Astros-Phillies: Don’t Blame the Bullpen

The Astros won two of the three weekend games against the Philadelphia Phillies, splitting the series two games apiece.

The Astros lost 15-6 on Sunday afternoon because Ed Wade has done absolutely nothing to fix one of the worst starting rotations in major league baseball, and the team lost because Drayton McLane felt it was more important for the team to acquire the ethically challenged Miguel Tejada than it was to make any type of move for starting pitching – or middle relief pitching, which this team needs a lot of because the starting pitching is so bad.

Morons might denounce relievers Fernando Nieve and Dave Borkowski, but they should remember that Nieve and Borkowski wouldn’t even be needed if this team had some starters who could consistently go more than five innings. But this team doesn’t have that kind of pitching, which means the likes of Nieve and Borkowski are going to have to pitch a lot – go ahead, give me a name of someone in the minors the team should try.

The facts are simple. This team sucks. It’s constructed badly, with a lot of aging, overpriced position players, a lot of aging pitchers who shouldn’t even be in the majors, and except for three young, talented players who are already on the team, a system that is totally and completely devoid of young talent.

Go ahead and talk about how much fun it is watching a team score six runs night after night. But until the pitching staff shows a continued ability to hold the opposition to less than six runs a game, the winning just isn’t going to keep happening. Especially when the hitting begins to stop – as has been the case the past 10 games, where the Astros have gone five and five, which happens to coincide with Lance Berkman no longer being magic man, Kaz Matsui returning to his career crap stat numbers, and Carlos Lee’s average dropping far below his weight. It’s going to take more than Ty Wigginton finally deciding to earn his paycheck, and Hunter Pence returning to his stellar level of play from last season. And it’s going to take a hell of lot more than Eny Cabreja returning to the rotation this week.

Blame relievers Fernando Nieve and Dave Borkowski all you want. But it’s not their fault they suck. They have always sucked. Blame the men who failed to do anything to fix the situation.

The 29-23 Astros start the first of a three game series in St. Louis tonight with Shawn Chacon getting the start against Braden Looper. – John Royal


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