Saturday, April 11, 2009

Eyes On thoughts for lasts nights game

Since I'm back in South Texas I "get" to watch Astros' games on TV again. One of the good things about that is when they play the Cards, those games will be on TV for me, so last night, I got my first live look at the team. I was really impressed with Pineiro. He went after the hitters from the get go, and only allowed one hard-hit ball in the air the whole game (an RBI double by Berkman). He got three double plays when he did get into trouble, walked only one, and got a ton of ground ball outs. On the opposite side, the Cards drew eight walks plus a hit batsman which allowed them to score 5 runs on only 6 hits. Ludwick and Shumaker where the offense stars, but a heads-up play by Pujols was the play of the game. With runners on second and third and one out, Molina grounded weakly to the pitcher Hampton, one of the best fielding pitchers in baseball. Hampton looked at Pujols at the third, but didn't force him all the way back to the bag. He then soft tossed it over to first for the out. Pujols, however, had his head on a swivel and darted home when he saw the soft toss, beating a one-hop throw by Berkman. Albert doesn't get enough credit for his baseball IQ, and the fact that he gets the most out of his obviously limited speed on the basepaths. That run turned out to be key as the bullpen was shakey again. Kinney walked the first two batters he faced on 9 total pitches, which charged an undeserved second run to Pineiro. Kinney also allowed a solo home run to Carlos Lee in the 8th inning. He had the usual bite on his slider, but couldn't locate the fastball to set it up consistently. TRL tried Motte again in the 9th, but he allowed two sharp singles around a fly-ball out. Motte did seem to use the breaking-ball more this outing, but the batters didn't respect it enough to keep them from sitting on the fastball. McClellen surprisingly got the call to save the game, and the came through with flying colors by striking out Matsui and retiring Pence on a routine grouder to Shu. Shu, by the way, looked fine in the field. He turned two double plays even. His footwork, obviously, is a work in progress, but he has an uncommonly strong arm for a secondbasemen, which allows him to take that extra split second he needs to get his feet set. Still waiting for the offense to find it's groove, but that may take a while with TRL literally playing a new line-up every day. At least Luds hasn't carried his spring slump over to the regular season. He looked locked-in last night. I should be able to see the weekend games as well, and I'm looking forward to seeing Wainwright today and hopefully a sweep!


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