Thursday, April 30, 2009

Houston Astros @ Atlanta Braves Series Preview

Houston will start a 3 game series with Atlanta starting tomorrow afternoon.

Here are the probable pitchers:

Game I
Mike Hampton LHP (1-1) 3.86
Derek Lowe RHP (2-1) 3.10

This should be a good pitching match up. Hopefully Hampy can have a solid start and our offense will kick it in to gear.

Game II
Roy Oswalt RHP (0-2) 3.94
Jair Jurrjens RHP (2-2) 1.72

I'm calling it right now. Roy O will get his first win.

Game III
Wandy Rodriguez (2-2) 1.69
Jo-Jo Reyes (0-1) 4.26

Can Wandy keep up his torrent start?

We win the series if: Lance Berkman finally remembers how to hit. If their pitching keeps doing what they are doing then it is pretty much up to our offense.

We don't win the series if: our offense doesn't support our starting pitching. With Valverde out for possibly three weeks, Houston needs their starting pitchers to go deep into games and try and minimize the bullpens activity. The best way for this to happen aside from their starting pitching throwing well is Houston's offense to put some runs up.

My prediction:
Houston takes two of three. Hampton will toss a good game but I don't think our offense is ready for Lowe right now. However, Roy and Wandy are going to pitch well and our offense is going to hit well enough to get 2 wins out of the series.

Houston 9-13
Atlanta 10-11

Valverde out up to 3 weeks


"Closer Jose Valverde was hoping to miss only the 15 days required after he went on the disabled list earlier this week, but it looks like he'll be on the shelf longer than that.

Valverde had approximately 20 cc of fluid drained from his right calf at the Methodist Hospital on Thursday by team physician Dr. David Lintner. There is still approximately 60 cc of fluid remaining that will have to be removed on Friday, at which time doctors will make a small incision in order to drain the remaining fluid.

Valverde is expected to miss up to three weeks after the final procedure on Friday.

Bad news for Valverde but at least they got him when they did. Hopefully they can get this knocked out and he will be fine for the remainder of the season.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Stros Shut Out in Game III to Reds but Take Series

Houston 0
Reds 4

Instead of putting 0-whatever after everyone I'm just gonna post strike outs, hits, and walks.
Matsui 2K
Bourn 2K
Tejada 1-4, 2B
Blum 2K
Towles HBP, K
Michaels BB
Berkman 0-1

Pitching Lines:
Felipe Paulino
5 2/3 IP, 6 H, 3K, 1 earned run
Chris Sampson
1 IP, H
Tim Byrdak
1/3 IP
Doug Brocail
1 IP, H, 2 BB, 1 earned run

Good News: Felipe Paulino was great tonight. I would really like for him to stick in the rotation. Samp and Byrd also threw well tonight.

Bad News: Our offense was shut out tonight for the 4th time this season. Defense wasn't looking real alive tonight either, especially on a goof up in the outfield when Bourn and Lee collided on an easy fly ball.

Houston is off tomorrow and will head to Atlanta to open a 3 game series with the Braves starting Friday.

Paulino gets the undeserved loss.

Let's all take a moment to praise Wandy Rodriguez

Wandy Rodriguez got his second win of the season last night and put up his fifth consecutive quality start.

Wandy is fourth in the league in ERA with a 1.69 ERA with 27 strikeouts.

The has 2 losses and a no decision which could have been/should have been wins meaning he could possibly be 5-0.

Keep it up Wandy.

Berkmanless line up goes for sweep

Lance and Pudge are both getting a break today, and with the off day tomorrow, both should be ready to go for the start of the Atlanta series.

So, here is tonight's sweep seeking starting 9:

Pudge has been the man as of late so hopefully the rest of our offense picks up the slack.

Come on Felipe!!!

Let's Go Stros!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Houston Astros Jose Valverde to 15-day DL

Just heard on the radio that Valverde will hit the dl retroactive as of yesterday.

Jeff Fulchino has been called up from Round Rock.

I think this is a good move even though it is going to put a little pressure on our bullpen. Valverde has got to be healthy and this is the best way to get him healthy.

Houston @ Reds Game II Preview

Wandy Rodriguez looks to continue his quality start streak tonight up against Aaron Harrang.

Tonight's 9:

Houston looks for their first 3 game win streak of the season tonight.

Let's go Wandy!

Let's go Stros!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Houston Takes Game I From Cinci - Oswalt Gets Munson'd

Houston 4
Cinci 1

Man, what does a guy gotta do to get a W around here? Apparently be a relief pitcher.

Houston's offense was slumbering aside from a Berkman bomb in the 6th. The O finally woke up in the 9th with 3 hits and 3 runs, two singles from Lee and Miggy respectively and then a 2 run double from Hunter Pence who ended up on 3rd after a fielding error from Jay Bruce.

Hitting Line:
Matsui 1-4, K
Bourn 1-4, 2B, K
Berkman 1-3, HR, RBI, BB, K
Lee 1-4, GIDP, R
Tejada 3-4, R (Guess I was wrong, sorry Coop.)
Pence 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI, R, K
Blum 0-3, RBI, Sac Fly
Rodriguez 0-4, K
Oswalt 1-3

Pitching Line:
Roy Oswalt
7 IP, 6 H, 2 K, BB, 1 ER
Tim Byrdak
.2 IP, 1 H
Chris Sampson
1.1 IP, 1 H, K, (w)

Good News: Berkman's bomb opposite field is a good sign, however, you will know when Lance is feeling comfortable again when he starts to hit doubles.
Starting Pitching was also very good tonight and our bullpen was great the past two games.
Defensively the Astros played well turning 3 double plays. Hat tip to Pudge Rodriguez who made two great plays coming out from behind the dish to throw runners out at 1st.

Bad News: Our offense was non-existent until the top of the 9th. It would be nice if the offense could produce with some consistency and get our starting pitching more wins.

Chris Sampson W (2-0)

Houston has Wandy Rodriguez, who has been great so far this season, on the bump to take on Aaron Harrang tomorrow in game two of this three game series.

Houston 8-12
Cinci 10-9

Houston Astros @ Cincinnati Reds Game I Preview

Roy Oswalt is looking for his first win of the season tonight against his favorite team to pitch against, the Cincinnati Reds, who will send Johnny Cueto to the mound.

Todays starting 9:


Dear Cecil Cooper, please move Miguel Tejada back to the 2 hole.


Valverde Out for at Least 2 Days

From JJO at

"Astros closer Jose Valverde won't be available for at least the first two games of the Reds series because he had a setback in his recovery from the right calf strain he suffered last Tuesday.

"It'll take a couple more days," said Valverde, who aggravated the injury Sunday fielding a bunt during his save over the Milwaukee Brewers at Minute Maid Park. "I'm getting massages and ice right now for it. That's all."

Valverde doesn't even plan on playing catch in the next two days. In fact, he said he'll do "nothing."

In his absence, LaTroy Hawkins will serve as the closer, as he did while Valverde was out
from last Wednesday through Friday."

Maybe Valverde should have just taken the Brew Crew series off.

Catching Up

Ok, I've been MIA since the Stros Brew-Crew game Friday. Just took a weekend off from baseball after the game Friday which I may or may not post pictures of.

Here is what we missed:

Houston lost the series to Milwaukee 2 games to 1.

During Friday's game Humberto Quintero was plowed over by Mike Cameron during a "play at the plate" that everyone says was a clean baseball move. Dude was out by a mile but then again I'm not a ballplayer. I was at the game and the collision was pretty devastating. J.R. Towles game up from Round Rock to take Q's spot until he comes off the DL.

Houston lost an extra inning game in which Pudge and Coop got ejected on Saturday but took the game on Sunday.

Doug Brocail is off the disabled list and back in the Astros' pen while Jose Valverde is playing on one leg...not sure how much longer he will be doing that.

Geoff Geary is struggling...still.

Brian Moehler and Brandon Backe hitting the rehab circuit. What's going to happen when they come off the DL? BTW, the only time Moehler has pitched in AAA is on rehab starts.

While links are abound, here are a few media related links to chew on:

Richard Justice says not to worry about Lance. Easy for him to say.

Chip Bailey hopes that Cinci is the answer for Roy and Lance's struggles.

Houston opens up a series with the Reds today. Game preview coming soon.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Houston Just Got Out Played

Tough loss for Houston. They battled but just couldn't mount an attack against the duo of Billingsley and Broxton.

Wandy Rodriguez pitched another great game and is one of 3 pitchers in the majors with 4 quality starts. The offense couldn't string any hits together.

Hitting line:
Matsui 0-3, Sac bunt
Tejada 2-4, 2B
Berkman 0-4, GIDP, K
Lee 0-4, 2 K
Blum 0-3, BB, K
Erstad 1-4, K
Rodriguez 0-2, BB, GIDP
Bourn 1-2, BB, SB
Wandy Sac Bunt
Michaels 0-0 HBP
Pence 0-1, (lined out on a hard hit ball to short)

Pitching Lines:
Wandy Rodriguez 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 4 K's, 2 BB
Geoff Geary 1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, K
Wesley Wright 1IP, 1 H

Good News: Wandy Rodriguez had another quality start to make it his fourth out of 4 starts. That's about it. Geary pitched better even though he gave up 1 run.

Bad News: Houston's offense was non-existent tonight.

Tough night for Houston. They just flat out got beat. Great pitching performance by L.A.

Wandy Rodriguez (1-2)

Houston starts a series against Milwaukee tomorrow night at 7:05 with Felipe Paulino facing Yovani Gallardo at 7:05 and I'll be there. Can't wait!

Dodgers 2
Stros 0

Houston Astros vs L.A. Dodgers Game III Preview, Stros Go for the Sweep

Houston has already won this series and has a chance for their first series sweep of the season and their first 3 game win streak.

Tonight's 9 versus the righty Billingsley:

Darin Erstad will get his first start of the season for Hunter Pence, who hit a monster two run jack last night, for his first start of the season.

Can Wandy and the offense keep it up for the sweep?

Let's go Wandy!
Let's go Stros!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

No coverage tonight

I have to watch a movie/write a paper and I am having trouble locating the film. I may end up in San Marcos for the evening. Sorry.

Go Stros!

Come on Roy!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

So I was wrong. Houston takes game 1.

Boy was this a long game.

Houston 8
Dodgers 5

After Ortiz struggled through the first I thought we were gonna be in trouble tonight. However, Ortiz battled and got his first win in nearly two years.

The Astros bullpen did well aside from Jeff Fulchino giving up a 2 run shot to Manny who actually didn't stand at the plate.

Carlos Lee hit a monster 2 run shot and Houston performed much better with RISP this evening.

Jose Valverde came in with a the run lead and gritted through the inning to get his first save. Gutsy performance by Jose.

Good performance up and down the line up tonight. Hunter Pence was the only Astros to not reach base.

Matsui 1-2, 2 BB, 2 RBI, 2 R, SB
Tejada 2-5, 3 RBI, R, K
Berkman 1-4, RBI, K
Lee 2-4, 2 Run HR, 2 RBI, R
Pence 0-4, K
Michaels 1-3, 2B, BB
Rodriguez 2-4, 3 R
Keppinger 2-3, R, HBP
Ortiz 0-1, Sac Bunt
Bourn 0-0, Sac Bunt

Matsui, Tejada, and Lee were the stand outs for tonights offense but Rodriguez and Keppinger were also major cogs as well.

Pitching Lines:
Russ Ortiz
5 IP, 5 BB, 3 Hits, 3 ER, 2 K
Wesley Wright
1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER
Jeff Fulchino
1 IP, 2 H, BB, HR, 2 ER, BB
1IP, 1 H, 0 ER
Jose Valverde
1 IP, 1H, 1 Error, BB, 2 K, first save

Good News: Haven't been able to say this much this season but the offense. Great job getting key hits and driving in runs, giving Ortiz his first win of the season. Carlos Lee hit his second home run in as many games.

Bad News: Seems like Houston has left the bases loaded at least once the last few games. Bullpen was a little rough but better.

Russ Ortiz W (1-0)
Jose Valverde S (1)

Tomorrow Houston has their ace on the mound in Roy Oswalt and he will face Randy Wolf. Game time 7:05 Central

Great win tonight for Houston who end the Dodgers streak.

Houston (5-9)
L.A. (10-4)

Houston vs. L.A. Game I

This is going to be Houston's toughest game of the series as far as who they face on the mound. Clayton Kershaw has been lights out so far this season. I have some optimism about tonight's game however.

Why, you ask? Because Houston played really well against good teams last year, ie Cubs, Rays, and Red Sox. I think they will step up tonight and put up some numbers for Ortiz.

Do I think they will win? No. Ortiz is going up against a tough line up and a tough pitcher. If the stros pull out a W tonight I'll be one happy camper.

Tonight's 9:

No Bourn? Considering the lefty righty match up I guess it makes sense. Also glad to see Coop is leaving Pence in the 5 hole. Take that JJO.

Let's go Stros! Come on Russ!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Preview of Houston vs L.A. Series

First off, let me say that I really don't like Manny Ramirez. Not because he is such a good hitter and is a tough out, but because I don't like the way he plays the game.

If I was a pitcher and Manny stood at home plate after hitting a home run I would ask the umpire for a new ball and bean him as he ran around the bases. If you are going to any of the games this week bring some tomatoes to chunk at Manny. Hopefully he doesn't push the PR guy for the Dodgers down coming through Houston this time.

That being said, here is a look at your series pitching match ups:

Russ Ortiz (0-0 6.23) vs Clayton Kershaw (0-0 1.50)

Earlier this week Steve Phillips was comparing Kershaw to Sandy Koufax on Baseball Tonight which could spell trouble for our struggling offense.

Roy Oswalt (0-2 4.26) vs Randy Wolf (1-1 3.93)

This is Randy's first start back at MMP after leaving the Astros in the offseason. Maybe Houston can get Roy his first win.

Wandy Rodriguez (1-1 1.89) vs Chad Billingsley (3-0 2.84)

Wandy needs to keep up his pace and keep the struggling offense in the game. Although, you can't ask for much more from our starting staff.

Astros can win this series if: If they can keep Manny Ramirez from hurting them and somehow figure out Kershaw. Also, Jeff Keppinger will get starts in the first two games if he stays healthy. He will need to bring some production to the line up.

Astros won't win this series if: They can't score runs and their bullpen doesn't get it together. L.A. is on a roll coming in to Houston so the Astros are going to have to step it up.

My series prediction: Lance Berkman heats up and Hunter Pence takes tonight's loss personally and starts being productive in the 5 hole. Houston takes series two games to one. The one loss to Kershaw, sorry Russ.

I'm going to be at the game Friday night when Houston takes on the Brew Crew and I personally can't wait. Hopefully Houston is 7-9 come Friday.

Astros Waste Another Good Start, Lose Series to Reds

Mike Hampton pitched 6 + innings giving up 3 earned.

Geoff Geary came in for Mike Hampton with a runner on 2nd in the top of the 7th and proceeded to give up a single and a walk to load the bases for Joey Votto.

Tim Byrdak was brought in to face Votto and gave up a 2 run double. Bourn, Tejada, and Rodriguez teamed up to gun down Hairston at the plate preventing him from scoring on the double as well.

Houston had a great opportunity to tie the ball game in the bottom of the 8th with Berkman at the plate and runners at 1st and 3rd after a lead off double by Jason Michaels and a walk by Miguel Tejada. Berkman couldn't come through and eventually Hunter Pence was struck out on a called 3rd strike to end the inning with the bases loaded. Hunter is 0-4 this year with the bases loaded.

Matsui 1-3, K, sac bunt.
Tejada 0-3, BB, GIDP
Berkman 1-4, HR, 1 RBI, 1 R
Lee 1-3, HR, BB, 1 RBI, 1 R
Pence 2-4, K, R, 4 LOB
Blum 3-4
Rodriguez 1-4, RBI, GIDP
Bourn 1-4, K
Hampton 0-2
Michaels 1-1, 2B

Pitching line:
Hampton 6.1 IP, 8 H, BB, 5K, 3 ER
Geary 0.0 + IP, 1 H, BB, 1 ER
Byrdak .2 IP, 1 H, 1K
LaHawk 1 IP, BB, HBP, K
Valverde 1 IP, K

Good news: Berkman and Lee each hit homers, Berkmans first from the left side. Mike Hampton pitched 6 strong innings.

Bad news: Houston has managed to blow 3 out of 4 great starts from their starting pitching. The club continues to struggle with RISP. Hunter Pence left 4 on tonight and Berkman failed to bring home a gimme RBI. Geary is not pitching well right now either, earning his second loss tonight.

Geary (0-2)
Arroyo (3-0)

Houston (4-9)

Houston Astros vs Cincinnati Reds Game IV Preview

Today Houston has lefty Mike Hampton on the mound facing the long haired rock star, Bronson Arroyo.

Matsui is back in the lineup today which means no offensive hole in the form of Jason Smith and Michael is back in the 8 hole.


I am glad to see Tejada is still in the 2 hole.

Let's go Hampy.

Let's go Stros! Split this series.

*Just heard Coop on the pre-game show say that Kepp should be back tomorrow against LA.

Astros Media Round Up 4/20

Richard Justice chips in on the Drew Sutton/Jeff Keppinger trade.

Brian McTaggart gives some exciting info on the pitching staff at Lexington.

Fan blogger Chip Bailey takes a look at Wandy's numbers in April urging readers not to get their hopes up.

Finally, thanks Big League Stew, for bringing this video of a Michael Bourn interview during spring training to my attention. Pretty funny stuff. Mike is a lady's man.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Blown Call and Lack of Clutch Hitting Lead to Houston Loss

0-11 with RISP. Is there anything else I really need to say? Houston's offense has been a ghost with RISP this year it seems.

Good News: Felipe Paulino. I'll go as far as to say he earned himself another start, especially with Moehler most likely missing his next start.

Bad News: Our offense. Anyone seen Lance Berkman lately?

The bad call may have cost Houston some runs but that's baseball and this wont be the last time it happens. Sometimes it's in your favor, sometimes it isn't.

Houston (4-8)
Geary L

I Could Get Used to This

6 IP, 3 H, 2BB, 6K, 0 earned. 97 pitches.

Anyone else in favor of a power pitcher in the 3 hole? Great performance today by Felipe Paulino. Nice fastball and his slider was fooling hitters.

It would be nice to see him be able to hang around the rotation and be effective, lowering the age of our team and giving our starting rotation a little more heat.

Good start Felipe, hopefully Houston can put up some more runs and get you a W.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Some Thoughts on Coop

Richard Justice thinks Houston is smart for extending Coop.

JJO, who has been taking the Astros to task recently, thinks this will give Cooper some breathing room. Check out the article for quotes from Miggy as well as Bourn.

Chip Bailey has his take here.

I like Cooper. I think anyone who can manage a club with such a terrible run differential as the Astros had last year, combined with the question marks surrounding our pitching staff, and almost get them to the post season deserves an extension.

People say Cooper has lost the vets in the clubhouse and I really hope that this is not the case, and if it is, this will help out the situation some.

Who thinks Cooper lasts through the season?

Here's to hoping.

Houston Wins Game II vs Reds 7-0

One of those games where you would have taken some of these runs last night but a great win for Houston.

Wandy Rodriguez pitched another great game getting his first win of the season.

Geoff Blum led the squad today with 3 RBI.

Bourn 1-5, 1 H, 1 R, 3 SO, 4 LOB, SB
Tejada 1-4, 2 R, SB
Berkman 0-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 2 LOB (Berkman has as many strike outs this season as he does walks. 11)
Lee 3-3, 3 Hits, 1 RBI, 2 R, BB
Pence 2-4, 1 RBI, 1 K, 4 LOB, SB
Blum 3-4, 3 RBI, 1 R,
Rodriguez, 2-4, 2 RBI,
Smith 0-4, 2 K (not looking good for Jason)
Erstad 1-1 (first hit of the season and remains as the only bench player not to have a start)
Michaels 0-1

Great game out of the offense today, now if they could only put up some runs with some consistency.

Pitching Lines
7 IP, 2 H (that's right, 2 hits), 2 BB, 10 K (ties a career high for Wandy, who got 10 K's during a previous contest against the Reds)
Sampson 1IP, 1 BB
Fulchino 1IP

0 earned for Houston pitchers tonight.

Good news: Wandy freaking Rodriguez is pitching like the ace of the staff right now. That's 3 solid starts for the little lefty who got his first win tonight.

Houston scored 7 runs tonight also a good sign. Carlos Lee had a great game tonight but the offensive mvp goes to Blummer who got his first RBI of the season tonight and added 2 more to give him 3 on the day.

Bad News: Houston stranded 9 runners on base.

Something has to be wrong with Lance Berkman. He hasn't done anything from the left side this year and he already has 11 K's.

Wandy Rodriguez W (1-1)

Tomorrow will have Felipe Paulino facing Edinson Volquez at 1:05 Central.

Houston (4-7)
Cincinnati (5-5)

Media Round Up 4/18

Here are some links to chew on until game time:

A few reactions to the Drew Sutton Trade:
Alyson Footer
Astros County

Jose de Jesus Ortiz thinks Coop and Valverde need to communicate better.

Coop Gets Good News

From Alyson Footer @

" Cecil Cooper was speculated to be on the hot seat this season, considering the Astros started slowly and he entered the final year of his contract without an extension. That speculation, however, was put to rest on Saturday when the Astros announced they had picked up the manager's contract option through 2010. "

Good news for Cecil Cooper. Hopefully he can relax a little and help this team put up some wins.

Houston vs. Cinci Game II

Coop must have run out of ink in his pin. He is using the same line up tonight as last night. Here is to hoping Jason Smith doesn't go 0-4 again tonight.

Guess Coop doesn't have much of a choice with all the back problems the Stros are having. "Doctor says I need a back-e-otomy" - Sir Smokes A Lot - Half Baked

You starting 9:

Game time 6:05 central.

Let's go Wan-Rod!!!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Felipe Paulino to Start Sunday

Just heard from Coop Paulino is getting the start Sunday. Hopefully he can bring that momentum from Round Rock

Valverde Blows it in the Ninth, Stros Lose

Houston's offense was asleep tonight. They only had 2 hits, both by Miguel Tejada, until the 9th, and their only run was scored off of a Lance Berkman walk.

Roy Oswalt deserved the win but didn't get it.

Bourn 0-3, K, BB
Tejada 2-4
Berkman 0-1 3 BB, RBI
Lee 0-4, K, GIDP, 6 hitters left on base
Pence 0-3, BB
Blum 1-4
Rodriguez 1-4, K
Smith 0-4, GIDP
Oswalt 0-1 BB, R
Michaels BB

Good grief Carlos Lee.

Pitching Line:
Oswal 6 IP, 5 hits, 4K, 3 BB (Roy absolutely earned a win tonight.)
Geary 1 IP, 0 H
LeHawk 1 IP, 1H, (I thought this was a very good inning for LeHawk. He Battled)
Valverde 1 IP, 1H, 1 HR, 2 ER

Good News: Roy Oswalt pitched well enough to earn his first win and Geary and LeHawk both pitched well. Defensive props to Hunter Pence for throwing out Willie T at 3rd.

Bad News: OFFENSE!! Carlos Lee left 6 men on base by himself. That's your MO Caballo.

Valverde blew his first save opp to get the L.

Stros (3-7)
Roy (0-2)
Valverde (0-1) Blown Save

Tomorrow has Wandy Rodriguez facing Aaron Harang at 6:05 central.

If There Ever Was a Gimme...

Roy O would get one tonight. However, this is a different Reds team that he has faced in the past but still, I think the odds are in his favor. So now that I have jinxed Houston for tonight, let's check out that starting line up.


I like this lineup. I would personally rather have Kepp in there but it will be nice for Smith to get his first start of the season, leaving Erstad as the only bench player without a start.

Why do I like this lineup? Tejada isn't the power hitter he once was yet, he still has a nice average to start the season. Because of his lack of power numbers, no homers this season, it makes since to put him in the two hole so he will see more fastballs in front Lance, hopefully getting on base for Berkman, Lee, and Pence to drive him in.

Richard Justice can't make up his mind, so what's new? He has some optimistic words for Houston in his latest post.

Let's make it 3 in a row and get Roy his first win tonight.

Go Stros.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bye Bye Drew Sutton, We Hardly Knew Ye


"The Astros announced Thursday that they have sent Minor Leaguer Drew Sutton to the Cincinnati Reds to complete the trade that brought Jeff Keppinger to Houston near the end of Spring Training.

Sutton, 25, will report to the Louisville, the Reds' Triple-A affiliate. He was hitting .267 (4-for-15) over his first five games with Triple-A Round Rock. The utilityman had a breakout season last year at Double-A, hitting .315 for Corpus Christi with 20 home runs and 20 steals, all while playing a variety of positions.

Sutton was Corpus Christi's Most Valuable Player and was a Texas League All-Star in 2008. He led the Astros organization in a host of offensive categories, including batting average, hits, runs, walks, doubles and extra-base hits. He was originally drafted by the Astros in the 14th round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft.

Sutton? I was really hoping it would be someone else. Bummer.

Hopefully we can hold on to Kepp and get more out of him than just this season.

Houston Wins Game 3 and Series at Pittsburgh

I was at class today so I didn't get to watch/score the game so here is the wrap from

Bourn 1-3, 2 BB, 2B, 2 R
Tejada 2-4, BB, R
Berkman 1-4, BB, K, 3 RBI, R, 3-run HR
Lee 1-4, RBI
Pence 1-4, BB, RBI, HR, K
Blum 1-5
Rodriguez 1-4, BB, K
Keppinger 1-2, R, BB, 3B
Ortiz 1-2, RBI

Pitching lines:
Ortiz 4.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO
Wright .1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER (got the W)
Sampson 1.2 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 0 ER
Byrdak 1.1 IP, 1 H, 2 K, 0 ER
LeHawk 1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, (save)

Good news: Berkman and Pence both went yard for the 2nd and 3rd home runs respectively. Keppinger and Tejada stayed hot and our bullpen didn't give up any runs. Russ Ortiz also hung in there and kept Houston in the game.

Bad news: Ortiz didn't quite go 5 innings. Houston left 10 on base.

Wright (1-0)
LeHawk (Save)

Tomorrow has Roy Oswalt taking on his favorite team the Cincinnati Reds for the start of a 10 game home stand for Houston.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hampton Gets the Win.

Mike Hampton pitched 6 great innings as the Astros defeated the Pirates 4-1.

Houston came out early and scored in the first inning for the first time all season with a sac fly from Lee and Pence. Houston would score again in the 3rd off of a 2 run double from Carlos Lee.

Bourn 0-2, BB, R, ends hit streak
Tejada 3-4, 2B, 2 R
Berkman 2-4, 2B, R, K
Lee 1-3, 3 RBI, 2B, Sac Fly, K
Pence 1-3, RBI
Blum 0-3, BB
Rodriguez 0-4, GIDP
Keppinger 1-4, 2B
Hampton 0-3, K
Erstad 0-1, K

The real story of today's game is the performance by Mike Hampton.

Pitching line:
Mike Hampton 6 IP, 8K, 1BB, 4 hits, no runs allowed
Geoff Geary 1 IP, 1BB, 2 hits, no runs allowed
LaTroy Hawkins 1 IP, 0 BB, 1 hit, nor runs allowed
Jose Valverde 1 IP, 1K 2 hits, 0BB, HR, 1 earned run.

Good News: Tejada, Berkman, Lee went 6-11 today producing 3 RBI. The best news is however is Mike Hampton who is todays MVP for the game after helping Houston snap their 5 game losing streak.

Bad News: Houston left 6 runners on base. Michael Bourn also went 0-for ending his hitting streak. However he did get on base in his first at bat with a walk and eventually scored a run.

Mike Hampton W (1-1)
Houston (2-6)

Tomorrow is the first game for Russ Ortiz and he will face Jeff Karstens.

Game time tomorrow is early, 11:35 a.m. central.

Houston @ Pittsburgh Game 2 Line Up

Didn't I mention something about Bourn getting moved up in the lineup?

Todays 9:

"I like it!" - Barney from the Simpsons.

Moehler to the DL, Arias Called Up

From Brian McTaggart @

"Astros pitcher Brian Moehler was placed on the 15-day disabled list today with a grade one medial collateral ligament strain in his right knee.

Moehler is scheduled to start Sunday, but it’s not known who will take his spot.

“I’m able to ride the bike and can play catch, which is a good thing because my arm isn’t going to get out of shape,” Moehler said. “That’s a plus. I just can’t go out and run right now or anything like that.”

Arias, who had a terrific spring, gave up five walks, two hits and six runs (four earned) in 2 1/3 innings in his only outing for the Express on Saturday. "

I figured Arias would be the first pitcher called up but Fulchino got the nod. Looks like I wasn't too far off.

Any idea who is gonna take the spot start for Moehler? I guess it is going to be either Fulchino or Arias seeing as Sampson hasn't thrown enough pitches really to step in and start.

Btw, Felipe Paulino has had two stellar outings at AAA Round Rock.

Happy Jackie Robinson Day

What Jackie Robinson did for the game of baseball and our country can never be overstated. Here is to number 42.

Thanks Jackie.

All of MLB will be wearing number 42 today in his honor.

Astros V. Bucs Game 2 Pre-Preview

Game 2 of the 3 game series with Pittsburgh is tonight at 6:05. Mike Hampton is going to be on the bump facing Ross Ohlendorf.

Houston has got to get something going against Ohlendorf in support of Hampton. Thanks to the Spurs I wont get to see Houston's game tonight but I will be listening thanks to

For those of you in the same boat as I am, there are other ways to follow the game. Check out Zachary Levine's live blog at or Astros County. Not sure if County is blogging tonight's game but they usually do.

Here are a few links until the line ups are posted:

Richard Justice has declared war on Ed Wade.

The Unofficial Scorer Zach Levine, the same Zach Levine with the live blog tonight, looks at the Astros patience at the plate. Surprising results if you ask me.

Chip Bailey reflects on the players the Astros have traded and what Houston should have gotten for them.

Finally Gerry Faley at Fox Sports compares Houston to the Washington Nationals and decides Houston is worse off. The Nationals have a plan apparently.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Off Day Media Round Up: Injury Update, Pitching, and Positivity

Richard Justice has an article on where the Astros went wrong...pitching.

Brian McTaggart gives injury updates on Moehler and Kaz as well as some info on the stros, all in a negative light as Tag tends to do.

Jose de Jesus Ortiz officialy opens up the "negative free zone," or as I like to call it, the anti-McTaggart zone. He does his best to shed some positivity on the Astros' current situation, from the major-league to the minor-league level.

Finally, head over to Astros County and join the debate on whether or not the Astros should move to the AL West. I say no way Jose.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Astros Lose 5th Game in a the Pirates

Pittsburgh 7 Houston 0

Moehler left the game early with a knee injury adding injury to insult in his 2 outings this season.

Houston's bats are completely dormant right now. The Astros haven't scored a run in 18 innings and only had four hits today. Two of their hits were doubles by Tejada and Keppinger.

Thank the lord Houston has a day off tomorrow. Hopefully it will give them a chance to regroup and literally come out swinging against Ohlendorf on Wednesday in support of Mike Hampton.

Btw, why give your hottest hitter in Michael Bourn a day off? Maybe Coop is going slot him higher in the line up on Wednesday?

Who knows, but lets hope that between now and then Houston finds their bats.

Update: Kaz left the game with stiffness in his back...ugh.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Brocail to the DL, Fulchino Escapes From the Rock.

Houston placed Doug Brocail on the 15-day DL with a strained rotator-cuff. Jeff Fulchino will takes his spot in the pen and join the team Monday when they face the Pirates.

Brocail on his injury from
"I'll be honest -- I was more worried about this one than when I blew out my elbow the second time," he said. "When you wake up and you can't get your arm up, and you struggle to get it out ... I'm a strike thrower. When I go out there and throw 13 straight balls, it's not good. At least this way, I can get all the swelling out, and once the swelling goes out, it'll keep the rotators from rubbing so bad."

I figured Alberto Arias was going to be the first pitcher called up from Round Rock but Fulchino gets the nod.

Hopefully Brocail will be feeling better when he come back from his two week vacation.

Houston is currently down 2-0 to St. Louis in the bottom of the 4th with 1 on and 1 out.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Rough Day at Busch for Houston

I felt like I was serving a court ordered punishment watching this game today.

Instead of posting a pitching line for the Houston hurlers I'm just gonna post this:

Albert Pujols 2-4, 2 HR, 7 RBI.

I want to puke.

Oswalt came out dealing and Houston looked like they were going to be in good shape when they had 2 runners on in each of the first 3 innings. However they couldn't drive any runs across and missed out on all 3 opportunities.

After 4 Roy had given up only 1 run and the game was still in hand. However in the 5th Roy gave up another run and eventually had to face Albert Pujols with the bases loaded who, as Albert Pujols tends to do, went yard for the breakfast at Denny's.

My mom txt'd me and called Cooper and idiot for pitching to Pujols. I don't agree. Yes Pujols is a monster and the bases were juiced but he had his ace on the hill who had been dealing up until this inning. I pitch to the guy too.

Later Wright comes in and gives up 2 bloops for singles and has to face Pujols who hit his 2nd jack, for 3 runs and after that I gave up all hope for today's game having any silver lining at all.

In the bottom of the 9th Blum singled and Bourn hit an RBI triple which is great for Michael who went 1-3 with a BB. Smith brought Bourn in with a sac fly to left giving Houston their only 2 runs of the game.

Cardinals win it 11-2.
Wainwright gets the win and Roy Oswalt starts the season with two losses.

Cripes...glad this one is over.

Wainwright was not good at all today yet much like Lilly in the 3rd game of the Cubs series he will get a W.

Houston @ St. Louis Game 2

After a 5-3 loss to St. Louis last night Houston faces a tough pitcher today in Adam Wainwright. Luckily for Astros they have their ace Roy Oswalt to bale them out. Roy needs to put up some zeros and give the offense an oppurtunity to put up some runs.

Cooper is sticking with his lineup from yesterday.
Line Up:

Michael Bourn is going into the game today with a 4 game hit streak.

Come one Roy!

Let's go Stros!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Houston @ St. Louis Game 1

Houston is in St. Louis for their first road game of the season as well as Mike Hampton's first game back as an Astro.

Line Up:

Coop must be reading my blog because he has in fact swapped Pence and Pudge in the vs. righty line up. I'm sure it doesn't have anything to do with Pudge going 2-4 with a HR and a double in the 7 hole on Wednesday.

Game time is at 7:05 I believe. I'm thinking about taking the post game off so that I can enjoy some brewskies during the game. So, if you don't get an update til tomorrow, that is why.

Good luck Hampy!

Let's go Stros!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Series Wrap Up - Astros V. Cubs

The Chubs...err Cubs, won the series with Houston 2 games to 1.

Runs Scored:
Chicago 17
Houston 11

This is how Houston ended up in playoff contention last year while being outscored by their opponents. They win the close low scoring games and lose big on occasion, ala' when they face the Texas Rangers or when Brian Moehler gives up 8 runs in two innings.

Chicago 31
Houston 18

Chicago definitely out hit Houston but if you take away Moehler's 10 hits in two innings the margin of difference is a little closer, but alas, those hits count.

Quality Starts:
Chicago 2
Houston 2

The difference was in the third game when Houston lost the slug fest.

Bullpen Runs Allowed:
Chicago 2
Houston 4

Chicago 1 Error, E6.
Houston 2 Errors, both E6. Tejada did have some nice defensive plays however.

Chicago nearly out performed Houston in all areas deservedly giving them the series win.

Series MVP: This is tough. Hunter Pence hit two home runs, Lance Berkman, Miguel Tejada and Michael Bourn were all consistent as well. Our bullpen also pitched well and you can not forget Wandy Rodriguez.

However, my pick goes to Jeff Keppinger. He won game two in his first at bat and singled and homered in his 2nd and 3rd at bat as an Astro. Welcome to the team J-Kepp.

Series let down: Carlos Lee. 1 for 12 with two GIDP. I don't expect Carlos to be the series let down too often.

Series Record: (0-1)
Team Record: (1-2)

Place in the division: Tied for last with Cinci. 1 game back of 1st.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Backe healing up and Coop on Pudge and Kepp in the Line Up

From JJO at the Chronicle:

On Backe: "Righthander Brandon Backe, who is on the disabled list with a strained left intercostals, threw off the mound Wednesday for the first time since early March.

“No strains, tweaks, pulls, nothing like that,” he said after the 40-pitch session. “I just felt good, normal. I didn’t test it too hard. I just wanted to throw off the mound and see how I went. I threw a couple pretty hard just to test it out to see.”

Barring a setback, Backe expects to throw a 50-pitch bullpen session Friday, but it’s way too early to set a timetable for his return.

“He might be a little sore tomorrow so we’ve got to wait and see how he feels,” Cecil Cooper said. “I was encouraged by it

What are we going to do with Backe when he gets healthy? Send him to Round Rock? Trade Him? Move him into the rotation? If so who is out? Moehler? Guess time will tell.

Coop on Kepp and Pudge: "Catcher Ivan Rodriguez, who had a team-high five strikeouts before he collected his first hit of the season in his final at-bat Tuesday night, was moved from the second spot in the order to seventh Wednesday.

Jeff Keppinger hit second a day after delivering a walk-off single in his first at-bat as an Astro.

“I didn’t want to do it with Pudge having maybe two nights where he didn’t get any base hits and he was struggling,” manager Cecil Cooper said of his lineup change. “I think the first couple of nights, or at least the first six or seven at-bats, he was pretty revved up trying to show the fans some things, and I think he got out of himself a little bit.

“I was very happy to see him have two really good at-bats yesterday late in the game. I talked to him (Tuesday) night after the game about moving Keppinger into the No. 2 hole simply because Keppinger, in my estimation, is a real two-hole hitter.

Coop was right. Kepp went 2-4 in the 2 hole tonight with a homer and Pudge definitely blossomed in the 7 hole with a 2 run smash and a double. I think we put Pence in the 2 hole when we face a righty and keep Pudge in the 7 slot.

Moehler Knocked Around, Stros Break Out Bats.

Brian Moehler was pulled after 1 2/3 innings and 7 earned runs. Moehler didn’t get any breaks as the Cubs had at least 3 broken bat singles in the first. Those days will happen. Russ Ortiz came in and immediately gave up a 3 run shot to Ryan Theriot. Although the line wont show it, Russ pitched well with 6 k’s in his first outing since 2007.

The story for tonight, other than Chicago scoring 4 runs in both the 1st and 2nd inning, was the bats for Houston. Jeff Keppinger (J-Kepp!), Lance Berkman, Kazuo Matsui, and Hunter Pence all hit solo shots with Pudge Rodriguez hitting a 2 run shot as well to account for 5 home runs and all Houston runs tonight.

Matsui 1-5, HR, RBI, R
Keppinger 2-5, HR, RBI, R
Berkman 1-4, HR, RBI, R, K
Lee 1-4, 2B (first hit for Lee)
Tejada 1-4, R
Pence 2-4, HR, 2B, R, RBI
Pudge 2-4, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, R
Bourn 1-4, K

Good News: Houston’s offense was looking better with the 5 home runs. Pudge looked much better at the plate tonight. Russ Ortiz pitched well though he gave up 3 runs. Carlos Lee got his first hit and Bourn continues to hit. J-Kepp is proving to be a great pick up and seems as though he can do no wrong. Hunter Pence 2 homers in 2 games and is swinging the bat well. Michael Bourn will head to St. Louis with a 3 game hitting streak.

Bad News: Obvious here, Moehler only pitched 1 2/3 inning. He didn’t pitch poorly but the Cubs were putting the ball and play and getting hits. It will be interesting to see how Moehler bounces back.

Pitching Lines:Brian Moehler 1 2/3 IP, 8 hits, BB, K, HBP, 7 earned.
Russ Ortiz 3 IP, 4 hits, 4 BB, 6 K, 1 HR, 3 earned.
Chris Sampson 1 1/3 IP, 1 hit, 0 earned
Geoff Geary 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 K, 0 earned
Wesley Wright 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 K, 0 earned
Doug Brocail 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 HR, 1 BB, 1 earned.

Ted Lilly gives up 4 bombs and gets the win. (1-0)
Brian Moehler takes the loss. (0-1)

Houston is off tomorrow but will travel to St. Louis to take on the Cardinals Friday with Mike Hampton facing Joel Pineiro.

Astros V. Cubs Game 3 Preview

Today will decide who takes the first series between the Cubs and the Stros.

Brian Moehler (0-0) is taking on the lefty Ted Lilly (0-0).

Cecil Cooper is posting his 2nd lineup today, which was to be expected against Lilly the lefty.

Matsui 2B
Keppinger 3B
Berkman 1B
Lee LF
Tejada SS
Pence RF
Pudge C
Bourn CF

I like this line up better. Not because Blum isn’t in it but because Pence is in the 6 hole and Pudge is in the 7 hole. I wouldn’t mind Pudge and Pence swapping spots in the right handed line up.

What am I looking for this game?: Carlos Lee to pick it up. He has yet to record his first hit and has grounded into a double play both games.

Let’s go Moehler! Let’s go Stros!

Game time: 7:05 central.

Blog Numero Tres

Ok, I originally started this blog in order to be able to post comments on some of my favorite blogs.

I already have two blogs that I write for, Astros Homeplate and Bleacher Report. Bleacher Report isn't much of a blog, more of just posting articles that pertain to the Stros which is still fun.

But, I am pretty jealous of Astros County and his great blog so I figured I would start a blog that I can call my own.

So, welcome to Cards' Astros Blog for Astros Fans.