Computer Glitches, Yesterday's Game, and a Road Trip
I listened to the Astros's 14-8 win over the Phillies yesterday, wrote a long post about it, and my computer immediately glitched. So here it goes again:
Ezequiel Astacio pitched 4 innings, allowed 3 hits, 1 BB, and had 5 K. Another solid outing for 'Zeke', and while I still believe he should be started in the bullpen (because Redding / Duckworth shouldn't just be released), he's looked fantastic this spring, and I'm not sure how long we'll be able to keep him in the pen.
Luke Scott did his usual spring thing, with a single, HR, and 4 RBI. Ho-hum. There's not much more to say about this guy. Pass it off as fluky if you must, but he's earned a chance to prove that it's not a fluke in the Show.
A bunch of other offensive contributions (Chris Burke with a late triple; he's now hitting .296, has drawn 5 walks, and is slugging over .500, while Craig Biggio is hitting .265 and is slugging .294 with 1 extra base hit, but it looks as though he'll be our starting 2B), but our pitching was sketchy: in particular, Dave Burba should start looking for good flight prices, as he got hammered again this spring - he's got a 9.26 ERA in 11.2 innings. He's had a fine career, but it doesn't look like it will continue here.
ESPN SportsCenter reported last night that the Astros are still likely to trade for an outfielder in the next 10 days, with Randy Winn, Mike Cameron, and Eric Byrnes as possible targets. I'm glad to have the Winn rumors start up again, as I think he'd be our best fit (excellent 2nd half last year, no injury concers, younger / cheaper than Mike Cameron). Seattle is also home to one of the less intelligent GM's in the game in Bill Bavasi - this would be a great test to see what kind of deal Purpura can get. You would think the M's would be almost looking to get rid of Winn - they've got Ibanez / Reed / Ichiro! in the OF, and Sexson and Bucky Jacobsen at 1B / DH. But you never know. My task for Purpura is to find a way to trade for Winn without trading Chris Burke, if at all possible. I know I said trade him yesterday, but I was frustrated because of his lack of playing time and clear superiority (this spring, at least) over Craig Biggio. But, as someone reminded me, Biggio is a 39-year old 2nd basemen who gets hit by a lot of pitches; there's a decent chance he could get injured and be Wally Pipp-ed by Burke. We'll see.
Vanderbilt lost to Memphis in the NIT quarterfinals last night - we started off hot, going up 11-2, but then tried to run with Memphis for a while instead of playing halfcourt basketball. By the time we started hitting a few shots again, we were down 10, and Memphis was the better team last night, especially on the boards. Good luck to them.
So I'm finally heading down to Phoenix in a few hours; I'm going to the Rangers - Royals game tonight and hopefully a few others on Friday and Saturday. JT, Andy, it's all yours.