Saturday, July 01, 2006


Lost again.

The 'Stros dropped the first game of the series to the Rangers, 3-1. Unfortunately, with Roy Oswalt on the mound, this was probably our best chance to win one of the three on tap for the weekend. Today's game and tomorrow's contest feature Taylor Buckholz and Wandy Rodriguez, in that order. Taylor was pretty freakin' close to brilliant in his last outing in Chicago and would have had the win, in all likelihood, had Chad Qualls not given up the granny to Joe Crede. If he performs as well today, we'll have a chance to at least be IN the game. However, his season has been marked by inconsistency so far. Wandy, on the other hand, has never been a pitcher that I've characterized as brilliant, yet he got the job done--for the first two months of the season. He was 2-3 in June.

I found Roy Oswalt's comments after the game to be fairly revealing of the club's current mental status:
"We need to pick it up for sure. . . . The team's just not playing together at all. Everyone's worried about somebody else doing something wrong instead of just playing their game and having a little fun. Nobody's having fun. Everybody's worried about losing. You can't go into a game worried about losing. You've got to have fun."

Yeah, I've worked in place like that, where everybody is more worried about how others do a job instead of doing their own. It's not a fun place to work, and not much work gets done.

I've been resisting jumping on the trade-somebody-or-send-people-down-and/or-bring-people-up bandwagon, just because I'm not sure that there's anybody out there, trade-wise, who would help us much, nor am I convinced that Hirsh is ready to make the jump to the bigs. I would like to see Luke Scott get another chance, but it's a bit of a double-edged sword--he's done well at AAA again this year, but even he noted that his performing well there gains him nothing--it's expected. But if they bring him up again and he doesn't do well at the major league level, then he loses potential as trade bait, as well as in expectations from his own current club. Regardless, given Roy O's comments after last night's loss, something needs to change. (And don't you love Roy? People who "tell it like it is" are never considered media-savvy, but it sure is a refreshing change from hearing the same refrain over and over again--"we're just not swinging the bats well." Well, no shit.) Last year, inaction from the front office proved to be the correct move. But despite the similarities on paper, this is not the same team as last year, and the same stand-pat attitude will probably not succeed, in the opinion of many in the blogosphere.

Are you listening, Mr. Purpura?


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