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We outhit the Nats in all three games of the humiliating series loss, but only in our lone victory did we outhomer them.

Astros Conditional Records
  G W L
When Outhitting Opponents 40 29 11
When Being Outhit 48 9 39
When Tying In Hits 7 2 5

Homers and Wins

 

Homers Hit: 92
Homers Allowed: 121
 
Record When . . . W L
Outhomering Opponent 17 7
Being Outhomered 8 34
Tying in Homers 15 14

Of course, there's two parts to outhomering the comp. First is to hit 'em yourself, and the second is to keep them from hitting 'em off you.

The Astros have actually hit 'em pretty well. Their 92 is actually 7th in this league of 16. But the 121 allowed appears to be the major problem: it is second worst in the league, and our relief crew is at the very bottom.

Solo shots or not, this is an issue as big as anything facing the team, anemic leadoff hitters, shortstop defense, the disappointment that is Jennings, whatever.

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By now, you've probably seen the story at the main site on the meeting McLane had with Purpura and Garner, and you probably noticed McLane's statement:

They just need to play better . . . I felt that when Tim and his staff were putting together the team in November and December, I thought it would be a better team than in 2007. I thought the team had addressed some of the issues. We just have not played well. We've been on and off, and in the last several weeks, have just not played well at all. We've got to play better.

I'm just a little stuck in trying to identify the reason why McLane's words there bother me so much.

It doesn't bother me that McLane thought they had a good plan in November or December. I'm on record about that time myself as saying that I thought Ensberg and Lane would be producers in 2006. There are probably some who want to string McLane and Purpura up for the decisions made this past winter. But not me: In my mind, that a decision didn't turn out well, doesn't necessarily make it a poor one.

But what does bother me is that McLane sounds as if the plan not working has paralyzed him, and by extension, the entire braintrust. "We had a plan in November, and it was good in November, so it should be good now," is what I hear. "If we just stay with our plan, we'll start playing well anyday now, and everything will be alright."

The season's over, folks, or at least that part of it where you compete for the playoffs is. The plan failed, and now it's time to put the next plan into practice.

What's surprising is that McLane first became distinguished as a ruthless and shrewd businessman. The ability to change plans midstream when the first plan goes wrong should not be alien to him. It is impossible to succeed in business at the level McLane has without having nurtured the ability to stay adaptible in the face of clever competition.

You KNOW the guy can make decisions on the fly.

So why does it appear that he and his underlings are having a problem doing it now?

I'm not saying trade Lee, trade Jennings, trade Lidge, trade Qualls, trade the house. But it's foolish to pretend at least some of these things aren't options . . . now that plan A has been proven to have failed.