Thursday, August 17, 2006

In the spirit of re-jump-starting this blog (I've been away for a while, and I miss talking about the Astros), I decided to try a new design. It's a little simpler and it doesn't have that tan background. Maybe it's better, maybe it's worse, but it's different.

Let's jump right into Astros news:

- So we got swept by the Cubs at home, and we're now 4.5 games back in the wildcard and 7 back in the division. This is mostly the fault of the offense - we were shut out for the last 21 innings of this series and scored 6 runs total in 3 games. No good. Who are the main culprits? Here are a few of their starters and their OPS after the All Star Break:

Craig Biggio - 744 OPS
Morgan Ensberg - 734
Brad Ausmus - 532
Eric Munson - 429
Chris Burke - 710

But let's be honest - if your lineup is


do you really expect to score many runs?

- Richard Justice thinks that we shouldn't blame the lack of offense on Ausmus or Everett because they are there for their defense. I'm so sick of the point of view that I don't know what to say anymore. The only way Ausmus could make up for his lack of offense in the 2nd half is to play multiple positions at the same time, throw every runner out (instead of his current 20%) and distract every hitter with comments about their wife / sister / dog. Instead, he just sucks.

- We released Preston Wilson and handed the starting LF job to Luke Scott. Wilson has indeed been really bad, hitting only .269 / .309 / 405 on the year, with only 9 HR. Scott has been hot, hitting .419 / .481 / .656, but let's not get too optimistic - he's a .276 career hitter in the minors. I think Scott would make a fine 4th OF in the majors - the fact that he's starting for us is a sad indictment of the current state of our offense. I do like releasing Wilson, though - why waste his time or ours?

- Brad Lidge blew another save two nights ago, giving up a solo HR to Matt Murton. After the game Garner said he was going to try a closer-by-committee approach for a while. Lidge still has a great strikeout rate (77 K, 53.2 IP) but he's been wild often and simply cannot locate his fastball - like Andy said, he rarely pitches inside and all too often leaves hittable fastballs over the middle of the plate. I still have hope that Lidge can figure things out, but maybe he needs a little less pressure on him all the time.

That's it for now - I want to start making posts with a few important points rather than rambling on. Here's to a fresh start.

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