Game 46 Recap: Cubs 2, Astros 4

Cheap Salami


W -
Sampson (3-3), cheap homers


L -
Dempster (5-2), real homers

S - Valverde (13)


Box Score
, Photos


Things to Take from This Game


1. A Lamer Grand Slam Never Was Seen

The entirety of the Astros scoring came in the fourth, when Pence lined an opposite field grand slam home run into the first row in right field. I didn't catch the dimensions, but it couldn't have been 350 feet. It came in response to Aramis hitting a mammoth 2-run home run in the top half of the inning. If style points on home runs counted, the Cubs would have won this game.


2. Dempster, Sampson, Ascanio

If you ignore the grand slam, and the consistently getting behind hitters, Dempster had a pretty decent outing. If you ignore the fact that he won the game, gave up 2 ER in 6.2 and only walked one, Sampson looked very pedestrian. Jose Ascanio also made his debut for the Cubs, and looked ok. One of the two walks was intentional, one of the two hits was a blooper on a nice pitch.


3. Lee and Ramirez play see-saw with Soriano

How's that for a visual aid? A few days after all the talk was about how hot Soriano was while Ramirez and Lee were taking 0-fers, and now Soriano and Theriot go 0-8 while Lee and Ramirez go 5-8.

4. Enron/Minute-Maid/NASA Presents the Houston Astros of Texas Field is still stupid.

Really. It's like Baseball meets the fifth course on Excitebike.

 

The architectural criticism, game details, and the relentless pursuit of perfection (isn't that an auto slogan?) below...

 

Game Recap

 

Inning 1 - Top

  • First pitch of the ballgame is about three feet over and five feet behind Soriano's head. The Astros' broadcasters on my local Fox Sports Net broadcast believe it was intentional. But it had such a bloopy arch on it, I wonder if it didn't just slip. Or if it was deliberate, it was deliberately let up on.
  • Soriano then grounds to third.
  • Theriot grounds to Tejada
  • Lee dumps a liner into center for a base hit. Announcers say LouPa is thinking of resting Lee tomorrow, and Lee's lobbying against it.
  • Ahhhhhh and this game is on WGN too. Woo, I can switch.
  • Full count to Ramirez.
  • Ramirez also dumps a liner into center. Bourn flubs the bounce a little bit. Lee had held up at second (odd) but then advanced to third on the bobble. 1st and 3rd
  • Fukudome rolls out to second.

Inning 1 - Bottom

  • Bourn swings over some breaking pitch for strike 3. Not even close.
  • Matsui rolls one through the right side hole for a single.
  • Tejada with the lamest acting effort of all time, taking a full swing, then waving the bat back into a check-swing position and holding it there. Quit embarassing yourself and retire already, Tejada.
  • Tejada flies to Edmonds. They deserve each other.
  • Berkman lines one to right, Matsui to third.. 1 and 3 with two outs, just like Cubs had in the top of the first.
  • Lee chops one to Theriot, easy force at second.

Inning 2 - Top

  • Soto lines one just foul of the 315 pole in left.
  • Soto K's swinging
  • Edmonds pops to Blum in foul territory
  • DeRosa grounds to Blum, who makes a nice pick. Berkman with a nice scoop on the low throw, too

Inning 2 - Bottom

  • Lee ranges off of first for a Blum grounder, flips to Dempster.
  • Pence grounds one to DeRosa, another easy out. Dempster seems to have the ground ball machine going.
  • Towles K's swinging at what I'm guessing is a splitter. Dempster looks sharp.

Inning 3 - Top

  • Dempster grounds to third.
  • Soriano K's swinging
  • Full count to Theriot, pops to Pence.
  • Sampson making it look easy, too. Yeesh.

Inning 3 - Bottom

  • Sampson flies to Fukudome
  • I don't know why, but the last few games Dempster's started I've just become totaly transfixed by that weird grabbing thing he does in his glove, as he winds up. Never bothered me before. Now I can't stop staring
  • Bourn with a pop to shallow center, DeRosa goes and gets it.
  • 1-2 count, and Dempster drops in a beautiful curve that Matsui and C.B. Bucknor just stare at. Called a ball. Yeargh.
  • But he rolls out to DeRosa, anyway.

Inning 4 - Top

  • Lee pulls one down the left field line for a double.
  • Aramis Ramirez hit one way, way out to.. well, no one quite knows where. Carlos Lee just turned around to watch it, but it hit, well, something, in that travesty of a left field wall/bleachers/pavilion/faux train-yard/crapfest, and richochetted back onto the field. In any case, a two-run homer.
  • Soto hits one 415 feet to the warning track in front of that speedbump/enormous dirt clod/prank/hill/crapfest in center. Out.
  • Sampson blows a 90 mph fastball by Edmonds.

Inning 4 - Bottom

  • Tejada hits one off of some.... oh christ, what is that, a banner? Tejada hits it off of a banner in the left field travesty, for a double. Just blow up the ballpark already.
  • Berkman walks.
  • Lee flies to Edmonds, who makes a very nice throw that might have gotten Tejada as he ran for third, except it hit him in the thigh, maybe, as he started his head-first slide. Very nice throw.
  • Berkman advanced to second on it, making it a throwing error. Ouch. 2 and 3, one out for Blum
  • Blum walks. Loaded for Pence
  • Gets behind 2-0 to Pence. Hadn't noticed, but Len says he's throwing first-pitch strikes only a third of the time tonight
  • Crowd gets into it
  • Pence hits one into the first row of seats in right. A pretty cheap grand slam. 4-2
  • Towles bounces back to Dempster.
  • and Sampson chops one into the hole, Theriot just gets him at first

Inning 5 - Top

  • DeRosa singles to left
  • and Dempster bunts him over. 7th sacrifice this year, already, says Len
  • Soriano with a check-swing K.
  • Theriot bounces one to Blum, who makes another nice backhand scoop at third. Out at first

Inning 5 - Bottom

  • Bourn lines to Fukudome
  • Matsui K's swinging at an offspeed pitch.
  • Tejada with a slow roller to Theriot, who makes a nice play on it to get him at first.

Inning 6 - Top

  • Lee bounces back to Sampson
  • Ramirez pops out to Tejeada
  • Fukudome battles, but grounds to shortstop. Sampson rolls on...

Inning 6 - Bottom

  • Berkman K's swinging, looks bad in the process. Neener.
  • 0-2 to Lee
  • Len and Bob get very involved in the Gold Lamme Thong discussion
  • Lee K's swinging. Dempster has settled back down quite nicely.
  • I'm glad that I don't know how to spell "Lamme"
  • Blum singles to right.
  • Pence pulls one through the hole into left for another single.
  • And Towles flies to right.

Inning 7 - Top

  • Soto rolls one through the left side hole for a single
  • aaaaannnnnnnd Edmonds rolls into an easy 4-6-3. Routine.
  • DeRosa lines one off of the Green Monster Knock-off Immitation crapfest in left, and Lee plays the richochette well, keeping DeRosa to a single.
  • Hoffpauir hits for Demptser
  • Hoffpauir gets the first Cubs walk. Sampson wasn't anywhere near the plate.
  • Double switch - Ausmus in for Towles, and Brocail for Sampson
  • 2 on, 2 out for Soriano
  • Soriano K's swinging at a fastball. Guess who suddenly is slumping, again.

Inning 7 - Bottom

  • Ascenio makes his debut for the Cubs.
  • Nice moving fastball gets in on Ausmus, but he bloops it into right for a single.
  • Bourn bunts back to Ascanio, out at first, Ausmus advances.
  • Matsui flies to Soriano in straight-away left.
  • Tejada walks on five pitches, a very low and inside fastball. First and Second for Berkman.
  • Changeup thrown to Berkman for strike one.
  • Berkman K's swinging, and for the second time tonight loses his bat in the process. This one sails towards Carlos Lee in the on deck circle, who sort of wiggles out of the way.
    • Is it possible for Carlos Lee to wiggle?
  • Other than a bloop hit to Ausmus and a walk, a nice debut.

Inning 8 - Top

  • Theriot flies out to right
  • Lee singles to left
  • Ramirez takes a huge rip at an inside fastball from Brocail, comes up empty.
  • Ramirez lines one to deep right-center. Bourn tracks it down just to the right of that monstrosity of a hill. Lee has rounded second, and has to get all the way back to first.
  • Fukudome with a lazy fly down the left field foul line. Easy out, inning over

Inning 8 - Bottom

  • Carlos Lee hits what looks like it could be trouble, but winds up being a lazy fly to left center, Edmonds gets it
  • Blum hits a liner to "deep" right, and Fukudome makes a nice running, jumping catch on the warning track. Would have been a double.
  • Ascenio throws a fastball to pence that starts inside, tails back over the plate, and Pence hits a shot that lands maybe four feet in front of the flag pole on that lump travesty to baseball that defiles center field. No, not Edmonds, he goes and picks it up quickly, keeping Pence to a double.
  • Erstad pinch "hits" for Brocail. LOL
  • and is intentionally walked...
  • ... in order to face someone even less threatening than Erstad, Brad Ausmus
  • who grounds into the 4-6 force

Inning 9 - Top

  • Valverde in to try to nail down the save.
  • Soto with a check swing K on a pitch in the dirt
  • Edmonds works a 3-0 count.
  • four-pitch walk. Very nice.
  • First pitch to DeRosa bounces, kicks up off ausmus, Edmonds to second.
  • Three straight splitters to DeRosa moves the count to 1-2. The last two were wicked.
  • And then the 97 MPH fastball. Grounds out to SS. Valverde is tough.
  • Fontenot up for Ascanio, 2 outs.
  • First pitch swinging, Fontenot pulls one to Matsui's left. No trouble, 4-3 putout. Game over.

Parachat Recap

Inning 1

  • Where Should Soriano Bat?
  • Should We Move On From This Debate? (Yes.)
  • The Revenge of Jason Dubois. (Eh, if the sequel is anything like the first one...)
  • Whip insists he doesn't need my validation. Heh.
  • Is Manny appearing in our Fantasies? (Rob's, evidently. Not mine.)
  • Herve Vilachez.
  • Is Parachat really Twin Peaks? (.sey)
  • Am I too me? (Yes.)
  • Some other sport is having a draft. It involves tall people. And thumbs. Not sure what the thumbs reference is about, but it seems important.

Inning 2

  • More on this strange non-MLB sport.
  • Anger-management.
  • HOF worthy delusions.
  • We fear internet tough guys.
  • Low-information white working class voters. LIWWCVs, for short.
  • Who's volunteering for the firing squads?

Inning 3

  • Tiny American Flags (inc.) (Made in China.)
  • Verlander hasn't stunk it up yet, tonight.
  • Amputating Peavy's arm
  • Amputating Rob's arm.
  • Go back to Europe, Andy.
  • Bluetooth headsets.
    • and Herpies. (They're equally ubiquitous and annoying, methinks)
  • Is Whip a middle aged yuppie? (Dunno.)
  • Noise Assassins.
    • Assassin. Heh.
  • Shooting Chuck Norris out the end. (!?!?!?!)

Inning 4

  • The Military's critical shortage of virus-free porn.
  • What will happen when Rob leaves TCR? (Only Good Can Come Of It.)
  • Noble terms for the anus. (Noble?)
  • Sort of paying attention to the game
  • A round of applause for Piazza
  • Can Carlos trust us to help him cheat on his exam? (No.)
  • The Gay Witchcraft meme doesn't die, it just goes into hibernation while hanging from the ceiling of a cave, waiting to return every 50 years.
  • I get exposed as a fraud.
  • Holocaust Historiography, Pence's Grand Slam, and other depressing things.
  • Who fought Atila?

Inning 5

  • Feces-flinging monkeys taught to plagiarize from wikipedia. What grade do you give them? (F+)
  • Andy wants to know if anyone else has a drooling cat. (No.)
  • Cat insults.
  • Does your cup runneth over? (Yes.)
  • "Hey, now that Kennedy has cancer... when does he pitch his no-hitter?"
    • Send your hate mail to CT Steve.
    • I already sent mine.
    • LOL
  • What are the services like at "The church of man-love"?
  • Don't Jinx the Recap!

Inning 6

  • BEES!!!!!!!!!!!!
    • (bees!)
  • Sura 16 of the Quran is called "the Bee." (I'll take Whip's word for it.)
  • Bob Sura
  • Race and the Democratic primaries. (Can any good come of this?)
  • Cuban cigars
  • Would you sooner vote for a black terrorist, a gay terrorist, or what other sort of terrorist?
    • Monkey terrorists, of course.
  • Pickle Surprise! (No longer surpised. Eh.)
  • The death of pop culture. (As long as it's dead, can we beat it?)
  • Is the Brewer Home Run Slide really a Poop Chute? (Yes)
  • Some guy named Obama. As a LIWWCV, I have no idea WTF anyone is talking about. Somebody give me a ballot.

Inning 7

  • SHOW ME THE QUOTATION!
  • "It's just amazing that people ignore facts" - Mike
  • "an intellectual monster truck rally" - Whip
    • RAWR! VROOM!
  • 'Your political treasure trove is straight from Davey Dumb's locker" - Whip
    • That's it. Whip wins cyberspace.
  • My politician rides a pegasus and yours doesn't. Neener.
  • Welcome to the First Annual Parachat Battles of 2004 Reenactment Society.
    • Hollandsworth or Dubois?
    • Choi or Karros?
    • Clement or Willis?
    • Patterson just needs another year
    • GAY WITCHCRAFT!!!!!!
    • We Need Nomar
    • Do you think MLB has a steroids problem?
  • Mr. Kurtz is still dead. Five recap-points for the nice literary reference.
  • Whip is afraid Liberals are trying to steal our bodily fluids. I'm wishing they would.
  • BEES!
  • BABOONS!
  • Gary Numan frequents strip clubs?
  • It's time for your daily Carlos Stream of Conscience Discussion Suggestion:
    • let's talk about albino americans who like to snort vodka off guy ritchie's hand, while he performs fellatio to 80's one hit wonder gary numan who once sang in a band with TCR reader mister_whipple, a guy who works at a nude/strip bar for a living. crunch, by the way, once gave him a dollar. he fucking earned it.

Inning 8

  • How high is your poll number?
  • At this point, Parachat devolves into a nebulous cloud of toxic gas, suffocating all oxygen-dependent life forms. Here is what a good parachat might have looked like:
    • Implementing a workable plan for World Peace based upon a blend of respecting national sovreignty while recognizing the efficacy of international organizations, collective security and NGOs
    • Evaluating the levels of symbolism in Moby Dick
    • GAY WITCHCRAFT
    • IN YOUR PANTS
  • But no, this wasn't to be... Back to the "real" conversation in artificial space..
  • My cup runneth over.
  • Obvious.
  • Gender identity therapy. (Very effective. Gets a bad rap.)


Inning 9

  • Rally Arabic
  • C.B. Bucknor Is.....
  • C.B. Stands For.....
    • Simultaneous answers that would move this Parachat Rating from a PG-13 to an R

Game Recap record falls to 6-3.

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Comments

Rob... something is causing my browser (Camino, OSX) to freeze. It only occurs when I go to individual posts.

Firefox is working perfectly fine though.

thanks and (shrug)...

I'll do my best to figure it out. 

No worrries... just thought you would want to know.

Pie now up to .056 -- HR, BB, SB. Nice.

Samardzja (sp) gets clobbered again; ERA now over 6.00. Colvin checking in at .233. Seems like both are a long, long way away.

Samardzja (sp) gets clobbered again; ERA now over 6.00. Colvin checking in at .233. Seems like both are a long, long way away.

If that's true, then who in the Cubs system isn't?

"It's like Baseball meets the fifth course on Excitebike."

best parachat comment that wasnt said in parachat of the night...or ever, maybe...maybe...

I completely missed the Ted Kennedy no hitter comment.

Exceptional.

*bows* or is it *ducks*?

I think the Neifi grand slam in St. Louis that stuck in the bottom of the foul pole is the only one I've seen that could challenge Pence's for wimpiest grand slam.

I was at Cubs game at LA in May 1998.

Wood walked the bases loaded, and Piazza swung at first two pitches and missed. Third pitch he "fouled off" down the right field line right around the pole. Ten rows in front of me. Grand Slam.

Next week Wood struck out 20.

i was at that game. maybe you memory of it was different (and correct) but that's not how i remembered it. I look it up.

http://www.baseball-almanac.com/box-scores/boxscor...

Second inning grand slam, game was in April.

I know Wood walked atleast two guys before Piazza and he went up hacking, because I was yelling "That's it Mike, don't let him walk you!!!"

Chad, I think I saw you, were you the guy wearing the Cubs hat?

Which is why i said i thought you were probably correct.

Anyway, yes that was me in that cubs hat. Wow! Small world!

It wasn't a May game. Piazza was traded on May 15th before the Cubs went back to LA. The game was April 24, 1998. It was the 2nd inning. Wood through a ball to Piazza, followed by a swinging strike, followed by a called strike. The fourth pitch was a grand slam down the right field line. Two starts later, on May 6th, Wood struck out 20.

Minute Maid Park in Houston has to be the worst in baseball. Who's bright idea was it to put a hill and a flag pole in center field? Baseball meets obstacle course. All the field needs is a ferris wheel and a roller coaster to make it a complete carnival.

"I went to the county fair and a baseball game broke out..."

The same guy who put monuments in Yankee Stadium centerfield.

but unlike the flag poles at MM park, those monuments are not in play.

I believe they use to be before they remodeled it in the 70's

Mel Allen: Fly ball to deep center...Mickey Rivers on his horse...OH NO! Rivers has bounced off Babe Ruth and the ball deflects off Dimaggio and caroms into right. Fisk will round them all with an inside the park homer. Oh my!

They sure were. Why else mention it?

that was my ignorance. i thought you were speaking to oddities of baseball stadiums in general.

I work with a girl named CB, who has the misfortune of wondering aloud on her first day if Cats have Balls ...

anyone else think dempster's outing has any relation to the terrible Buckner and his strike zone? That guy is miserable every time behind the plate.

It definitely had something to do with it. Maybe it was just the camera angle, but it looked like Dempster was dropping a lot of curves on the outside corner and wasn't getting any calls. What's with the fucking umps this series?

"Samardzija, who signed a five-year, $10 million deal in '07, got off to a hot start at Double-A Tennessee this year. Tuesday, however, he gave up six runs in five innings to Mississippi in his third consecutive start of allowing six or more runs. Over his last six starts, Samardzija has allowed 27 runs in 251/3 innings for a 9.59 earned-run average, with 26 walks and 17 strikeouts."

Cubs brass was hoping to bring him to the MAjors post-AS Game.

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/bas...

Maybe he's injured? or tipping his pitches? Hard to say. More time needed.

I thought this update on some recent ex-Cubs might be interesting to some:

After his hot start for the Brewers, Jason Kendall has cooled considerably. He has hit .226 for the month of May dropping his season average to .268. In about two weeks he will have played as many games for the Brewers this year as for the Cubs last year, and his stats are shaping up to be eerily similar.

Angel Pagan, hitting over .300 as late as Aprl 23rd for the Mets, succeeded well when starting to begin the season. He had at least one hit in 17 of the 22 games in which he received at least 3 at-bats. Since his playing time has been cut he has struggled. He only has a hit in 2 of the 10 games in which he has just 1 or 2 at bats. He then predictably got injured, bruising his shoulder while falling into the stands. He finds himself on the DL for the 3rd time since 2006 (60-Day DL-Hamstring, 15-Day DL-Colitis, and now 15-Day DL-Bruised Shoulder).

In 25 games pitched for the Braves Will Ohman is 1-0 with 7 holds, only 1 blow save, a 2.33 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. Left handers are hitting .233 (10/43) off of him.

Since coming off of the DL on May 8th, Omar Infante is 8 for 26 (.308) for the Braves.

After a stint on the DL, Cliff Floyd is hitting .308 (12 for 39) for the Rays.

Buck Coats was 1 for 5 in a brief stint with the Blue Jays this year, and is hitting .288 with AAA since his demotion.

Craig Monroe is hitting just .247 for 4 HRs in 85 at-bats with the Twins.

The Orioles have a vast collection of ex-Cubs. Steve Trachsel is 2-4 with a 6.75 ERA. Freddie Bynum is hitting .267. Scott Moore was 1 for 8 before being demoted to AAA where he has hit only .187 in 91 at-bats. Alex Cintron hit .288 for AAA and is 4 for 7 since being recalled on May 11th. I don't know the story here, but Rocky Cherry has pitched only 3 innings all year, 2 in AA and 1 in AAA. Jacob Renshaw is 6-2 with a 3.93 ERA for the Orioles High-A team.

After hitting just .165 for the Tigers Jacque Jones was released, but recently signed with the Marlins.

Neither Mark Prior or Michael Barrett, both injured, have played for the Padres this year.

Rob Bowen is hitting .217 as the back-up catcher for the A's.

Cesar Izturis is hitting .273 with a .373 OBP as the starting shortstop for the Cardinals.

Clay Rapada has a 4.50 ERA in 10 games for the Tigers.

Since being picked up by the Phillies and then returned to the Twins, Tim Lahey has a 3.93 ERA in 18 innings for AAA-Rochester.

[Kendall's] stats are shaping up to be eerily similar.

Yea.. except for his ridiculously good CS%.

Where the hell did that come from?

As for Angel Pagan, I hate to be an "I told you so" kinda' guy, but... I told you so! His OPS has only dropped about 250 points in a month. :)

Yea.. except for his ridiculously good CS%. Where the hell did that come from?

It was widely reported that Jason Kendall turned to his dad, Fred, for help.

"Kendall had trouble throwing out runners (15.3% success rate). But Kendall said he already has starting working on flaws with his father, Fred, a former big-league catcher who now serves as Kansas City's bullpen coach.

"It's more footwork than anything else," said Kendall, who was formally introduced at a media session at Miller Park.

Footwork. It was what turned Aramis Ramirez around when we got him from Pittsburgh.

And the one who schooled Ramirez on footwork (interestingly enough) had NO FEET.

Wendall Kim had no feet? I thought he was just short....

where was his dad 2, 5, 10, and 15 years ago?

what he's doing this year is so weird compared to his past.

It's practically impossible to sit Soto right now, as almost every ball he hits looks like it has a chance to leave the yard (and he's playing pretty great D as well), but is anyone else concerned Lou might be riding him a little too hard?

Hank White only has 25 ABs on the season in 16 games, which means when he plays he's not usually starting the game.

I want Soto in the lineup every game too, but I'm a little worried how he's going to hold up for the entire season (and we all know he's not getting a scheduled mid-season break as he'll be starting for the NL in the AS game).

Well, you never know how the All-Star roster will shape up. If McCann or Martin gets elected by the fans, the back-up could be Bengie Molina as the only Giant representative. You just never know how they shape up. If the break were today Soto should be in though - 1.022 OPS.

If the AS game were today, Soto would be the most deserving of any player on the Cubs' roster.

Here are some stats to back that up (team ranking in parentheses)

HR - 9 (2)
RBI - 33 (1)
BB - 27 (2)
BA - .315 (3, although I'm not sure if Ronny qualifies)
OBP - .418 (1)
SLG - .604 (1)
OPS+ - 161 (1)

He also leads all NL catchers in OPS, HR, RBI, and SLG. He's a close second to McCann in BA (.321 to .315) and Martin in OBP (.428 to .418).

Also, it looks like Torre is riding Martin even harder than Lou is riding Soto. Martin's played in 45 games and has 187 PAs.

Soto's 25, the weather has been cool, and we have an off day tomorrow. Put him in, coach, he's ready to play.

Did anyone ask "Where's Chad?"

Of course we did. The answers would make a sailor blush. Actually, the answers most often referred to sailors!

Awesome!

I was at the game on Tuesday night to cheer for the Cubs.

I thought the Astros manager overemphasized the advantage of a left-handed hitter against a right-handed pitcher by batting Geoff Blum in front of Hunter Pence. Blum is only hitting about 0.210 while Pence is hitting about 0.290. Unfortunately, the Cubs played along with Cecil Cooper’s thinking. Dempster walked Blum to load the bases for Hunter Pence.

Pence’s homer was a 330-foot line drive. If Fukudome had been positioned about two steps further back, he might have caught the ball.

I don’t see the Astros as much of a challenger to the Cubs. The Astros have holes at three positions: centerfield, third base and catcher. Centerfielder Michael Bourn is a fine defensive player, but a leadoff hitter needs to hit much better than 0.210. Blum has made a career as a utility player. Catcher J.R. Towles is hitting about 0.144. He can’t hit a breaking ball. When Towles left the game in a double switch in the seventh, he was still waiting to see a fastball from a Cubs pitcher.

I was impressed with Jose Ascanio. His fastball was 94 mph. In the seventh, he walked Tejada with two outs and had to face Berkman. Larry Rothchild came out of the dugout and chewed him out for walking Tejada and allowing Berkman to bat in the inning. I wonder if Ascanio knew he was facing the Astros best hitter. He challenged Berkman and struck him out swinging. Berkman was fooled by the last pitch and his bat went flying into the stands. I hope Pinella made a mental note of how well Ascanio pitched to Berkman; he may want to repeat that match-up later in the year.

Jim Edmonds is still a fine defensive centerfielder but I have doubts about his ability to hit. Even during batting practice, his hitting looked weak.

Thanks for the insights Rick

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