Monday, August 01, 2005

Well, we didn't trade for Adam Dunn. Or Jose Cruz, Jr. Or J.C. Romero. I expected as much. Purpura said Saturday that the odds of a trade happening were "50-50", so apparently he was talking with a lot of clubs.

And we lost to the Mets to snap our seven-game winning streak. Funny thing is, we actually scored more runs than we did in four of our last five wins! Oswalt was not his usual dominant self... his fastball was only clocking 92 or 93, not its usual 95 mph. He gave up a lot of hits and worked his way out of some jams, but only went six innings giving up three runs. In doing so, he snapped his streak of decisions. Wheeler finally gave up some runs in the latter innings, and Springer and Harville showed why they're... Springer and Harville.

But it's cool. We finally get a day off, then the Stros head out here to Zona to face a decent Diamondbacks team. The Snakes "climbed" into a first-place tie with the horrendous San Diego Padres after demolishing the Cubs 13-6 yesterday. So they might be pumped and ready to swing hard. Fortunately, we got a rested and healthy Rocket to shut 'em down.

I'm not sold on Garner's use of our 1B-LF-RF platoons. It makes sense considering the kind of guys we have (that is, four guys who are mediocre at best), but I'd almost rather him pick his starters to show confidence in them. First, I would absolutely make Lane the starting RF again. He's 11-for-27 in his last seven games and ended July to the tune of .317 / .356 / .512 for a .868 OPS for the month. He can hit righties fine... in fact, better than he can hit lefties. The man's got a .790 OPS for the season, although it's a little skewed in the wrong direction. But compare this to Lamb's .651 OPS or Burke's disgusting .606.

We might as well send Burke back down to AAA. Things will only get worse before they get better. As far as Lamb goes, it's hard to buy the "I'm making good contact, I'm just getting unlucky" excuse. Not for this long. For being such a liability in the field, it's hard to justify his .259 OBP. Yes, he's hit some pretty important hits for us lately, but the man's gotta pick it up.

Palmeiro, by the way, is still producing like a maniac. He's leading the team with a .326 batting average and he's got a .882 OPS for the season. If he can play center, I'd like to see him spell Taveras once in a while rather that Bruntlett.

As crappy as Ausmus has been lately, he's haing his best season (in terms of OBP) since he was a Tiger in 2000. Unfortunately, Everett's having his worst year as an Astro. Sure, he'll set his career highs for homers and stolen bases, but could you get on base more than three times out of 10?

Taveras had four walks in June and July. Berkman had 34.

Enough ranting. This team can produce runs. At least enough to win with our mind-bloggling pitching. Speaking of which, Backe gets off the DL on Aug. 9. Much fuss has been made over who will remain in the rotation. They've both pitched well lately, and Wandy has a better ERA and WHIP. He does walk more batters however. I say we see how they do in their next two starts. Either way, I like them both better than Chad Harville.


Scott Barzilla said...


Good work exposing some of the statistical anomalies I've been noticing. Purpura's one saving grace this time around is that no one did anything of import which leads me to believe the asking prices were way too high. Aubrey Huff and Danys Baez would have made some team(s) better, but but Chuck LeMar continually asks for each team's top prospect as a starting point for negotiations.

LeMar continues to be one of the more frustrating GMs out there for teams to deal with. It's amazing that he can lead an organization to 100 loss seasons ad nasuem while making six figures while the rest of us languish in seven figure (with two figures behind a decimal point) reality. We're talking about an organization that actually hired Cam Bonifay to be anything but a janiter after his Pittsburgh embarassment.

I think the Astros are secretly not as upset about Backe as we might think. This gives them time to watch Astacio to see if he has really turned a corner. Chad Harville also has ten days to put up or shut up. I still think this team will make an August deal for a relief pitcher but a lefty is not as necessary as someone that can handle the seventh inning consistently.

Bailey said...

I agree with you, that I don't like the way that Garner is using the 1B-LF-RF platoon.

The main thing that bothers me, is that Berkman is now a FIRST BASEMAN!! He is going to be playing that position in the next 10-12 years, and he needs the fielding practice. Plus he is awful with the golve out in LF. You wouldn't put Pujos in LF to get a 38 year old guy some PT, and Garner should do the same with Berkman.

Berkman should ALWAYS play 1st when he is in the game. Lane should play RF.
Then platoon Burke, Palmeiro and Lamb in LF. I know that Lamb is bad in the outfield, but so is Berkman, so you don't lose much in that respect.

He needs to quit pandering to Lamb and Palmeiro, and moving Berkman to get them playing time.