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Matchup/Game Thread Game # 127 at Reds

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Roy Oswalt Chris Michalak
9 - 8, 3.24 1 - 1, 5.91

On the day of August 12, as Astro fans such as myself psyched themselves up for Jason Hirsh's major league debut against the Padres later that night, an unbiased observer might have thought things looked pretty good for Houston.

Winners of 8 of 10 in August at that point, and having crept to within a mere game and a half of the Wild Card lead, the prospect of Hirsh's first start seemed to me, to us, I'm sure, as if it were going to attach itself seamlessly to the momentum that was already building.

Instead, Hirsh's inaugural game now appears to be as stark a dividing line as you might want between Astros hope and Astros disllusionment.

  • 8 - 2 in August before Hirsh's start, the Astros are 2 - 9 since.
  • Averaging 5.6 runs/game in the month before he took the hill, the Astros have managed 2.7 runs/game since, while getting blanked three times.
  • Having hit .292 for the month going into that game, the Astros have hit .215 since.
  • While the Astros had given up 2.6 runs a game up until that point, Houston has given up 5.6 runs a game since.

I mean, I don't know about you, but for me the inference to be drawn is clear:

It's Jason Hirsh's fault.

He brought some kind of evil voodoo hex with him; and now it's run amok in the Astros clubhouse, jinxing all of our hitters and all of our pitchers.

One of only two--count 'em, two--victories for Houston since that night was credited to--you guessed it--Jason Hirsh.

Coincidence? I don't think so.

You may wish to plead sample size or simply a skeptic's outlook regarding the existence of black magic, but I know what I see, and for me, Tim Purpura's next step is obvious.

Jason Hirsh needs either a) a demotion back to Round Rock; or b) an exorcism.

Perhaps both, now that I'm rolling.