Jose Valverde is still in after-school suspension. Sure, he was the least of the problems for the Astros (6-10), but he was a fitting bookend to the blowout at the hands of the Phillies (8-8).
Brandon Backe (1-2) started and was pulled in the 4th for sucking. He allowed 5 earned runs in 3 innings. If that’s not bad enough, he also allowed 10 hits and 2 walks. Not a good night for Backe.
It was the opposite for Brett Myers (2-1) who owned the Astros, collecting 8 strikeouts over 7 innings of one-run ball.
But Valverde merits a mention. In what I believe is his first appearance since blowing the game after a great start earlier this week, he came into a game the Astros had already lost. It’s a complete lack of pressure, and he allowed a two-run homerun. Sigh. Brad Lidge never looked so good.
The Astros return home to host the Rockies. Chris Sampson for the Astros, and Franklin Morales goes for the Rockies.
I meant to post this morning, but work got in the way. How dare what gives me the ability to write these meaningless jibber-jabbers in my spare time interfere with my…spare time. Um, anyway.
The Reds (7-9) proved that even Dusty Baker isn’t a perfect loser as they beat the Cubs (9-6) behind another impressive performance from young Edinson Volquez (2-0). Volquez has now allowed two runs. For the year. Not a bad start.
I was concerned when Volquez was hitting for himself in the bottom of the 5th with his pitch count well north of 100. But the bullpen took over in the 6th. Either Baker has learned a lesson from one of his many mistakes in Chicago, or upper management has a tight control on the number of pitches the young guys can throw. Time will tell.
Ted Lilly (0-3) sucked again, continuing to do nothing to make me think that his last year wasn’t a fluke of a career year performance. He needs to turn things around for the Cubs to contend this year.
The Cubs start a series with the Pirates next, while the Reds entertain Milwaukee.
You can always tell when the Yankees aren’t playing the Red Sox, because that’s when they have time to dig through Dominican birth certificates and wave them around in front of Miguel Tejada’s face.
Tejada, perhaps drawing on experience from the Mitchell report, wisely used the the international signal for “not guilty” by getting up without a word and walking out on the interview. Nice to know he can be so classy at his age.
The last game of the series between the Cardinals (11-5) and the Brewers (9-6) was what I’d hoped the whole series to be like. Ah well, one game out of three isn’t bad, right?
The star of the game for the Brewers was Prince Fielder, whose lack of power so far this year was beginning to cause concern over his vegetarian diet. Apparently, Fielder wanted to make his first homerun meaningful, which he did when he blasted off on Brad Thompson (1-1) in the top of the 10th to give the Brewers the lead.
The Cardinals star of the game was either Kyle Lohse, who continues to be amazingly awesome, or Kyle McClellan, the young reliever who got out of the mess in the 8th that Randy Flores had created.
Brian Shouse (1-0) picked up the win and Eric Gagne (S 4) came in to hold the Cardinals scoreless and prevent the sweep in the bottom of the 10th.
I look forward to more games like this over the year, but it won’t happen this weekend as both teams move on to new opponents. The Brewers travel to Cincinnati where Ben Sheets will take on Bronson Arroyo at 7:10pm EDT. The Cardinals stay home and host the Giants at 7:15pm CDT. Matt Cain starts against Todd Wellemeyer.
We’re back from our spring break trip to the city of Houston. Can you believe it’s only been more than two weeks since our last podcast? This season already has the old familiar feeling.
This week on the podcast, we talk about how all the teams are doing so far. You definitely won’t want to miss our newest feature, the Inaccurate Reenactment, where Jonny does a horrible Dusty Baker impression, and I do an even worse Bronson Arroyo one. I like to think that we’re expressing an inner character rather than thinking that we’re just horrible voice actors.