I watched part of today’s game on the St. Louis Cardinals feed on KSDK. They highlighted some of the
young Cardinals – David Freese, Joe Thurston, and Colby Rasmus.
It made me a bit wistful. Remember when the Astros had rookies? Those were the days.
do my organizational wrap-up after the minor league games are
concluded, but I wanted to take a minute to talk about today’s 3-0 loss
to the Cardinals.
It marked the best start of Kyle Lohse’s
career – he’d never allowed fewer than four hits in a game, until today
when he only allowed three in his complete-game shutout. After Kazuo Matsui turned the first pitch of the game into a single, Lohse got 24 straight Astros out before the top of the ninth, when Michael Bourn turned Lohse’s 97th pitch of the game into another single.
straight pitches with neither a walk nor a hit. It was almost as if
the Astros didn’t want to repeat yesterday’s effort, in which they hit
the ball all over the place and stranded almost a dozen runners. This
is one way to avoid that.
Wandy Rodriguez got the loss
despite a pretty good pitching performance. He struck out four and
walked three in 6.0 innings, giving up 5 hits and 3 runs.
was the only Astro putting together consistently-good at-bats, but was
only able to foul off several sliders that Lohse left middle-in over
the plate, making me question Pudge’s bat speed. Bourn also had a
couple of good at-bats, going deep into counts. He worked the count
full twice in his 1-for-3 performance, and flew out on a well-hit ball
to seventh on a 2-1 count in the third.
I’m beginning to be concerned about Lance Berkman.
Not terribly concerned, as he’s still Lance Berkman, but between his
sluggish start and his one-hop throws to home plate this season, I’m
worried about the strength of his shoulder. The final out, a fly-out
to right off of his bat, was a good pitch to hit. As was the previous
pitch, a 3-0, 81-mph changeup over the heart of the plate that Lance just watched.
Had he jacked it, it would have been a tie game. Had he simply made
contact, it would have brought up Carlos Lee as the go-ahead run.
still early, it’s still early, it’s still early. That’s the mantra. A
1-5 run is not the end of the world in baseball, but it looks a whole
lot worse on paper in April than it does in July. We travel to
Pittsburgh now to begin our series with the Pirates, where we’ll get
our first look at Russ Ortiz as an Astros starter, as well as second-chance games for Mike Hampton and Brian Moehler.
In completely unrelated news, I just watched David Ortiz try to steal a base. Wow. You don’t see that every day.