Astros Come Back For Sixth In A Row

Geoff Geary and the Florida sun allowed the Cardinals to tie today’s Grapefruit League game at 3-3 in the bottom of the seventh inning, but Wesley Wright and Jeff Fulchino shut them down in the final two innings, and Michael Bourn‘s single up the middle in the ninth gave the Astros their sixth win in a row.

Right now, we’re winning games in the same fashion we were losing them just a week ago.  Back then, Jason Michaels losing the ball in the sun or Jason Smith sprinting across the diamond to drop a pop-up while trying to backhand it just feet from Chris Johnson, whose ball it clearly was, would have spelled disaster.

Today, they were mere bumps in the road.

Of particular note during this streak is Bourn, who went 1-for-3 today with two walks.  Bourn’s numbers during this stretch are perhaps the single-most encouraging part of the Astros’ Spring Training: .333/.389/.400 with 2 SB in 4 attempts, 2 BB, 2 K, 5 RBI, and 4 R over six games.  It’s a small sample size, to be sure, but holds a lot of promise.  If he can continue to get on base at anything near a .350 clip or above, the Astros’ offense will succeed.

For the first time in 2009, I’m disappointed to have a day off.

Danny Graves.jpgThat day off will be spent by at least one person in Astros camp, Danny Graves, to look for a new job.  Graves was assigned to minor league camp, and had until Tuesday to decide whether to accept the assignment or to ask for his release.  He asked for, and was granted, his release.

Though his spring wasn’t great, neither was it as terrible as the 6.43 ERA suggests.  First of all, he was only given seven innings to show his wares, and though he gave up five earned runs in those seven innings, none were from home runs.  He also only issued one walk, didn’t hit any batsmen, and struck out three for a DICE of 2.57 despite a WHIP of 1.71.

Unfortunately, given human nature, most people will see the high WHIP and ERA and fail to give him a chance to show his wares.  But based on his ability to keep his walks, HBP, and HR to an absolute minimum – even over such a short amount of time – should at least warrant him the ability to go out and show someone what he can do.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this wasn’t the last we heard from Graves.


  1. renaudtn

    Well RR15…I had pretty much the same analysis about Graves in the comments section of the article on…we seem to be very much on the same page on many topics (the exception being the timing for the WBC 🙂
    I also believe that Graves was not given a fair shot at proving what he can do: 7 innings in 7 different games that doesn’t tell me much.
    Like i said in my comment that you may have read, he was not in the Astros’ plan from the beginning and that’s why they got rid of him without taking a real look at him.

  2. roundrock15

    I didn’t read that one. I haven’t been over to those boards in a while, as quite frankly the completely unsupported opinions and negativity began to be a chore. I’ve no doubt that veteran players are brought into camp all the time to provide competition and to aid in the development of younger players, with little to no shot at making the actual roster. But for a team as pitching-starved as Houston is right now, it doesn’t make sense to not at least give the guy a chance to show if he’s regained his form.

    It’s almost as if they were hoping he’d struggle so that they could demote him. And an inflated ERA looks like a struggle to any front office headed up by an “old-school” GM like Wade – and it’s one he can sell a fan base like Houston’s, who remain fully in love with triple crown stats.

    I’d like to think someone is going to give the Baby-Faced Assassin another chance, but I doubt it will happen.

  3. renaudtn

    Yeah the problem is that he had a few bad outings and it shot up his ERA, despite his other decent/good ones. I don’t know why they didn’t look at him as another candidate for the #5 spot like they did with Hensley. I wish he had accepted AAA and stayed with the Astros. Like you said we’re short on pitching and we need options in RR.

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