kurt's nightmare

Generally, I post once a week. Topics are randomly selected and depend mostly upon whether it's baseball season or not. Other topics will include sex, politics, old girlfriends, music, and whatever else pops into my little brain. If you'd like to read, or ignore, my blog about China: http://meidabizi.blogspot.com/

Name:
Location: Dayton, OH, Heard & McDonald Islands

I'm an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Dayton. I represent no one but myself, and barely do that. I'm here mostly by accident.

Friday, October 28, 2005

FIN

Astros Autopsy

Last baseball post for awhile, and it will be brief, much like the mercy killing the Sox delivered to the Astros. I wonder if this will be discussed as a suitable metaphor in exploring the Oregon assisted-suicide case currently under consideration at the Supreme Court. (Is it in bad taste to mention, in this context, Harriet Miers falling on her sword?)

I have neither the time nor the energy nor the interest in digging up statistics to support my claims here. Assume they are there, and that I could, or find your own statistics and let me know how wrong I am.

Fundamentally, anyone who thinks the Astros' offense "disappeared" in the Series wasn't paying attention to a) the Astros' season b) the NLDS or c) the NLCS. The Astros don't have an offense; they have good pitching and get the occasional 280 foot dinger at home. They do have good defense, but all you need to do is look at Clemens' ERA and win-loss record. They don't have an offense. As I mentioned earlier here, I was confident that the Cardinals would win because they did have an offense, which is why their record against the 'stros was so dominating all season long.

McCarver (and Joe Buck, whose comments struck me as alternating between vacuous and simply stupid--and I grew up listening to his dad--didn't have the advantage Jack did, of learning from Harry Carey) consistently got this wrong. Look at the Average w/RISP in the categories a) b) and c) above. I bet they are embarrassing.

The question isn't how the Sox beat them, that's easy: better offense, better defense, better pitching, better managing (although Garner didn't have much to work with, and didn't make too many glaring errors), better energy, better attitude. The Sox acted like they expected to win; the Astros acted like they were surprised to be in the Series.

They should have acted that way. They got two phenomenal pitching performances from Oswalt, a couple of cheap home runs, and the Cardinals didn't play very well at all. Thus the Astros beat them in 6 and staggered into the Series.

Is this an excuse for the Cardinals? Hardly; the Cardinals played quite badly, and Edmonds, oy, Edmonds. The games were generally very close, and could have gone either way; imagine Rodriguez's ball is 5 feet to the left: Tavares doesn't catch it, Cards win. Imagine Lane doesn't catch Eckstein's ball early in game 2; the whole game changes. Imagine Morris pitches well in the postseason (ok, even my imagination isn't that good). The Cardinals lost, and deserved to, but anyone who thought the Astros should have won the Series was confused.

I'm one of them; I picked them to win in 6, oddly enough thinking a) they would get better pitching and b) Morris Ensberg might finally be able to hit his ass using both hands. I was wrong on both counts. Oswalt blowing up, giving up 5 runs in one inning, was hard to predict or believe.

This takes nothing away from the Sox, who absolutely dominated the postseason. Cleveland was the only team who seems to have challenged them this year, as it turned out. They clearly deserved the title. I just would have liked the Cards to have played the Astros a bit better, and seen what happened in a Cards' Series with the Sox; hey, they couldn't have lost any faster than the Astros, and might have done it with a bit more panache, a bit more effort, and bit more class (perhaps learning a lesson from the other Sox).

All I will remember about the Astros series is the whining about the roof (which the Astros, for some reason, got to keep closed during the NLCS, but not in the Series: how come???) and the generally pathetic offense of a generally pathetic offense. Some Series get nicknames: the Subway Series, the I-70 Series, the Bay Series.

I suggest for the 2005 version we refer to it as "The Euthanasia Series."

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