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Saturday, July 08, 2006

Mario Williams Interview Astros Game Not Enjoyed by All

Again demonstrating the well-known fact that the Astros really don't know how to handle success (well, relative success--they were still THIRD in the division), the local boys gift-wrapped and handed last night's game back to the Cardinals.

I knew it was over during the pregame show when they tacked up the Astros lineup, and--lo and behold--the Vortex was slotted to bat third in the lineup again. To his credit, Morgan's performance last night wasn't completely worthless. However, because he's ... well, the Vortex... his vortex-likeness meant that the guys hitting ahead of him had absolutely no chance to get on base for him to strand drive in, having been sucked into the complete suckiness that has been Morgan Ensberg's sucky May, June, and (so far) July.

If that last paragraph was difficult to slog through, it's because I lost my thesaurus. Sorry, Uncle Kent.

Although the boxscore this morning will list Morgan as being 2-for-3 with a home run (which was well-deserved, well-hit, and pretty much useless with nobody else on base ahead of him), let's not forget that his first "hit" was a real screamer of a 60 foot, 6 inch bouncer that Jason Marquis was unable to come up with. Uh, "hit." Even the announcers later acknowledged that Morgan's 6th inning shot may have resulted, at least in part, by the fact that he was relaxed after having already collected an earlier "baseknock."

I guess that means that Morgan is due for good, quality at-bats only if he's lucked into a "hit" earlier in the game. That doesn't bode well for us, and provides yet another reason why he should NOT be hitting third.

Magic Audrey added another game's worth of anecdotal evidence as to why she--and not the Magnet (Taylor Buchholz) should be the one to cough up a rotation spot if/when Backe returns from injury. Four earned runs in only five innings; once again we were forced to ask the bullpen to throw four innings. That's twice in a row that Audrey has failed to make it out of the 6th inning. (Last night, he didn't even get there.) He hasn't pitched seven innings in over a month now. Yet he's still our club leader with nine wins, virtually guaranteeing him of remaining in the rotation despite a 5+ ERA.

Wins are One of the Most Useless Stats
for Judging Pitching Performance.

As Phat-C observed the other day, Audrey is this year's version of Jerry-o-me Robertson, who somehow won 15 (with incredible run support) despite incompetence.

Speaking of incompetence, I would probably be more critical of Audrey's performance in the fourth inning had I been able to ... you know, actually see what was going on. Instead, the camera crew focused most of its attention making sure that we could all see Mario Williams's face during his on-air interview with the broadcasters. Because, you know, we really need to be able to see Mario to be able to comprehend what he's saying, because it's not like he's miked up or anything.

When they actually focused the cameras on the on-the-field action, they inexplicably showed everything from the behind-home-plate camera. It was therefore virtually impossible to see what was going on, since that's pretty much the very worst angle with which to watch a ballgame on television. Biggio's error/inability to field a grounder up the middle? Had to see that on replay. In fact, pretty much the entire inning had to be watched when they switched to another camera for replay.

So that's pretty much about it. Skullcap had another nice game last night, as did Berkman. Too bad both efforts were wasted by an otherwise across-the-board pisspot of a game. We face rookie Reyes today; I'm sure that will turn out just fine given that we have absolutely no trouble with guys we haven't faced before.


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