Sunday, August 28, 2005

Do you think Roger Clemens has any second thoughts about postponing retirement?

Clemens needs to learn how to hit home runs. 'CAUSE NOBODY ELSE ON THE TEAM CAN SCORE ANY RUNS. Honestly, it's not funny any more. I don't know if our hitters think they can just take the day off when Clemens pitchest, but this is just getting out of control.

The Stros lost 1-0 to the Dodgers today, their fourth loss on the six-game road trip and their 14th loss in their last 23 games. This is not good.

Clemens went six innings, allowing four baserunners, lowering his ERA to 1.51. He is far and away the best pitcher in the majors, yet somehow the Astros are now 13-14 in his 27 starts. Is that even possible? Is this the Twilight Zone or something? I used to feel confident for Clemens' starts. Now I cringe.

This was a sad game to watch. The Astros got seven hits (three more than the Dodgers), took no walks and struck out 10 times -- all by Jeff Weaver. Granted, our lineup consisted of Palmeiro, Lamb, Vizcaino and Bruntlett today, but that's not an excuse.

Ensberg needs to end his skid. He has three hits in his last 39 ABs. Dierker notcied that he's kicking his right leg out from under him when he swings -- as if he's trying to hit the ball harder than normal.

Luckily the Marlins and Mets both lost today, so we stay even with both of them. The Phillies play later tonight against the now-god-awful D-backs.

An interesting turn of events in the seventh inning: Biggio came up in to pinch hit and got hit by the pitch. Weaver's fastball was well inside, and Biggio turned away from it. The pitch hit him on the elbow, and Biggio started trotting toward first base. Them umpire Doug Eddings furiously called him back to the plate, claiming he didn't try to avoid the pitch. Biggio later flew out to right and got ejected by yelling at Eddings oin his way back to the dugout. Garner, trying to fire up his anemic offense, also got tossed.

This call was bogus. Biggio definitely made enough of an effort to be considered "avoiding the pitch." Yes, he could have avoided the pitch altogether, but Biggio's a smart ballplayer, and any smart ballplayer will take a pitch off the arm to get on base (especially in the late innings). Disirregardless, the rule doesn't say you have to do everything in your power to avoid getting hit. It says you have to make an effort to get out of the way, which Biggio did.

But this episode is not the major issue here. The major issue is our horrendous offense, especially on the road. We're hitting a collective .239 / .303 / .374 on the road. That is AWFUL.

We don't have a particularly easy schedule the rest of the way. We have five games left against the Cardinals, six against the Cubs, four against the Marlins and three against the Phillies. And thirteen against the rest of our division. Those are must-win games.

Day off Monday. Time to regroup and find our groove. Gotta bring it.

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