We've seen this before: No offense, shoddy defense, starting pitching that can't overcome it all. Just when you think this team can actually be respectable, record wise, long losing skids happen. This one's at five and with Bud Norris on the mound tomorrow, I wouldn't be so sure that this one won't get to six straight L's.
The game started off in solid fashion, but can we really be surprised at that? Michael Bourn and Jeff Keppinger led off the game with a pair of singles. So no outs, runners on first and third, top 1, a pitcher in Tim Hudson who's struggled to find the plate with any regularity this season, this is the situation. The cure all for his woes came in the form of Pedro Feliz who popped up to give Hudson a charity out. Lance Berkman chopped one of the plate to score Bourn for an Astro lead. Carlos Lee followed with a Halley's Comet like occurrence- a walk. Almost as if on cue, Hunter Pence lined into an out at second base.
This would stand as our best shot to score runs in this game because Tim Hudson wasn't spectacular, but he didn't walk anybody and most importantly, the Astros have the potential to be a historically poor offensive team. Wandy was hittable like his mound opponent, but not terrible. He's lacked the strikeout stuff we witnessed from him in 2009, and his control has been off as well. Couple that with errors by Michael Bourn and Pedro Feliz and this game got out of hand in the fifth and spiraled out of control like one of my run on sentences.
Let's all remember that the Braves came into this series scuffling worse than the Astros. Their offense had failed to score over four runs for thirteen straight games, but managed to push across double digits in today's game. I really hate to be so down on this team, honestly I do. It's just that at this point I'm beginning to come to terms with the dramatic talent differential between the Astros and most every team in the majors not from western Pennsylvania. What's more- it takes effort to put up a team that is lacking in so many areas.
Brad Mills is a good guy, and says the right things. I would love to be inside his head though, when Carlos Lee goes back on a ball to make a play and comes up just shy. Or when Tommy Manzella boots two balls in an inning. Or when a $100 million man like Lee appears to be losing it at a David Ortiz-esque rate. Or how Brian Moehler, gritty and team first as he may be, takes up a spot in a major league bullpen. On my best days, I can laugh it off, but on embarrassing Saturdays like this, I can't.
Baseball will be played tomorrow, and hopefully Bud Norris makes me shove my foot in my mouth.