room, and he deserved it. When you aren't any better than Jose Vizcaino, there's something wrong.
Oh yeah, somehow we missed the move, but Jared Fernandez was sent down last Tuesday for Mike Gallo, who becomes our only lefty pitcher (until Pettitte comes back, that is). Sure, Jared has sorta sucked this year, but I don't think one bad outing should condemn his entire season. I hope we see Jared again real soon. Then again, Gallo got the job done last year and should be a good option.
Next up: a day off Monday to get fired up for our second series against the Redbirds in as many weeks. Last time we swept, outscoring the Cardinals 26-9. The matchups:
Miller v Suppan
Redding v Carpenter
Oswalt v Morris