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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Current State of Things

Our pitching has been subpar; our fielding has been subpar; our hitting has been abysmal. So what do we do?

There are, of course, the age-old cliches:

"It's a long season. We've just gotta' take one game at a time."
"You've got to tip your cap to the [fill in opponent]."
"Baseball's a game of ups and downs..."

Or, we could start speaking practically about what needs to be done. Last year's remarkable run from 15-30 to the World Series was unbelievable; but it'd be foolish to assume it could be done again, especially the very next season. They say that World Series are not won in May, but they're definitely lost. The Astros are currently in danger of building such a large gap between themselves and their division competitors that it'll be ridiculously hard to make up after the All-Star Break.

You say, "Phat-C, Phat-C, you're getting WAY too ahead of yourself." Maybe. But here's what I propose for some more immediate results...

1. Special K: Preston's been on a bit of a surge lately, but it still hasn't been all that impressive. To be honest, from what I've noticed it looks like the majority of his recent hits have been bloopers with eyes. Granted, he did hit one pretty hard that bounced off Rolen for an RBI yesterday; but that's about it. His swing looks like my golf swing... which is definitely not a compliment. Suggestion: I think we ride him out a little longer and see if he starts to pick up the pace. If he returns to his earlier form, he needs to sit.

2. Jason Lane: Granted the guy has 9 homeruns, but still. He looks clueless at the plate right now; and what's more, Gardner has labeled him a "worrywort," which doesn't speak well. In other words, he tends to get overly mental over both his successes and failures, the latter of which have been more prevalent as of late. Jason's got good ability, but he's holding himself back by thinking too much. Suggestion: Send him down to AAA to work out his issues, and call up Luke Scott or Charlton Jimerson, both of whom have been on tears lately.

3. Adam Everett: Adam's in a funk at the plate, though we could make the case that he's always in a funk at the plate. He's invaluable on the field, and I truly believe he's one of--if not the--best shortstops in the league. But I'd take someone with a little less "razzle-dazzle" who's going to help the team at the plate. Adam's stranded six runners way too many times. I'm encouraged that we're getting runners on base, but not that he's leaving them there. Suggestion: Split time a little more evenly with Eric Bruntlett at shortstop, and get him in the cages with Gaetti.

Notes to Gardner:

Stop taking Roy Harvey out so early. Unless he's injured (which he apparently was yesterday), leave him in there for at least 120 pitches. He's proven he can handle it.

Stop pitching Trevor Miller when we have a lead. Consider using Borkowski earlier.


See above.

The bottom line is that we need more production from just about everyone right now. Ensberg's been off lately, Biggio hasn't done much that's spectacular, Willy's okay, Berkman's still hurt, and Ausmus' superpowers are wearing off. We need to distribute the weight more evenly, and do it quickly, or we're going to sink.

Guys Who Need More Playing Time: Chris Burke, Eric Bruntlett, Eric Munson, Mike Lamb, Luke Scott, Charlton Jimerson

Guys Who Need to Pick It Up Quickly: Morgan Ensberg, Lance Berkman, Preston Wilson, Jason Lane, Adam Everett


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12:09 AM  

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