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Matchup Game 68 vs. Colorado

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Joe Kennedy   Andy Pettitte
3 - 6, 7.22 3 - 7, 3.76

In honor
of the Astros' having held down the rearmost spot in National League On Base Percentage for the ninth consecutive week;
and in honor
of the fact that Houston's team OBP is now a full 13 points lower than the next-worst team's;
and in honor
of Willy Taveras' nearly unfathomable .320 OBP on top of his .288 batting average;
but most of all, in honor
of the Colorado Rockies, who take a walk almost as rarely as the Houston Astros themselves, The Crawfish Boxes proudly presents:

These Suits Weren't
Made For Walkin'

(A look at the second & third worst teams
in the NL as far as walks taken)
BB Astro Pos. Rockie BB
  16   Brad Ausmus C1 J.D. Closser 20 x
0 Raul Chavez C2 Danny Ardoin 2
  21   Lance Berkman 1B Todd Helton 45 x
x 14 Craig Biggio 2B Eddie Garabito 1
  13   Adam Everett SS Desi Relaford 14  
x 34 Morgan Ensberg 3B Garrett Atkins 14
x 13   Jason Lane OF1 Dustan Mohr 6  
12 Willy Taveras OF2 Brad Hawpe 17 x
  6   Chris Burke OF3 Preston Wilson 17 x
6 O. Palmeiro OF4 Cory Sullivan 5
  11   Mike Lamb UTIL/PH Luis A. Gonzalez 10  

That's called gallows humor, folks. I know things have been looking up, but Runelvys yesterday reminded us of the bad old days, two weeks ago, and made me think of the little things, like getting on base once in a while.

So yeah, I think Willy T needs to work on the walks; hell, the whole club does, except maybe Ensberg (he might could swing a little more at strike three, if you know what I mean).

And seeing how Colorado's staff has given up over 40 walks more than the next most generous staff, this series would be a good time to start.

Jason Jennings, who we face Wednesday, leads the NL in walks, while Kennedy (tonight) and Jamey Wright (Tuesday) are each in the top 16 in free passes.

Meanwhile, Todd Helton takes the slow stroll the fourth-most often, but none of his teammates do as he does: the Rockies are 14th in the league in walks, ahead of only us and the Cubs.

On the pitching side of the ledger, the Astros have (mostly because of the struggling Brandon Backe) relinquished the league lead they held for fewest walks allowed, but the 190 given up--exactly as many as the team has taken--is still second best to the Dodgers.

For his part, Pettitte has been like most of the rest of the staff--very stingy. He's only given up 17, which for context, is one-third the number Jennings has. It's his hits which seem to be rising lately, although he's still twelfth in the NL in WHIP.