2-3, 6.00 2-1, 2.75
Okay, everybody. Gather round, gather round, now. Don't be shy.
Show of hands: who didn't see that coming?
A friend of mine scored last minute tickets to the game from his father, a season ticket holder, who didn't want to go and brave the elements. And so I found myself at the stadium last night, as Friday turned into Saturday, watching as the Cardinals let yet another one get away. Not a single person in that stadium, all fifty or so of us left, I think, was at all surprised by the ending. You could feel it coming, as the Cardinals let the Astros continue to hang around, never scoring the big blow to put the game away, until the Houston bats finally found a way to break through. Chacon threw 55 pitches, I believe, through the first two innings. Imagine my surprise, then, when I looked up at the end of the sixth and saw him somehow, someway, still on the mound, and not yet at a hundred.
This is beginning to be one of the more confounding teams I can recall, at least in certain ways. They continue to put absurd numbers of baserunners on; they continue to strand pretty much every one of them. Eleven more left on base last night, with the bases left loaded twice early in the game. I have to wonder a bit if Troy Glaus's eyes were bothering him during his at bats, or if he simply heard the smattering of boos after his second K with the sacks jammed and left the game before he broke baseball's most sacred rule, the one about no crying. I feel bad for Glaus; he's been very good lately, yet he doesn't seem to have managed to build up any sort of good will cache. The natives are restless, and a lot of the ire seems to be directed toward Santa. Not saying it's right, just reporting the mood of the crowd.
Of course, with a two hour rain delay before the game, I doubt I need to tell you what we did to pass the time. Luckily, I had brought an umbrella, so we were only cold while wandering downtown, drinking and waiting for the game to begin, rather than cold and soaked.
Izzy is really beginning to worry me, because it doesn't look like there's anything really all that wrong with him. He was throwing the ball hard last night, with at least one 95 on the stadium gun that I saw. He doesn't look hobbled, like he did so often in the 2006 campaign; he just isn't getting the job done lately. It's unfortunate, because this team doesn't have the margin for error to make up for the closer to try and work through his issues on the field.
More than that, though, this offense needs a shot in the arm. I have no idea where it's going to come from, unfortunately, because there aren't really any deals to be made this time of year. I can't imagine a team really looking to move any sort of run producer this early; no one's even really close to being out of it yet. So what's the answer? Do we rehash the lineup discussions again? Does the team need to start being more aggressive at the plate, rather than looking to get on base? That doesn't seem to be a good idea to me; everything I know about the game suggests that more baserunners should equal more runs. I wonder about it a bit, though. Is this team too patient? Personally, I don't think so, but I'm curious to hear what anyone else has to say on the matter.
The offense's job doesn't get any easier today, with Roy Oswalt on the hill for Houston. One of our longtime nemeses, I would love nothing more than to hang about six runs in three innings on Roy, but I don't see it happening. Oswalt struggled mightily in his first three starts of the season, as his breaking ball was nowhere to be found, but he has since righted the ship, much to our collective dismay. I'm hoping to see a little different look in the batting order today; maybe a little shakeup is just what the team needs to get it going. Then again, maybe not. But it certainly can't get much worse than five walks in the first two innings, against Shawn @$&!*$ Chacon, and pushing across two- count 'em- two runs. You may want to throw a shutout today, Adam, to try and avoid another loss on your record.
Enough spleen. I'm going to try and find some way to get rid of this headache. At the very least, I would like to cure the current one before incurring another. Happy Saturday, folks. Enjoy the game.