Never good to give an 0-8 team their first win, but some good things came out of today. First off, we won the series. If we took two of three in every series we'd be the best team in baseball. We just ran into a hot pitcher - you can live with games like that because they don't happen too often. It's much more difficult to swallow 13 to 11 loses where you have five or six chances to win the game but just can't get it done.
As I said above, Bud Norris was good today. No, Bud Norris was spectacular today. He had an "enchanted game" to steal a term from Steve Stone. He made Albert look as bad as I've ever seen him look, not once, but twice. Bud's been a Cardinals' killer too. He's only made three starts against the Cards but has come away with three wins and a 0.00 ERA.
Unfortunately, the Astros exposed our biggest flaw today - our middle relief. Boggs got knocked around a little bit to put it nicely. His velocity was fine and his breaking ball looked sharp, he just was missing his spots. That's going to happen to a young pitcher from time to time. Right now, our bullpen is very average. McClellan has to be better than he has been. Motte looked good today, and Hawksworth has been solid, but like Boggs, they are young. I predict Mozeliak will add another piece to the 'pen before too long.
Lohse was sharp today, much better than his first start. I don't know if any of you picked up on this too, or if I'm being too critical, but it seemed there were times when Kyle gave in a little bit. I'm thinking of both the scoring plays in particular. I understand Norris is a pitcher, but Lohse couldn't have given him a more hittable pitch and Norris didn't miss. With Bourn on base, Kyle also seemed to give in a little to Keppinger and make too good of a pitch. While its great that Kyle didn't give up any walks, I think some of his pitches caught too much of the plate. Still, he certainly pitched well enough to win.
The Mets come into town tomorrow. It would be a disappointment if we didn't take two more, and we have to be looking at a sweep. The Amazins don't look so amazin' this year; they just aren't the same team without Jose Reyes and their starting pitching is below average. Two of the three are on National TV; its going to be a fun weekend. Today's anthem is "I Will Not Bow" by Breaking Benjamin. Enjoy your Thursday night.
A look into the 2011 Season
2 years ago