Was the win against the Cubs on Tuesday night the start of momentum? Nope. It appears, after a 9-5 loss last night that it was a fluke. I’m not saying we should abandon hope, but sheesh, at 3-9 can we make some changes yet?
We don’t have long to wait for Clint Barmes to get back into the game. He took some dry swings earlier this week and reports he’s improving. Will his return make a difference? I’m not completely convinced. There’s lots of chatter among the Astros fandom about whether Barmes should get his starting SS position back when he’s healed and ready to go since Sanchez has been performing so well (.383 BA, 8 RBIs, .423 OBP). I initially thought that Sanchez should be left alone. But here’s an idea- give Barmes shortstop and hand second base to Sanchez. I mean, really, what’s Bill Hall done for us? Not much. His batting average is a less-than-average .233 and his on base percentage is .267, the lowest of our starting lineup aside from pitchers. He does lead the team in one stat – strikeouts. Aren’t we proud? Every time he goes up to bat he goes all out. It’s like he’s programmed for homerun or nothing and lately, it’s a whole lot of nothing he’s been hitting. I’m still scratching my head trying to figure out what the hell he’s doing in Houston. If someone else knows, can you clue me in?
What about pitching? There are rumors, that I’m sure you’ve read about, that the Astros are interested in the Blue Jay’s left-handed pitcher David Purcy. Another lefty in the bullpen would make Fernando Abad not so lonely. And Purcy’s relatively young, has a fastball that sits in the low 90s and in 34 innings pitched last season had a 3.71 ERA. Not too shabby. Since the Astros have two open slots on the 40 man roster, I think it makes sense to take a serious look at another reliever. He’s got a bit of a history with Arnie, so my guess would be he’d settle in quickly which is imperative for anyone who joins the Astros at this point. We don’t have the luxury of time to make you feel warm and welcome. We need you to get on board and help us win a few games. I’ve said time and time again that this team will go the way of the pitching and pitching is NOT the Astros strong suit. I suppose we’ll just have to sit and wait on this one, but I think it’s a good call.
Can we talk about Matt Downs at third more often? Downs has been better than good when he’s been in the mix so far this season. With a BA .417, OBP .462, SLG .917 (I know it’s just 1 HR) he’s shown that when he steps into the box, he’s there to play. In his 13 ABs he’s drawn as many walks as CJ (1), and looks better in every other batting stat there is. And yes, I know CJ’s had more than three times the ABs as Downs. I still think it’s worth considering.
When your team is 3-9 don’t you start considering every possibility on your depth chart? It’s what I would do. Hey Mills, give me a call, I’ll help you make some decisions. Better yet, I’ll be sitting in section 208 tonight – come say hi – you being out of the dugout on Tuesday seemed to work in our favor.