Excellent effort by Paul Byrd, despite an uncharacteristic three walks. Solid defense behind him again for the most part, until Chone Figgins botched a double play grounder in the 8th (behind Brendan Donnelly ). Figgy just ain't right lately. His fielding has been a bit suspect, and he hasn't had a hit in about six years. But once again, the pitching and defense picks up the sluggish offense.
The contact play, which has been oddly successful this year, had a 50/50 night, accounting for a run in the 6th, but also accounting for an out just one batter later. It was a weird baserunning game for Vladimir Guerrero. He got doubled off an a line drive in the fourth, made a nice play to get to second on the bad-hop/error by Sizemore in the sixth, got cut down at the plate on the contact play in the sixth, then stole a base in the eighth which eventually led to an insurance run. You take the good with the bad, I guess.
Excellent work from Scot Shields again, who sits on the Guzzler's bench. Francisco Rodriguez looks like he'll be sidelined for at least a few days, pending the results of an MRI.
If you're going to sit a player down for a while, please make these decisions on Sundays, so that I adjust my fantasy roster accoringly. Failure to do so cost me 33 points tonight (depending on what happens in the Rangers/Sox game).
One thing I noticed about Shields tonight is how quickly he works. I don't
necessarily mean that in a Mark Buehrle way, but rather, the amount of time he takes to get rid of the ball from the time he starts his wind up is very small. He's like the anti-Nomo. I wonder what sort of affect that has on hitters, especially when you're bringing it at 95 mph. It's a quick, smoothe delivery that doesn't provide a real timing point for the hitter. It's something I've never heard discussed, so I could be completely off the wall with this, but I noticed it for the first time tonight, and if that didn't help him, then he sure is doing something right, because he made Hafner and Crisp look foolish.
Three and one start to the road trip. Quite frankly, if you had told me they'd go 3-6 on this trip, I would have been pleasantly surprised, so maybe they can take a couple more and head back the Big A on the heels of a successful trip.
Tomorrow is the kid against the failed prospect. Scott Elarton was supposed to really be the man a long time ago when he came up with the Astros. I don't know if the time in Colorado screwed him up, and certainly injuries have played a part, but he's never really panned out (of course, these are the famous last words before his two hit shutout tomorrow). Ervin "don't call me Johan" Santana takes the mound for the Halos in his major league debut. I know I'm looking forward to it.