Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Surprise, surprise...the Astros lost again tonight.  I didn't even bother to look up how far back we are...I know it's a damn lot.  We start a quick two game series at Arizona, followed by a 3 game series at home versus the Brewers.  I'm going to go out on a limb and say that if we don't win 4 of these 5 games, then our season is done.  At which point you can probably expect Beltran to be shipped off somewhere, as well as me spending no more money to see our crappy team (besides maybe one more trip to see the Rocket).

Sunday, July 11, 2004

UGH.

Adam Everett just hit his fourth homer of the season, a two-run shot with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. That would have won the game for us: we were down by one run after seven innings. Unfortunately, we lost the game 7-4, thanks to Paul Lo Duca's grand slam off Dave Weathers in the bottom of the eighth. This time the Stros smacked a grand total of seven hits against the outstanding Mr. Jose LIma. Not like we know his stuff or anything. Beltran had the only other significant hit, a two-run homer in the sixth. He also made two outfield assists. Does anyone else on the team even want to win?

.500 at the All-Star Break. Wow.

How long til the Texans take the field?

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Three hits. One run. Against Wilson Alvarez. Another decent Clemens start wasted. Another close game lost.

Nevertheless, I feel a run coming on. Along with most every Astro fan on the planet, I am begging for the firing of Jimy as soon as the retractable roof closes on the 2004 All Star Game. But then comes the good part: the run.

Here's how it's gonna happen: we hire a decent manager. Anyone. Bob Brenly. Bobby Valentine. Jerry Manuel. I don't care. Anyone. The important thing is, we gotta shift things up around the dugout. Send everyone in the organization a wake-up call, that we gotta start lollygagging and get our act together.

Shake up the lineup while we're at it. Bat Beltran second, for God's sake. Then Berkman, Kent, Bagwell, Ensberg, Everett, Ausmus. I hope our new manager hates sac bunts as much as Jimy loves them. I hope he never uses Vizcaino or Palmeiro ever again and gives every possible pinch hit opportunity to Lane.

Our schedule right out of the gate from the break is relatively easy. Eighteen of our first 23 games after the break are at home, including series against the terrible Expos, the surprising Brewers, the injury-plagued Diamondbacks and the reeling Braves. Our five away games are at Cincinnatti, where we always seem to hit well (especially Lance) and at lowly Arizona. Immediately after that, we have away series at New York and Montreal, two very beatable teams. That's a stretch of 29 games in which we could easily go 23-6 or thereabouts.

Of course, the way we're playing right now, we could easily go 6-23. But we gotta stay positive.

By the way, Ensberg played shortstop for a couple of innings today, with Lamb at third.

Monday, July 05, 2004

It's amazing how a disappointing month of the season can change my expections for the Astros this year.

Now all I really hope for are two things:

1. That Jimy Williams, our crappy manager, and Harry Spilman, our apparently even crappier hitting coach, get fired soon. I imagine they're gonna wait until after the All-star game, but I sure hope it's really soon after that.

2. That Bagwell retires after this year. He's owed a minimum of $39 million over the next 2 years---$15 million in 2005, $17 million in 2006, and either $18 million in 2007 or a $7 million buyout. Bagwell's been great for this team and for this city, but his shoulder is obviously destroying his game. He can barely throw now and he now looks terrible at the plate. I don't know why a pitcher would throw anything but low and away to him because he looks utterly incapable of hitting those pitches.

This team needs a shake-up and they need it soon. We're completely incapable of winning close games. Case in point...Clemens had another stellar outing tonight....his third straight start of 7 innings with only 1 run given up. His record in those 3 games now, 1-0 with two no decisions. It's sad that we can rarely count on this offense to put up more than one or two runs. Just sad!

Friday, July 02, 2004

Well I just spent 3 hours sorting through stats and players to comprise my full All-star rosters. I have the projected starters, along with 12 pitchers and 12 reserves for both squads. It was quite the lengthy process. Come check it out!
I didn't even see the Yankees - Red Sox game last night, but from everything I've read this morning it sounds like one of the most dramatic baseball games ever played. Check it out.

Carlos Beltran continues to try to carry the Astros but comes up a little short, as Houston loses 5-4 off a Sosa walk-off HR. Any reason why Lidge was pitching after throwing about 40 pitches the game before?

There was a funny quote on TV the other day during the Astros - Cubs day game 2 days ago:

"All of the Astros told me they couldn't believe how good Carlos Beltran is."

This just brings up a ton of funny images for me:

Craig Biggio's mouth dropping open when he sees how much ground Beltran can cover.

Jeff Bagwell rubbing his eyes when he sees Beltran throw from CF.

Pretty much the entire team dumbstruck as Beltran crushes 4 HR's in a 3-game series with the Cubs, only to have the rest of the offense (except Biggio) do very little.

Seriously, it seems like we have to do so much to get a win these days, like Roy Oswalt pitching a shutout, or Craig Biggio hitting 2 HR's. Events like that aren't going to happen every day. We need some 'normal' wins.

Morgan Ensberg, where hast thou power gone? You're slugging .355, or thereabouts. The announcers also mentioned that the Astros are 'happy' with the way Ensberg is hitting this year. WHAT??!!?? The strange this is, I can picture Jimy relentlessly encouraging Ensberg to go the other way, to steal bases, to drop down a bunt, because THAT'S WHAT REAL BALLPLAYERS DO. I, of course, just want to him to crush home runs and draw walks, which is what GOOD offensive players do.

I'm in Flagstaff all week, doing...stuff. Probably trying to meet the NAU tennis coach, getting my AZ drivers license...maybe buying some new clothes, too. Give me a call (on Andy's cell phone).

Oh:

Jack Wade
1607 N. Sunset Dr.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001