Friday, June 03, 2005

St. Louis 2, Houston 0 (Shutout #10)

Game Notes

- Willy Taveras missed a squeeze bunt with runners on the corners and 1 out, leaving Adam Everett (who went 3-for-3) stranded between 3rd and home. He pulled the bat back to bunt the ball, but then inexplicably decided not to bunt the ball. After a solid start to the season, Taveras has dropped down to a 640 OPS, and in my opinion would be best utilized as a pinch runner / defensive replacement. Unfortunately, we can't do that, unless we want to put Lane in CF and give up on defense. Look for a lot more Taveras and little offensive improvement.

- Andy Pettitte pitched out of trouble several times, and ended up with a very solid 7 IP / 5 H / 1 ER / 0 BB / 5 K line. He's pitched quite well lately, and he actually might be more attractive trade bait than the 18 million dollar man, Roger Clemens. Pettitte is also not likely to be part of the next contending Astros team, so while it would be nice to have him around, it might be a good idea to see what we could get for him.

- Todd Self went to 3-2 counts in his 3 plate apperances. Although he went 0-for-3, he made Carpenter throw a combined 25 pitches at least in those 3 AB's. Mike Lamb pinch-hit for Self in the 8th and flied to RF on the 1st pitch. If Self can keep battling pitchers like that, he's sure to put up a decent BA and OBP. He looks infinitely more comfortable than Chris Burke, who (to my untrained eye), appears to be flailing at every pitch he swings at. Maybe that's just his style, but it doesn't like an effective one.

- Brad Ausmus lined out hard to Pujols and So Taguchi in RBI situations. As overrated as Ausmus is, he's been swinging the bat better lately, and currently has a .325 OBP, better than Taveras, Everett, Viz, Lamb, and Lane.

- Russ Springer: 1 pitch, 1 450-foot blast to Albert Pujols. A 5-pitch walk to Reggie Sanders. A hard-hit GIDP from Grudzielanek on a 2-0 count. An Abe Nunez flyout. Springer had an 8.62 ERA coming into today's game; how much longer is he going to last?

- Bottom of the 9th inning: Berkman singles, Ensberg K's looking (sometimes, like when you're 3 outs away from a loss and you're down 2 strikes, you NEED to swing at anything close, Morgan), Chris Burke lines to 3B for a double play. It's fitting the game ends like that - we hit a number of balls hard but right at Cardinals.

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