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Friday, July 07, 2006

Beating King Hippo = Palliative

Let us first offer thanks for the young stud that is The Magnet. Although I'm curious at what led Gar[d]ner to lift him after only 86 pitches, Buchholz stymied the vaunted Cardinals lineup by allowing only three hits, one walk, and two runs. I'm even tempted to give him a bye on the two-run dinger he coughed up to Lassie Edmonds, if only because I was astonished that Buchholz threw him a fastball. Let's all repeat after me:

Don't throw hittable fastballs to Lassie.

Got that? Good. For the life of me, I can't fathom why anybody throws a hittable fastball to Lassie, just as I am by the curious question of why anybody would ever throw anything but breaking pitches to Craig Biggio. Lassie is ALWAYS guessing fastball and, sure enough, The Magnet threw him one that was deposited in the upper deck.

Let us also offer thanks to Gar[d]ner for--if not demoting The Vortex--at least dropping him to seventh in the lineup. As we've been insisting for some time (on our marathon break-down-each-play telephone conversations), that the Vortex is taking walks isn't necessarily bad; we certainly don't want him to swing at bad pitches. But the Chronicle finally acknowledged what we've been saying for some time:
Although Ensberg has drawn enough walks to have a decent on-base percentage, his job description is to drive in runs and not settle for an 0-for-2 and two walks on a regular basis.
The next step, of course, will be to demote him to AAA if his struggles continue. As poorly as Ausmus has hit in the past few weeks, Ensberg is now hitting WORSE. He's also hitting worse than Adam Everett who, until June began, was waging a mighty struggle against a slick-hitting pornstached shortstop from the 70s. (BTW, I just saw that, as of May 30th, we had anonymous visitors! Content is king, baby.)

So it's a win, and another game closer to the Satanic Red Fowl, and so I'll therefore take it. The problem with wins, though, is that they can--as here--mask BIG problems. In that sense, then, last night's win only offered palliative relief against the aching pain that is our (lack of) offense.

The Red Fowl limped into last night's game; their entire team's ERA in June was something like 5.59. Among their rotation, only Carpenter has been consistently putting up good numbers. That they resorted to "bolstering" their rotation with piss-poor Jeff Weaver speaks VOLUMES as to their desperation. Last night's starter, then, was King Hippo Fat Sidney Ponson:

ESPN now lists him as 6'1", 250 pounds. He used to be listed as 6'1", 266. Whatever the number... that's farking FAT.

In fact, Sir Ponson is such a fat ass that when he walks down the street, people say, "DAMMIT, that is a BIG FAT ASS!"

After giving up six earned runs in only 2.2 innings to the Royales with Cheese, Fat Sid was sporting a FAT 5.60 ERA. Enter the Astros, who "battered" him with all of FOUR hits in six innings. But for Aaron Miles's gaffe, we would have needed P-Dawg's 8th inning RBI just to tie the game at 2. (BTW, kudos to the Vortex's clutch GIDP with bases loaded and nobody out last night. *slow clap*)

Tonight features Jason Marquis versus "Magic" Wandy Rodriguez, who has to be thanking the gods--given the Magnet's recent dominance--that he is still considered to remain "a lock" for the rotation when Backe returns from injury. Last night was the Magnet's fifth consecutive strong outing; he hasn't struggled since being battered by the Cubs a month ago during Carlos Zambrano's near no-no.

Wandy? Not quite as strong over the same period.

Given our apparent embarrassment of riches in the starting pitching department (don't forget that Chris Sampson and Jason Hirsch are pwning opponents 150 miles away in Round Rock), it's now time to do something about the just-plain embarrassment that is our "offense."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's hoping Ken Lay left some money in his will so Garner can actually get a couple of hitters. Ensberg? Worthless! Ausmus? Worthless!

Is it just me or everytime the Astros are winning by a small margin late in the game, you get that sinking feeling in your stomach that somehow we're gonna blow it?

11:27 AM  
Blogger Shafty said...

It isn't just you. When the Vortex grounded into a double play, and Everett struck out, such that our lead was only 3-2, I loudly complained to my more-than-patient wife that "we're going to need more than THREE because there's NO way our bullpen holds the Cards to 2."

I was wrong, it turns out. More likely than not, however, I'm right.

11:45 AM  

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