It may be a good thing that I wasn't watching yesterday, after all. A closer examinaton of the game log (and a quick scan of John Lopez' story in today's online Chronicle) reveals that as far as plays reflecting an inate brutality to the viewing fan, in addition to all the runs given up by Wandy Rodriguez in the third, Chris Burke was caught stealing third with one out in the fifth.
Assuming I'd been able to get through the Sanders grand slam, the Burke play would have surely given me apoplexy. Even in hindsight, knowing that a hopelessly out of sorts Biggio would end the inning with a groundout, and that Berkman would start the next with a flyout, it's still not difficult to imagine a different outcome if Burke just sits tight in scoring position with two veterans coming up. Maybe we get another run, and who knows what happens down by one in the ninth.
Without straying from my core belief that this team to maximize its shots needs to be aggressive, this was another rookie mistake, like the tons already made by Taveras, and very frustrating even to simply read about.
Speaking of mistakes, somebody needs to tell Wandy Rodriguez he made some. "A lot of bad luck," is how it quanitified it to the official dot com.
No, Wandy, that was getting taken to school. We'd heard you had good location, moved the ball around well. What happened yesterday is what happens when you leave a high-80's fastball up and out.
Just so you know.
But overall, I'm actually kind of happy. Rebuilding teams do not have games that turn the season around, they just have bright spots among the gray. Still, yesterday had features that could make the Astros fan feel good. To see that Burke hit two doubles, for example, when he'd looked absolutely lost, feels good.
To see Everett continue in his hot streak with five hits now in the last two days, feels good. And Morgan Ensberg, who needs to keep hitting them out if he's gonna watch so many third strikes, did.
I'm cautiously optimistic that the ballclub might even score some runs today for Clemens.
But let me get back to Lopez' column for a second. Lopez wasn't taking much positive from the game, and he is solidly in the camp that blames Drayton McLane for all this.
And that's fine. It makes a lot more sense to me than blaming Phil Garner. But Lopez also needs to remember who his audience is. When he says, "another 39,288 fans bought an inferior product Saturday," you think well, that's a dark way of looking at it, but alright.
However, when he says that "so long as the sheep keep filling the stands, upper management probably won't care" to make any changes, then he's insulting us, the fans.
Feel free to insult management. Insult the veterans or even the rookies if you want. Insult Phil Garner. But don't insult the fans, and most of all, don't insult your readers.
They're the ones who gave you your job, man.