To say that this series has been frustrating to watch doesn't begin to do it justice. The Astros squandered great pitching efforts with anemic offense and sloppy defense, until Lance Berkman decided to take matters into his own hands today. It started with cranking home-run number thirteen of the year to drive in Carlos Lee and surpass the 1000 RBI mark, but didn't stop there. As impressive as his career milestone is, what is perhaps even more impressive, in terms of this isolated game, is that Berkman's WPA (win percentage added) was a staggering .483 for the game, and he added the majority of that total when he, again, drove in Lee in the sixth on a home run to put the Astros on top 5-4—a lead they would never relinquish.
I didn't watch much of the game, but I did catch bits and pieces of it on the radio (which means I really caught about zilch of the games details, but some of the generalities and I know every group that was the ball park today). But from what I can gather, today featured more defensive ineptitude that forced Brian Moehler out of the game early because he was pitching out of frequent jams. Because I didn't see, perhaps this is off base, but I feel like for Moehler his over reliance on the defense is bound to lead to these kinds of problems. Especially with Miguel Tejada on pace to be a full 13 runs below replacement level at SS over the course of the season.
Although Tejada is a year older and probably suffering from age related declines in his range, but with his recent slump at the plate and seemingly middling defensive efforts as of late, I'm curious as to why he is not seeing a few more rest days? At the very least, I think that it will lead to an increase in production at the plate, but it also might add a half step or so to his range.
The Tejada example is just one of several very little things that seem to slipping through the cracks for this team. Carlos Lee never seems to be in hot water for his overall lack of hustle 80% of the time, the line up is rigidly fixed such that it seems to just be a matter of ordering it by positions and then penciling in a name. Questionable in game strategy and inefficient usage of our assets is largely to blame for this series struggles, but also the general struggles of this team. All of it, is tied to Cecil Cooper to a large degree. I'm not calling for the man's head, I just wish he'd be a little more meticulous, methodical, and mainly just logical in his tactics and habits.
I'll stop the criticism because, after all, we did win, but those or the things that have been stewing in my head lately, and even though we won, these criticisms made this a much closer game than need be.
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