…or, How Kylie Feels About Being Mathematically Eliminated.”
That’s a title I recently used for a short story, minus my name of course.
I can’t lie. I will always, always love my boys, win or lose. But nothing hurts like being officially eliminated. Last year it didn’t matter because they sucked so bad that the playoffs weren’t an issue. We all started this year out with big hopes and were very disappointed very quickly when things came out of the gate without the requisite “bang.” After the All-Star Break, things turned around. These last few weeks were like a honeymoon with a team finally playing as a cohesive unit and winning games.
And then the hurricane came. Drayton didn’t believe that it would come our way, and the suits in charge took too long to make a decision. Men whose families and property were in danger were expected to play games at a hostile “neutral site.” We were no-hit and our momentum destroyed in Miller Park, which might as well have been Wrigley Field.
We should have played somewhere like Arlington, for example, but complaining about that won’t get us back into the race. Nothing will. I just wish our playoff fate didn’t depend on other teams’ failures. We could win every game left in the season and still not make it. I really hope they have a fanfest. I can’t stand to let it end this way, especially without having tickets to the last two games. It just kills me to have come so far, accomplished so much without really accomplishing anything.
In the long run, which is what is important anyway, we have accomplished so much. We have improved significantly since last year, which was a year of epic disappointment. We had a good draft, signed our players, and made some very important deals. The Randy Wolf trade looks ten thousand times better than it did when it was made, and as much as I hate LaTroy Hawkins, he’s been a boon to the team.
This is different than watching the Rockies in the World Series. That was just sad because they lost all their momentum and tanked. The Astros regained their momentum, but unfortunately, outside circumstances stopped them in their happy tracks.
I hate that nobody on any of the major networks gave us credit. All the Wild Card coverage on ESPN was focused solely on the Mets and the Brewers. Just because it would have been difficult does not mean it would have been impossible.
I love Brian Moehler. Seeing his interview now on FSN makes me want to cry because he sounds like he’s going to cry. This is what these guys live and breathe for. The only analogy I can make in my own life is like working towards my degree and having someone snatch the diploma out of my hands on graduation day. It’s heart-wrenching.
I love my boys. Win or lose, they’re still my boys. I will always love them, and I am so proud of how far they have come and how far they have fought and will keep fighting, because I know they will not give up just because it’s over.
How better to go down than with a walk-off? We’re Texans. We ain’t ever giving up. We’re going out with a bang, damnit.
I love you, Astros.
I hadn’t been planning on going to this game so I bought a last-minute Outfield Deck ticket on astros.com. Instead of the $7 it would have been at the window, it was almost $18, but well worth it because the extra $11 meant I didn’t have to wait in the will-call line. Once again I took the train downtown, which is actually only $1 and six blocks’ walk (and parking is $5 at cheapest).
I dashed through the Crawford Boxes to look for balls lying around but there were none, so I headed over to right field because Brian Moehler, a righty, was pitching for the ‘Stros. I caught nothing but I got to watch as Jeff Karstens tried to toss a ball to a kid who dropped it seven or eight times before Jeff gave up and put it in his hand. Brandon Moss gave a ball to a little boy without even being asked–it was sweet.
Then I went over for autographs and tried to get close to the dugout because Mark “I-hit-a-homer-on-the-first-Major-League-pitch-I-ever-saw” Saccomanno was signing, but I couldn’t make it. The girl next to me kept yelling at a stretching Hunter to come sign something, but the guys who are stretching almost never sign. Somehow he actually came over and signed for a few minutes, and as he signed my hat I looked up at him and said, “I know you don’t remember but at spring training you signed a shirt for my niece, and it made her father really happy” and he laughed and said something to the tune of “I’m glad to hear it.” He’s a cutie, even if he is apparently dating a Playboy bunny.
The game itself was pretty much amazing. I sat in my favorite section, the section on the very edge of the third-base side upper deck. It’s awesome because the train is right below you, and if the roof is open you have an unrestricted view of downtown. I screamed for Miggy’s grand salami, and I went downstairs to the row behind the bullpen for the last few innings. It was fun and I actually lost my voice.
I know I was a huge Negative Nancy about the Astros this season, but seriously, guys, really? Could this actually happen?
In other news…
– the Rockies SUCK. I don’t understand. They were doing so well *bursts into tears*
– Hurricane Ike (or, more appropriately, Ick) is actually physically going to eat us. The Cubs games for this weekend have been postponed.
– I also went last night, so I’ll post that post right after I finish this one.
…I still love Luke Scott. I wish we could have lost all three games to the O’s and won all three against the Stankees. The O’s are my favorite AL team, after all.
That game was the least pathetic game we’ve had in a while. Of course, five days after I dropped Brian Moehler because he stank it up, he tossed 6 innings of 1-run ball, but whatever. Darin Erstad’s doing better for my team anyway.
I hate it when people gripe about AL pitchers batting in interleague play. I think the DH is the stupidest rule ever because it takes a lot of strategy out of the game. You don’t need to be careful putting pinch hitters in so you don’t waste all your players, and you don’t need to make double switches to put a new pitcher in behind the next batter. YES, pitchers can and do get hurt batting in interleague play. But guess what? Every day, NL pitchers bat FINE. YES, NL pitchers bat every time they start (unless he’s Jason Jennings in that 11-run 2/3 inning last year against the Padres) and they’re more used to it.
But I think a pitcher should not be a guaranteed out. Look at Micah Owings, Carlos Zambrano, and Brandon Backe. Hell, look at Dan Haren last night. Pitchers can and do get hits. And these guys don’t get hurt doing it.
Obviously, there’s a problem. AL pitchers almost never take batting practice, so their risk of getting hurt is very high when they’re batting. NL pitchers always take BP, and because of it they rarely get hurt doing routine things like, oh, I don’t know, turning a corner rounding third. Interleague play (and the World Series) is rarely fair because the rule stays in favor of the home team, and the away team has to make adjustments to their everyday playing style. Admittedly, the Stankees did sweep the ‘Stros, and that stunk. But still. Until someone gets rid of the DH in the AL or enforces it in the NL, there’s always going to be an argument, and being a National League girl, I’m always going to hate it.
In other news…
I decided to make a glove trick like Zack Hample’s. I don’t know if it’s because I have a softball glove and not a baseball glove or what, but I really had to work to get it to keep a hold on the ball. I’m proud, though, and it works great. I need to try it off my balcony and see how it holds up. I wonder if I can use it at Minute Maid Park?
…it is embarrassing.
I attended four games last week, and we lost all four.
The first was the Wednesday game against the Brew Crew. That was the slugfest that I already blogged about.
The second was the Thursday (took me four tries to spell “Thursday”… this calls for a nap) game against the same. And it was another slugfest that we lost. Oh yeah, and thanks a lot, Brian Moehler, for making me lose all my fantasy pitching games last week because of your craptacular performance. I lost the WHIP game by 0.10. Is that sad or what? Fortunately, I dropped him an hour after arriving home and added Darin Erstad, and since then my lineup’s been doing well. I lost overall last week but it was 4 to 5, so I rose from 13th out of 14 to 12th! It’s a slow climb to the top, though.
The third was the Friday game against the Stankees. Let me take a moment out to say… I HATE THE STANKEES. However, I love Derek Jeter, which made it hard when he hit that home run off of Doug Brocail (also on my fantasy team). And we lost. We lost to Joba Chamberlain. What the crap?
And the fourth was the Sunday game, also against the Stankees. I am sickened with my team’s recent performance. I believe there were only about 8,000 people left in the park after the eight-run sixth.
I got absolutely no balls at batting practice from any of these games. Well, on Sunday I went with someone and didn’t have my ticket to get in early, so I didn’t get into BP, and I didn’t make it early enough on Wednesday, and Thursday was a day game. But I did get Michael Bourn’s autograph on Wednesday. He seemed nice enough, even though every time I encountered him at Spring Training he always said, “I gotta go” four or five times while denying every fan an autograph. Punk.
Where Is He Now?
Oh my goodness, Dan Wheeler has officially been beastified. His WHIP is 0.98 and his ERA is just a hair above 2. It appears that we’ve run into yet another case of “the Astros traded a guy away and guess what? he’s freaking amazing.” Mostly it’s pitchers, like Brad Lidge, Chad Qualls, and you know what? Matt Albers isn’t doing poorly either. I’ve got to get him in my blog somehow. Anyway, the former ‘Stro who was known for pushing the poor, innocent, perfectly lovely Chris Sampson in the dugout has been making batters look stupid in the AL East, and good thing too because there’s nothing I want more than someone other than the Stankees and the Red Sox on top of that division. I love the O’s too, but that’s mostly because of Luke and Dennis and Matt and Troy… sorry, Mike Costanzo, I had (and still have) really no idea who you are. So, in any case, Dan Wheeler is doing well for himself in the Sunshine State.
A few random notes:
1. Why the hell don’t they sell Darin Erstad t-shirts in the team store? Ever since I found out that Hunter Pence is dating a “bunny,” I have lost all respect for him. Darin, a player I became a big fan of immediately following his signing, rose to the top in my Astros player lovefest. He’s amazing.
2. I’m hoping to get a chance to go see Coors Field this summer.
3. Tulo’s coming back this week, probably! YAY!
4. Oh. My. God. I officially have a nerdcrush on Zack Hample. I got bored one day and saw his blog on the MLBlogs.com front page, and I started reading it… from the first entry in 2005. He’s a beast.
I’m 99% sure that this is everything for today, and I have laundry to do. I’m going to be at a Rangers game or two next week with my “Hamilton is my hero” sign trying to get him to sign my issue of SI, so we’ll see. I adore Josh Hamilton.
…and what have you done with the 2007 Astros?
And most importantly–what do you want in return? Because surely you couldn’t just give a city in despair something as valuable as this 2008 team and not want anything back.
Brian Moehler. After sitting through 16 innings of tied game against the Mets last year, I resented this man for the two runs he gave up. We lost. But last night was a different story–I cannot believe how well he did. Snaps for Brian!
Lance Berkman. The man has put the slow-start-curse far, far, far behind him.
Miguel Tejada. I knew he was good… but I didn’t know he was quite this good.
Hunter Pence. Has hit. His stride. And his socks. Are sexy.
José Valverde. I think he is back for real.
Where Is He Now?
Today, we will visit Mike Lamb, ex-Astros third baseman/utility player/all-around beast, current Minnesota Twins third baseman.
Yeah, maybe his average is lower than it’s been any time soon, but I really wish we had signed him instead of Mark Loretta. I like his style. He’s like a skinny Lance Berkman.
And, because you knew it was coming… random baseball-related ramblings.
TULO GOT HURT. OH MY GOD. He tore a tendon and is out until August… whatever shall I do?
Brian Bannister has beautiful eyes.
I’m addicted to TWIB now.
I think that’s it for now. No, really.