Perhaps the most talked-about part of Wandy Rodriguez‘s career splits has been how much better he’s pitched at home, compared to on the road.
Astros fans know the numbers, but for those of you not as intimately familiar, here’s the difference between Road Wandy and Home Wandy:
Home: 23-19, 3.94 ERA, 7.2 K/9, 1.308 WHIP, 2.15 K/BB
Road: 15-23, 5.59 ERA, 7.2 K.9, 1.513 WHIP, 2.06 K/BB
Now, it’s not terribly odd that a pitcher would pitch so much better at home than on the road, unless that pitcher’s home park happened to be hitter-friendly Minute Maid Park. And though the strikeout rate is identical, every other peripheral favors his home numbers.
If Wandy can put up numbers on the road anything near what he puts up at home, he could be a legitimate Cy Young candidate. And that’s no joke. Today, he did just that, going 7.0 innings against the Cincinnati Reds, allowing 1 run on 5 hits and 2 walks and striking out 5.
Astros Win Eleventh Straight
Sure, the Boston Red Sox had a streak of eleven straight wins coming into today’s action against the Cleveland Indians, but the Astros’ win today was their eleventh straight, also.
As in their eleventh straight win in Great American Ball Park – the longest active winning streak by any team in any other team’s home stadium. The last time the Astros lost a game in the city of Cincinnati was May 10, 2007, when Matt Albers took the loss for the Astros in a 9-5 decision.
That had interrupted a streak of six straight wins in Cincinnati, on August 22, 2006, when rookie Jason Hirsh took the loss in just the third start of his career.
Kazuo Matsui and Michael Bourn each stole two bases in today’s game. It marked the first time that a team stole four or more bases against the Reds in a single game since July 25, 2008, when the Rockies stole five bases against Edinson Volquez and Paul Bako. Willy Taveras, now with the Reds, stole three of them.
Home Sweet Home
It’s sometimes hard for me to watch games in Cincinnati, because it does give me a strong feeling of homesickness. Of course, then I remember the scene from the last game I attended at GABP, and all is forgotten:
Susan at Astros Fan in Exile asked me today how the Astros’ pitching staff stacked up against the other 29 pitching staffs in terms of…
Well, okay. It doesn’t mean much, but I took a look at the heights of the pitchers on the active rosters of all thirty MLB teams. What did I find? Well, when looking at median height, 29 teams wind up with one of three results: 74″, 74.5″, or 75″. The Astros are the one outlier – at 72.5″
When looking at mean, here is the breakdown:
What that means, essentially, is that all of the left-handers on the Astros pitching staff are midgets.
What does all of this mean? Absolutely nothing.
And in the Twitterverse…
Richard Justice, who I’m pretty sure must pay absolutely no actual attention to the Houston Astros baseball team, Tweeted this earlier today:
Just so we’re clear, Richard Justice is wondering if an 8-6 streak is a sign that the “ship has been righted.”
It’s not. It’s not a sign of that, Richard. It’s not. Granted, if a team wins 8 out of every 14 games it plays, that team will go 92-70. But if a team wins 9 out of ever 20 games? Well that’s 73-89. So which one is accurate? The truth lies somewhere in the middle, Dickie J.
Jose Valverde has been officially moved to the 15-day Disabled List. Clearly, the last person to notice that Jose was injured was Cecil Cooper, who is reckless and irresponsible. Any time someone asks you why Cecil Cooper doesn’t have the respect of the veteran players on this team, this one’s another arrow to have in your quiver.
When a competitor like Jose Valverde admits he’s in some pain, you listen to him. If given the option, he’ll go out and pitch. He wants you to eliminate that option from him.
Speaking of Coop, MLB will be reviewing his post-ejection behavior. He didn’t do anything wrong, as far as I can tell, but I’m still not-so-secretly hoping that MLB will recommend firing him and replacing him with Tim Bogar. What? It could happen, right?
Disappearance of Clay
The Astros organization released Clay Hensley today, a day after he’d backed into his first win of the season. They signed Brendan Donnelly in his place. Clay went 1-0 for the Round Rock Express this season, striking out 5 and walking 7 in 10.0 IP. He had a 7.20 ERA, and opposing hitters were batting .324 against
Donnelly was an All-Star for the Angels in 2003, and last pitched for the Cleveland Indians in 2008, throwing just 13.2 innings, striking out 8 with an 8.56 ERA and a 2.195 WHIP. He hasn’t thrown 21 innings or more since his last season with the Angels, 2006.
I’ll admit to being disappointed that things didn’t work out with Hensley, who I thought was poised to become the starter everyone had predicted him to be when he came up with the San Diego Padres.
Echo… Echo… Echo…
If you watched today’s game on television and wondered where all the people were, you weren’t alone. The Reds and Astros drew just 9,878 to Great American Ball Park. Down the road, the Louisville Bats – the Reds’ Triple-A affiliate – had drawn 7,834 earlier in the day.
What Happened Was…
Round Rock Express (AAA) – Bud Norris struck out seven Memphis Redbirds (STL) in as many innings, but walked 6 and gave up 5 hits and 2 ER to take the loss in today’s 3-1 decision. Brendan “New Guy” Donnelly wasted no time getting his first playing time in, as he pitched a scoreless ninth inning, allowing just a hit and striking out 2. Only three Express batters – the top three in the order (Brian Bogusevic, Matt Kata, and John Gall) managed hits, but Bogusevic’s was an RBI double, and he earned the only walk by a Round Rock hitter, giving him the edge as the offensive leader. The sole run was actually scored by Norris.
Corpus Christi Hooks (AA) – The Midland Rockhounds (OAK) got up on the Hooks early and continued to pile on, scoring in six of the eight innings they batted in before exerting their dominance over Corpus Christi once again with a 10-2 win. No Hooks pitcher looked good in this one, but starter Casey Hudspeth looked particularly bad, giving up six hits and seven runs (six earned) in 4.0 IP. He also walked four and struck out just three to earn the loss. 2B Drew Meyer was 3-for-5 with a double, salvaging some shred of dignity for the offense.
Lancaster Jethawks (A+) – I did a write-up not too long ago on the San Jose Giants (SFG) starter, Madison Bumgarner, who has been downright dominant so far in his professional career. So it would have been understandable if the Jethawks had gotten rolled in this one. And they did, losing 17-7, but not because of Bumgarner. In fact, six of the seven runs Lancaster scored were against Bumgarner, though just two were earned, raising his season ERA to 1.40. Seriously. San Jose had two five-run innings, and though only two of the seven runs they put on David Duncan were earned, they knocked around every Jethawk pitcher unlucky enough to face them. Your first-round pick, Jason Castro, was 0-for-2 with a sacrifice fly before being pulled in the second inning. 2B Christopher Minaker, filling in at first base today, was 3-for-5. He led the team in hits (3) and errors (2).
Lexington Legends (A) – Ross Seaton was in command today. He pitched 7.0 shutout innings, scattering 4 hits and earning the win in the 4-2 victory over the Rome Braves (ATL). He improves on the season to 2-1 with a 1.14 ERA. Daniel Meszaros pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his seventh save of the season. Two was the lucky number: 2B Albert Cartwright was an offensive force, going 2-for-2 with a homer, 2 RBI, and 2 SB (did I mention he hit second in the order?)