Aug 6, 2012; Houston, TX; USA; Houston Astros relief pitcher Wilton Lopez (59) pitches against the Washington Nationals in the tenth inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE
Some afternoon things to talk about (because of last night's extra inning affair and football practices this morning, things got delayed...sorry all!)...
1) Two puzzling decisions from Tuesday's game - There's been bad teams and there's been unlucky teams in baseball, but I don't think there's ever been a team as bad AND as unlucky as this particular Astros group.
Still, there were two decisions that were a little puzzling in last night's game. The first was Brett Wallace's bunt attempt. Who in the world would ask the Offensive Savior, Brett Wallace, to bunt? It's ludicrous. Never mind that Wally almost won the game with a drive later on, he's on the team to be a big bat. That's like asking Carlos Lee to bunt...
How loud do you think Jeff Luhnow and Mike Fast yelled at that?
The other puzzling move was sending Jordan Lyles out to start the eighth and then promptly pulling him one batter later. I realize it was partly strategic, as the top of the order was coming up. But, you also have to take into account this guy's confidence, right? It's his best start in a month, and you're suddenly leaving him on a possibly not-great note?
Things worked out, but it was an unnecessary risk. If you're worried about pitch count, take him out to start the inning. If you only want him to face one batter, tell him that. Don't send him out there and them pull him after a hit. Lyles is still the youngest starter in the National League, so he's got plenty of time to develop. Let him do that.
The headliner so far has been Corey Simpson, who is a Sweeny product who has just mashed. Sweeny ,for those of you unfamiliar, is west of Angleton and Lake Jackson, so we've once again got a high profile high schooler south of Houston. Get excited!
Seriously, though, Simpson proved he's got some great power potential, even though he doesn't profile at an impact position. If he can stick at catcher, maybe he gets into the discussion for that No. 1 overall pick. But , I'd feel much better about him at No. 4 or No. 10.
Lots of other rave reviews at the first of the premiere summer events on the baseball prospect circuit. If you're looking for lists of top 2013 talent, it starts becoming apparent at these events, so follow along.
3) Flashback to the Blue and Gold - That's right, this Friday is another Flashback Friday at Minute Maid Park. This time, they'll be wearing the old Blue and Gold uniforms from '94-'99 AKA my favorite unis of all time. I know it's non-traditional, and I certainly don't want to see them go back to this look, but man, I liked it.
Part of that is these were the unis I grew up with, playing Ken Griffey Baseball when that new star was so cool. I remember how excited I was to get my first cap with the cool new star on it and how I even got excited when they wore the Sunday black tops.
That's what these Flashback Friday's are all about and it's a fantastic idea. If this year has been about courting the fans after a bad run, move to the AL, etc., what better way than through nostalgia? Even the late '90's uniforms had their fans, and I'm gonna like seeing them again Friday.