Scott Feldman and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day


Dan Peschong sends in his eyewitness account of the Astros’ 8-1 loss to the Oakland A’s at Minute Maid Monday night. Truth in advertising alert – a 5:15 AM wake up call Tuesday caused Dan to leave in the middle of the 8th inning, but he left secure in the knowledge that no miracle rally was going to occur this day.

• •• ••• •• •

High school students all over the nation are taught to pick out examples of foreshadowing when studying writers such as William Shakespeare. If those witches tell Macbeth he is going to be king; he is going to be king, but maybe not a very happy one.

The foreshadowing of a stinker of a game Monday night was seeing the name Jonathan Villar and the position shortstop on the same line of the lineup card. Of course, this play/game was not a very good one, so the playwright took all of one play and all of three batters to reveal the foolishness of this move.

Scott Feldman coaxed leadoff hitter Sam Fuld to hit a tailor-made ground out to Villar, who then managed to drop the ball not once, but twice. Feldman gives Villar another chance at Fuld on a Mark Canha double as Villar’s relay throw gets home in plenty of time to nail the runner, except it is wide of home for his second error of the inning. Former Astros’ farm hand Ben Zobrist then rips a hit down the right field line and George Springer makes a nice throw to second. Villar (again) is slow applying the tag. After a sacrifice fly to Springer in which Luis Valbuena barely misses tagging out Zobrist (again) at third, Feldman looked all discombobulated and it set the table for a very poor game by the home team.

Random Thoughts while watching the game:

  • It was a typical Astros’ early season school night where the stadium was pretty darned empty and awfully quiet as the team gave the loyal fans little to cheer about.
  • Baseball is an easy sport when a team is playing well in all three phases of the game. Last night it was easy for the A’s as their opponent was playing like doggie doo-doo in all three phases.
  • Scott Kazmir was very good and again made the A’s look brilliant for pulling him off the scrap heap of the Independent Sugar Land Skeeters and installing him as a solid starter.
  • The Astros only shot to make a game of it came in the fourth inning, trailing 4-0. Jose Altuve parked one up on the railroad tracks to lead off the inning and I would not be surprised if the random PED testing squad showed up at his locker after the game. Impressive shot. Kazmir seemed to be struggling with his shoes of all things as he walked both Robbie Grossman and Springer with nobody out and spent an inordinate amount of time trying to clean mud or something out of his cleats. No worries as this brought up the “meat” of the Astros’ lineup in Chris Carter and Evan Gattis. Carter and Gattis are to rallies as Polly Shore is to movie success (though nobody ever puts Shore in a movie anymore). Carter and Gattis accounted for three outs and frankly, Carter’s sharp grounder to third could have been a triple play if the third baseman had thrown to second instead of first. The A’s answered in the top of the fifth with two or their three HRs off Feldman and put the game out of reach 8-1.
  • Feldman could complain about lack of fielding support in this game, but his 88 mph “fast” ball was getting sliced and diced all over the place.
  • Question: Would an opposing manager walk Carter (who started the game at .053 BA) to get to Gattis (who started the game at .000)?
  • About halfway through the game I noticed that the A’s worst BA in their lineup was .286. The A’s whole lineup had higher BAs than everyone but Jake Marisnick on the Astros’ side.
  • Overheard some casual fans gawking at the terrible BAs of Villar, Gattis, Carter, Luis Valbeuna and Springer. Part of this is normal early season slumps, but can’t anyone play this game?
  • Hank Conger may be able to frame pitches, but he has trouble catching them as he allowed one guy to get to first on a swinging third strike in the dirt.
  • You know it is a bad night when the A’s drop a Grossman pop-up in right field, but force Altuve at 2nd (and they lost the ball – did not do this on purpose).
  • Manager A.J. Hinch raised a few eyebrows as he left Feldman in long enough to give up 8 runs. But after the 14-inning game on Sunday he was trying to squeeze some innings out of the veteran and not tax the bullpen.
  • The Astros used their own version of tandem pitching as Feldman’s bad 5 inning outing was followed by four solid shutout innings by Asher Wojciechowski. This brought up the question of who would be starting today’s game against the A’s with Wojo unavailable. Though there is no transaction to back it up, Brad Peacock currently appears in the mlb.com score page as the Astros projected starter today.
  • There was definitely a lot more pop with Wojo pitching as he was averaging about five mph more per pitch than the dreadful Feldman.
  • Driving home, the announcers were talking about how Jeff Luhnow had assessed Peacock’s last rehab start as good, but that he needs to work on his control (5 walks/no hits in 4+ IP) to get back to normal. That sounded like his normal….
  • In a side note, our long national tragedy is over as Gattis did end his 0-for streak at 0-for-23 with a bloop hit in the ninth. This ended an 0-for-37 streak going back to 2014. Ironically, he had absolutely smoked a ball earlier in the game right at the left fielder.
  • Carter continues to look comfortable in the field, and did a nice job turning a snazzy double play with a solid throw to second base.
  • Valbuena made another fabulous superman/Brooks Robinson dive and throw early in the game.

If there is a plus side to this – the Astros are only half game out of first in the mediocre AL West, but they need to turn this around against the first place A’s or they could be quickly buried.

Any thoughts from our loyal blog commenters?

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100 comments on “Scott Feldman and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day

  1. Well Dan i think you pretty much got it covered. Even Brownie and Ash were bored by the 4th. Some day I’m hoping we can see some good baseball again, every year i get my hopes up and then I watch something like this.. It’s early, we have to get better right, and Springer scares me man, he a great kid/athlete that may just be a .250 20-70 guy.

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    • Currently we have 3 “power” hitters in the lineup who all look like the blindfold guy trying to hit the pinata. I think 3-4 is a good record considering how absolutley terrible the hitting has been.
      I’m hopeful that the Springer who hit 20 HR and 51 RBI in less than 1/2 a season last year returns soon. At least he is giving his all in the field.

      Like

    • Well there is no comparison – but let’s do it anyways….
      – The Hooks team numbers (.301 BA / .392 OBP / .448 SLG / .840 OPS) vs. the Astros team numbers (.191 / .267 / .331 / .598)
      – After 7 games the Astros have a total of 17 RBIs. After 5 games – Carlos Correa, Brandon Meredith and Telvin Nash have 22 RBIs by themselves
      – The Hooks have only one player below the Mendoza line – Leo Heras at .182 BA – which is not far off the Astros team .191 BA. The Astros have sterling numbers such as Villar (.000), Gattis (.042), Carter (.045), Springer (.154) and Valbuena (.160).
      – And the Astros are 3-4, while the Hooks are 5-0….
      2017 thou cannot come fast enough?

      Like

  2. Thoughts?
    That their three supposed RH bombers are blind gorillas at the plate has to be the Astros worst nighmare. We did not see a hint of this badness in Spring training, which points out the value of Spring Training. Remember all the talk from the manager about making contact.
    Mets’ fans warned us about Dave Hudgeons.
    Remember that I said yesterday how great it was to have Lowrie playing SS? Well, having Villar at SS last night was a huge mistake. They could have had Lowrie’s RH bat at SS, Villars RH bat at DH and Gonzalez’s RH bat at 3B. And that would have been better. I mean, after all, Lowrie’s two home runs have been as a RH batter and there are those Boxes out in LF?
    Jeff Luhnow has the worst track record of DH’s in baseball history. This year, his team is hitting .036 at the DH position, which is also the team’s SLG at DH. He is not good at 1B either. Our 1B are last in baseball, hitting .071.
    While the Astros front office was anticipating giving away two players for Hank Conger, did they bother to ask their scouts if he could actually catch? OMG
    If your Gold Glove MILB Catcher who doesn’t hit well is not on a roster, is he subject to random drug testing on a deserted island?
    If a catcher misses catching a strike, why is it called a passed ball, instead of a passed strike?
    Are you in trouble when your only run is an Altuve Dinger?
    Wojo’s finest moment as a Major League Pitcher comes doing what he hated most as a minor league pitcher: coming into a lost game as the back end of a tandem. How ironic is that? Then he gets optioned right after his finest moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have to admit, the Lowrie question shouldn’t be a question at all. There are enough question marks to deal with without creating another one at SS. That’s twice in seven games that Lowrie hasn’t been at SS. At this point, he should be as automatic as Altuve at second and Springer in RF.

      Heck, at this point, I’d be fine with Marwin at first and rotate the DH between the other guys.

      I’m also wondering if Gattis’ problem is that he’s not in the game as a defensive player. That’s a tough gig. The scary part is that I’m afraid they’re going to test that theory and put him in left field. I like the outfield just the way it is, thank you.

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      • The only reason I can think of to sit Lowrie is to try and rest a guy who has missed time in the past pretty consistently. But I sure would prefer seeing MarGo as the backup.

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  3. Thoughts? Wrong question. It is simply too painful to think about the debacle that was last night. Thoughts? Mercifully, no. Just pain. Just this comfortable straight jacket. Just this fetal position. Just the gentle sounds of a caricature of the Mr. Bill of yesterday screaming “Ohhhhhh, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOhhhhhhh!” Goodnight John-Boy. Goodnight Jim-Bob.

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  4. Okay. You asked for it Dan. I do have one random thought that keeps cycling through the bobble-head appendage that used to house a brain. Is it time to petition the MLB for a rule change applicable only to the Astros that provides that Instead of having to designate a ‘DH’ – i.e. a ‘designated HITTER’, for each game, we will be instead be required, under principles of truth in advertising, to identify the guy who does not play a defensive position for us by the far more accurate acronym ‘DS&M’ – i.e. ‘designated SWINGER AND MISSER’?

    Sorry, the dude in the white suit says it is time for my meds.

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    • Meds are fine but if they pull out a scalpel – run!
      I do think that the DS&M might have a place in the vernacular. Especially the S&M part of it.

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      • They was giving me ten thousand watts a day, you know, and I’m hot to trot! And my response to the dude with the jumper cables was: “What do you think I am, for Crane’s sake – crazy or somethin’? Well I’m not! I’m not! I’m no crazier than the average Astroholic out walkin’ around on the streets and that’s it.”

        And then I said: “If that’s what being crazy is, then I’m senseless, out of it, gone-down-the-road, wacko. But no more, no less, that’s it. ”

        And then I said: “When we get to Canada . . .”, and before I finished my thought they applied the jumper cables again.

        All I meant was that I can’t wait til we go to Toronto to play the Blue Jays.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. CC Hooks playing a day game today. Big news is that Tony Kemp made an out in the first, Correa with a line drive single but was stranded.
    Hooks had extreme shift on for Corey Seager, with three infielders on the right side. Seager went the other way and grounded out to Mier, who was the 3B standing at the normal SS spot. Correa ended the inning with a diving stop and get up and throw em out. He was the SS and was actually playing where he belonged for that batter.

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    • For those not paying that much attention – Kemp was hitting .472 coming into the game. He has 10 hits in 5 games – Carter, Gattis, Springer and Valbuena have 10 between them in 6 or 7 games (depending on the guy).

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  6. Santana and Singleton both hit big dingers for Fresno – and neither struck out. Tucker got 2 more hits. Sclafani drew a base on balls and of course scored – as he always somehow manages to do. Brady Rodgers pitched like Jonathan Villar plays shortstop and Hank Conger fields pop-ups, but the relief squad held the line, and the offense kept chipping away until they pulled it out. Hoyt and Fields both allowed 0 runs in relief, but Hoyt actually looked more ready for prime time than Fields did.

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    • Singleton’s stats – .389 BA .450 OBP .722 SLG 1.172 OPS
      Funny comparison Singleton’s BA is .389 – Carter’s BA + OBP + SLG + OPS = .385
      Gattis’ BA + OBP + SLG + OPS = .286
      Or is that a sad comparison?

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    • Yeah Mr. Bill, Sclafani helped get the 8 run inning going by taking that seven pitch walk. The kid routinely does all the things some guys never absorb. That’s why I think he’ll be an ML ballplayer one of these days.

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  7. It’s early folks. Guys will hit better than they are now. But it’s also pretty clear after just a few games that this squad has some pretty big holes.

    I don’t like one bit how unathletic our team is. I think our pen is overrated. We’ve already sent for rotation reinforcements. This is a tough group to make an attractive lineup out of.

    I’m having more fun following the guys at CC and Fresno. Our home team spotted the A’s four in the first last night and we all knew it was over. Fresno coughed up a half dozen in the first and came back to win 9-8.

    I think it is again safe to say that the present 25 man Astro roster will look much, much different come the dog days of summer. I continue to look forward to those dog days.

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  8. I will say this from an eyewitness account – watching the defensive abilities of the OF (and this was with Grossman in place of Rasmus) was fun. Marisnick and Springer so much ground so fast – the other team has to practically hit one to the fence to gap it to right-centerfield.
    Hopefully, daveb – guys get promoted and the big club gets some of this talent up here in a timely manner.

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  9. Wow, we’re only seven games into the season friends. It’s not as bad as Gattis and it’s not as good as Springer’s game-saving catches. While there have been some not-so-fun times in the first week, I’m not in panic mode. I think Hinch will figure it out. Feldman will figure it out. Altuve has already figured it out after a ‘slow” start. Springer will figure it out. Keuchel and McHugh are already at the front of the line.

    I’m still hopeful, but not convinced that Gattis can figure out DH. You may have to sacrifice some “D” in the outfield and give him a game or two there to get in his routine. Hopefully.

    Watch phrases of the day:

    * Can Cartis Cutit?
    * Don’t panic.
    * Enjoy Hooks and Grizzlies.
    * Wait for it…
    * Don’t buy hair coloring or sharp objects.
    * Take a deep breath.
    * Unless he’s named Altuve or Keuchel or McHugh, don’t get attached.
    * Gooday mate!

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  10. Oh I forgot to state that as I was walking into the park last night I was walking next to John McLain (the pro football chron.com (spit!!!!) writer not the New York cop trying to stop terrorists in Nakatomi Plaza). He was obviously on hold with one of the radio stations he ties to – because his cell phone was full volume with the feed from the station on commercial break. This was a game to drive him back to the Texans quickly….

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      • It took me a minute to figure that out – that is how you have to page through all his crap – like his 32 team rankings and stuff – good one

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  11. Hooks finally lose a game, 2-1. Correa hits a homer in the ninth but a two out rally ends with the tying run on third and the Hooks’ twelfth strikeout.

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    • I blame me – I mention the Hooks’ stats in the same paragraph as the Astros and boom – they start striking out and stop scoring runs.

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      • They faced a top 10 prospect starter with a mid nineties fastball and two relievers with mid nineties stuff. Man, wish we had some people in our organization who could recognize and develop pitchers with big fastballs. When we do find one we have to trade him because we don’t know how to get him to throw it over the plate(see Rhiner Cruz, Folty, Fields, Peacock).

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      • Yeah, I’d like to have some of those high heater guys again. Ground balls are nice, but nothing like watching a Seaver, a JR or a Ryan own a game. Or a Wagner to K the side in the 9th. Can’t we draft some real hard throwers and turn them into pitchers?

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  12. And the lineup du jour.

    * Altuve 2B.
    * Springer RF.
    * Lowrie SS.
    * Gattis DH.
    * Valbuena 3B.
    * Carter 1B.
    * Castro C.
    * Rasmus LF.
    * Marisnick CF.

    Peacock activated from DL and on the hill.

    With all that, I just realized that the Grizzlies will need to make a spot on the active roster for Wojo, since Peacock didn’t take up one of the official 25 spots… Hmmm.

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  13. Let me suggest – if you are scoring – when Villar throws to Conger, go ahead and write down “E” and you can fill in the number later. I feel like an Aggie today. I watched the replay and I should not have bet double or nothing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Let’s face it with a team BA of .191 – any hit needs to be rewarded. Meanwhile even with yesterday’s mess the team ERA is 2.82.
      So it makes sense we punish the guy whose ERA went from 9.00 to 4.50 rather than from 1.35 to 6.17.
      It all makes sense if you disconnect your brain and relax.

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    • That one was nasty – doubly so in person – the best thing to hang your hat on was Wojos performance and now he’s back down.
      So, Nance, pitches for insurance, audio books by the Nanny, crown replacement with out anesthesia….

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      • Yes, Dan, I forgot that you actually paid good money to witness that embarrassment. What will you take tonight to relieve your PVSD [ post-Villar-ic Stress Disorder]?

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  14. Nope and 0-14 know in the last 2 games with RISP. pathetic . Im already changing my win total for the year from 83 to 72 maybe.

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  15. Going back to Kevin’s comment about Gattis swinging on the same plane, add Chip’s comment that he needs to pay LF to break the slump. Question: Will he hold his glove in one spot and it will be up to the other team to hit the ball into his glove?

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  16. On a serious note (not really) I will say that Gattis has hit several balls for long outs and Carter has a few too. But those two have taken swings at pitches that what goes through my mind is — the pitch did not start there, there was no way the pitch could end up there so what we they even trying to do? But they do have good form. So style points are there.

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  17. Can Gattis play 1B? Carter hit better as the DH last year and maybe he prefers playing (should I use the word playing when referring to the DH) DH and Gattis needs to be in the field, but I like our OF and don’t want El Oso Cubbie in LF.

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    • I’ve actually liked seeing Carter play 1B – doing a good job from what I’ve seen. But I know what you are saying about the hitting. I know Carter hit best in 2014 when he was the DH.

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  18. So to borrow a Sheldon Cooper question: “Why is always about you?” Who had you rather be? Yankees payroll $216 Mill (Record 3-5) Nats $163 Mill (2-6) Astros $70 Mill (3-5) or the A’s (never mind)

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    • Love Big Bang Theory – Jim Parsons (Sheldon) is from Houston. He’s so techno savvy and so bad at sports maybe he could find a spot in our front office.

      Like

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