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.