May 16, 2004
For the second time in the last three games in which he has pitched, closer Octavio Dotel blew a save in the top of the ninth and the Stros ended up losing to the Mets in the rubber game of their three game series at the Juice Box, 3-2.
In blowing this save, Dotel made the incredible boneheaded move of throwing Mike Piazza a two out, two strike fastball over the middle of the plate (with first base open to boot) that Piazza promptly deposited in the Astros' bullpen 420 feet from home plate to tie the game at 2-2. Jason Phillips then won the game for the Mets with a solo yak off of Brandon Backe in the top of the 13th.
Except for Roger Clemens, it was bad karma all the way around for the Stros. The Rocket was brilliant, allowing only 2 hits and a walk over 7 innings with 10 strikeouts. However, the Stros' bats went back to sleep as they collected 14 singles without an extra base hit. Moreover, in addition to the blunder of pitching to Piazza with first base open and two outs in the top of the ninth, Stros manager Jimy Williams continues his incomprehensible strategy of allowing superior out-maker Brad Ausmus -- one of the worst hitters in Major League Baseball -- to hit in key potential run scoring situations. As usual, Ausmus delivered with his usual strikeout and pop up.
Things don't get any easier for the Astro hitters as they go to Miami tomorrow for a three game series against the Astro-killer Marlins pitching staff and then move on to Cincy for a three game series next weekend against the Reds. The Stros return home a week from Tuesday when they begin a two week period of playing the Cubs and the Cardinals in consecutive home and away series, with a two game set against the Cubs at the Juice Box being the first games of that key two week segment of the schedule.
Posted by Tom at May 16, 2004 8:21 PM |
"Parole Officer" Brad Ausmus is truly "the Automatic Out". Today on the 93.7 Dean & Rog morning show, he was asked how you get over such a loss. His answer? "Alcohol."
Posted by: Chris at May 17, 2004 7:20 PM
That's pretty funny. What makes matters worse for the Stros is that "the Outmaker" Ausmus is not even playing good defense this season, which was previously his only saving grace. At least John Buck appears to be turning things around down at New Orleans.
Posted by: Tom Kirkendall at May 17, 2004 7:51 PM
Post a comment
Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (sign out)(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)