There are those this morning who are venting at watercoolers and trying to look like they “know” what the Astros problem was last night. I can hear it everywhere this morning – okay, everywhere is stretching a bit since not that many people in Houston TALK about this team anymore – “If the umps had ruled that a double, the Astros would have won.”
Well, kind sirs, you can make that argument if you’d like, but you’d be wrong. I only saw one angle of the replay and it looked like Albert Pujols hit a double to me, but hey – I’m not an ump and didn’t see every angle available. So, let’s just say, for the sake of discussion, that it WAS a homerun. Was it the call that killed the Astros last night? Nope.
Want to know what DID kill the Astros last night? It wasn’t pitching. Brett Myers looked like the Myers of 2010 as he threw another quality start and managed to pitch his second complete game this season, needing only 93 pitches to do it. That boy can be crazy-efficient when’s he’s “on.” He allowed 11 hits in those 8 innings, but only 3 runs. All three runs came off of homers. Brett falls to 3-11 on the season. Can we start tracking a new pitching stat? The UnEarned Loss. Several Astros pitchers would have a few of those this season.
This loss was not on Myers. This loss was on the backs of the offense. Run production has to happen. Successful pitchers need run support. When your guy on the mound is pitching like Myers did last night – you find a way to get around that diamond and plate some runs. But the Astros didn’t do that.
The Astros? They managed to hit that ball 8 times to get on base, but only scored 1 run. Sad and unacceptable offense when you’ve got good pitching on the mound. With runners on base the team was 2-17 and sadly, clutch hitting continued to downright stink as they were 1-11 with runners in scoring position. Remember when Houston was called Clutch City? Yep, that was another sport. Obviously…
So you can nitpick the umpire’s call all you want today. I don’t think the one in St. Louis is the ump call to focus on though. There’s that other call in that other game – you know the Pirates – Braves game – that’s the real umpire story of the day. Go talk about that for now. We can get back to the Astros in 2013 when they might start to look like a major league team again.
Terri Schlather (AGirlintheSouth) is the Senior Houston Astros Writer for Aerys Sports. You can read her Astros blog atÂ www.talesfromthejuicebox.com, email her atÂ firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow her on twitter @agirlinthesouth.