Sunday, May 09, 2004

The Astros have gone 2-1 since I posted last; Wade Miller dominated as we got the sweep of the Pirates, Tim Redding had his first good outing of the year against the Braves, and we lost a crazy, crazy game to the Braves, 5-4.

Our starting pitching was tough in all three games, but it's the last one I want to talk about.

Roy Oswalt is cruising along through 7 innings, we're up 3-1, and everything looks great. In the bottom of the 8th, Mark DeRosa singles, and Oswalt gets ahead of little Jesse Garcia 0-2. He throws one high and inside, Garcia ducks, and immediately starts trotting to 1st base. The home plate umpire starts walking towards first and throwing up his hands and looking confused. All of a sudden the 2nd base umpire comes over, they confer, and award Garcia 1st base. Replays were inconclusive as to whether it hit his helmet or not; I think it probably did.


He's 120 feet away. The home plate umpire is 2 feet away. There is no friggin' way that the 2nd base umpire can make that call. No way. Ever.

Then a sac bunt, a 4-pitch walk to Betemit, a single to Adam LaRoche, and a bases-loaded walk to Chipper Jones. I think Roy probably should have been pulled after the HBP by Garcia. He was clearly pissed off, and couldn't find the strike zone. Gallo and Backe bailed us out of that inning, and then we got off to a hot start in the 9th: Ensberg triple, Viz RBI single, Berkman single. 1st and 3rd, 0 out. An insurance run would be great, right? Biggio K. Everett K. Bagwell weak groundout. The Braves tie it in the 9th off of Lidge with a bloop single to LF and a triple that hit off the chalk on the RF line. Garcia should have been out at 3rd, too, but Everett chose to not cut off Hidalgo's throw even though it was off-line. Then our bullpen got tough again, and didn't allow any runs. Then a frustrating inning in the 10th against ANTONIO ALFONSECA. Kent grounds out to 2nd because he is standing incredibly far away from home plate - he can't even reach the outside corner. Bagwell did the same thing against Smoltz. Are these guys suddenly afraid of getting hit? Why are they standing so far off the plate. Hidalgo's the same way - put a pitch anywhere near the outside half of the plate, and he can't drive it. He's standing too far off. These guys need to fix that, quick.

Then Ricky Stone comes on, strikes out Chipper and J.D. Drew, and gives up a HR to Andruw Jones on a good pitch, a sinker low and away to Jones went opposite field on.

Tough, tough loss. Can't really blame it on anyone but Oswalt - if he can't get DeRosa, Jesse Garcia, Wilson Betemit, and Adam LaRoche out with the game on the line, he doesn't deserve the win. He probably shouldn't have still been in there, though. And we've gotta get another run home in the 9th with 1st and 3rd, 0 out. Biggio and Everett just need to put the ball in play there.

Anyway, today is Pettitte vs. Russ Ortiz, who has been tough on us in the past.

Happy Mothers Day!

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