June 30, 2004
Stros edge Cubs
The Rocket pitched seven stellar innings, Bidg cranked two solo yaks, and Brad Lidge hurled two innings of clutch relief as the struggling Stros rode Carlos Beltran's ninth inning tater to a 3-2 win over the Cubs at Wrigley on Wednesday afternoon.
Clemens was his usual pit bulldog self, giving up only a run on five hits with five walks in his seven innings. Lidge bailed the Stros out of another relief pitcher mess that Miceli produced in the eighth, and then mowed the Cubs down in order in the ninth. Although it does not show up in the box score, Everett made at least three difficult plays in the field that kept the Cubs from gaining any momentum.
The mismatch of the season takes place in the rubber game as the Stros' Pete Munro takes on the Cubs' Astro-killer, Mark Prior on Thursday afternoon. The Stros return to the Juice Box for a weekend series with the Rangers before visiting the Padres and the Dodgers in the following week leading up to the All-Star game on July 13th at the Juice Box.
Posted by Tom at June 30, 2004 6:55 PM |
Although I would consider myself only a "casual" Astros fan since moving from Houston, I am beginning to understand some of the angst shown on this blog about the way that the 'Stros are being managed.
I had the opportunity to watch the afternoon game with my son yesterday. Clemens' performance was impressive to watch. However it was clear that he was running out of gas in the 7th, and that he was trying to hang on to get out of the inning so he could be lifted for a pinch hitter (with the pitcher's slot up 4th in the next inning).
With that pretty "strike 'em out - throw 'em out" double play, he escaped, and I began to get an idea why Jimy Williams keeps Ausmus in the lineup.
Then, in the 8th, as predicted, Ensberg, the hitter in the 7 hole, gets on first with one out. Ausmus is the next batter. I turn to my son, and say, "From the information I have read, this guy is a terrible hitter. With only one out in a game with a one run lead, the manager will have him lay down a bunt to move the runner into scoring position for the pinch hitter coming up for Clemens." Standard beisa-boll strategy.
I was stunned to see Ausmus take a wild hack at the first pitch. He did put up a mild fight in this at-bat by fouling a couple off, but as he took called strike three, I began to understand the agony that 'Stros fans must go through on a daily basis.
And, of course, the pinch hitter Lamb rocketed a line drive that would have easily scored Ensberg had he been at 2nd, but got him summarily thrown out trying to score from 1st base.
After giving up the tying run in the bottom of the inning, the Astros deserved to lose this game. Only the solo blast by Beltran saved Williams from having to answer to the questionable moves he made.
Take heart, Astros fans, at least you don't have to root for the Red Sox!
Posted by: Jim Bob Baker at July 1, 2004 7:19 AM
Living in the middle of cubs country, I'll take a win any way we can get it at this point!
Posted by: Richard Kirkendall at July 1, 2004 9:06 AM
All I have to say is, you're still 2 games behind the Reds. :-)
Posted by: Josh Kirkendall at July 1, 2004 10:13 AM
Josh, let's talk about the Reds' position in about a month! Remember, pitching depth begins to show during the second half of the MLB season.
Posted by: Tom Kirkendall at July 1, 2004 9:41 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.)