Where To Begin?
There was far more bad than good in today’s game. The Astros and Nationals played one of the sloppiest professional baseball games in recent memory. Houston batted around in the fifth, followed by Washington batting around in the sixth. In that sixth inning, the Nationals scored 6 times on just two hits.
The Astros managed three hits and an error in the top of the 11th, but couldn’t muster a single run.
Astros pitchers walked in three runs and hit a batsman with the bases-loaded; Miguel Tejada had a costly bases-loaded error to keep the inning alive. The overworked bullpen were asked to throw another 5.1 innings by four pitchers, including 3.0 IP by Geoff Geary, before the rain suspended play with the score tied 11-11 in the bottom of the 11th with one runner on and one out.
Starter Roy Oswalt looked good out of the gate, and was no doubt happy when he finally received some run support for a change, but had to leave after 5.0 IP with a bone bruise on his finger.
I’m not exactly clear on whether or not Jason Smith is actually a member of this team. Yes, he has started his Astros career 0-for-21, but if he’s going to take up a roster spot, it seems prudent to actually play him on occasion. Only three times has he had more than a single plate appearance in a game, and he has not actually played in the field since April 19th. In his last seven appearances, he was used exclusivly as a pinch-runner in three of them.
Meanwhile, Miguel Tejada continues to get none of the rest that Cecil Cooper talked about all offseason.
Now, to be fair, Jason Michaels has the same number of PAs as Smith, and has been in even fewer games, but there wasn’t a whole tirade about how Carlos Lee, Hunter Pence, or Michael Bourn were going to need a bunch of days off this season.
How bumpy were these 11 innings? Take a look at the Win Probability Index from FanGraphs and see for yourself. Keep your eyes on the horizon:
In fact, it’s remarkably difficult to come up with good news, even considering the Astros’ 14 hits, 10 runs, and ability to continually claw their way back into this game. Jeff Keppinger continues to rake against lefties. Tejada’s still swinging a hot bat.
But perhaps the best news of the day was this shot, of a certain fan who shall remain nameless: