There will be no glory in your sacrifice. I will erase even the memory of Astros from the histories! Every piece of Houston newsprint shall be burned. Every Astro historian, and every scribe shall have their eyes pulled out, and their tongues cut from their mouths. Why, uttering the very name of Houston, or Astros, will be punishable by death! The world will never know you existed at all!
– Bud Selig, Asshole
As they stand at 40-91, having just been swept by the Giants in a cock-punchingly awful way, the Astros sit at a .305 winning percentage. (“Winning”, here, in the Charlie Sheen sense of the word). Another sweep at the hands of the division-leading (and likely champion) Reds, and the Astros will drop to .298. Even DeFrancesco’s mad. I’m not sure why he thought he’d be able to get anything more out of this crew than Mills did, but I guess you can’t knock his self-confidence.
How low can they go? Well at their current 1-win-in-thirteen pace, they’ll end up at 42-120, for .259, which would put them 8th on the all-time worst winning percentage list. If they fail to win even those two measly games, they will end up 4th. All-time.
Our ancestors built this wall using ancient stones from the bosom of Texas herself.
Minute Maid Park.
Houstonians! Ready your breakfast and eat hearty… For tonight, we dine in hell!
Friday, August 31, 7:05 CDT
Saturday, September 1, 6:05 CDT
Sunday, September 2, 1:05 CDT
This will not be over quickly. You will not enjoy this. We are not the Cubs.
Game #1: Mike Leake (6-8, 4.51) vs. Fernando Abad (0-1, 3.62)
Leake got bashed around by the Jakes last time out, but managed to limit the damage, hang in there and shoplift the win. I’m not going to bother with matchups against the Houston lineup, because they mostly don’t exist. Abad is making his second start since being recalled from Triple-A, which is also his second major league start ever. In 10 at-bats against the Reds, he’s perfect. I expect he’ll maintain that perfect run for at least another 27 at-bats.
Game #2: Homer Bailey (10-9, 4.24) vs. Lucas Harrell (10-9, 3.92)
Bailey has hit the skids lately, losing 2 of his last 3. He has the same record as Harrell, but an ERA worse by 0.32. So…home banker then. Harrell’s name sounds like the noise Fletch makes when he spots Dr. Jellyfinger at the hospital. He has been pitching well but getting no run support. That 0.32 looking huge in this one.
Game #3: Bronson Arroyo (11-7, 3.84) vs. Chub Norris (5-11, 5.01)
Incredibly, this is the only matchup of the sereis where the Reds’ starter has a better record than the Astros’. His also 3-0 lately and 12-7 all-time against Houston (I know I wasn’t going to go there, but I lied). He also a scrawny little fuck. Norris is the complete opposite of all of the foregoing. That’s all you need to know.
Freedom isn’t free at all, that it comes with the highest of costs. The cost of blood.
Astros: Cordero (P) toe-knack; Escalona (P) Tommy-John’d; Fransisco (LF) me-time injury; Gonzales (SS) ankle-knacl; Lowrie (SS) dead leg; Maxwell (CF) bruised finger-knack; Schafer (CF) shoulder full of atoms full of tiny universes themsevles full of atoms full of tiny universes…; Weiland (P) contact high from Schafer.
Reds: Bray (P) back-knack; Madson (P) Tommy-John’d; Masset (P) talked to Schafer about shoulder issues; Votto (1B) knee-knack.
Promotions and Giveaways
All that God-King Selig requires is this: a simple offering of nachos and beer. A token of Houston’s submission to the will of Selig.
Friday: Flashback Friday will see The Shaner throw out the first pitch and 1990s blue and gold star unis worn; the usualpost-game fireworks; and the ever-present Coca Cola Value Zone.
Saturday: Jeff Kent Bobblebonnet day -the first 10,000 fans get a bobblehead commemorating THIS! (Which was pretty much my view of the event).
Sunday: The first 10,000 fans get a Milo bobblehead and a luggage tag for all those trips to Oakland and Seattle.
This will likely be my last preview. I have not paid much attention this season and, frankly, I haven’t missed it. This is not because the current version of the team his historically bad – I have supported a perennially bad team back home – it is because I know one of the big draws for me is going away. Managerial strategy (and Bagwell’s monster 1994) drew me to the game, and the strategy-killing league switch is driving me away.
I am not good at following games in which I have no vested interest. I barely watch the Premier League’s live games (unless I’m bored and there’s nothing else going on), preferring to catch up with the excellent review show. So I don’t watch baseball for baseball’s sake. The switch of leagues and coasts is bad, but I don’t think that these things together would have been enough to turn me off. The dearth of strategy that occurs when the pitcher isn’t in the lineup, is a bridge too far.
I have even struggled, as you can tell, to generate the passion to crack on the Reds as they cruise to a division pennant. This is the true result of what McLane, Selig and Crane have engineered: apathy. I quit on the Astros this year. McLane quit on them years earlier. It’s a sad shadow of a formerly proud franchise.
“Remember us.” As simple an order as a king can give. “Rememberwhy we died.” For he did not wish tribute, nor song, nor monuments nor poems of war and valor. His wish was simple. “Remember us,” he said to me. That was his hope, should any free soul come across that place, in all the countless centuries yet to be. May all our voices whisper to you from the ageless stones, “Go tell the National League, passerby, that here by DH law, we lie.”
They all died.