Hunter's Hill

Jesus Ortiz Can Stuff It

I have a modest proposal. If Drayton McLane is going to insist on keeping that stupid-ass hill in centerfield, then I suggest that it be renamed. No more Tal’s Hill. It should now be known as Hunter’s Hill.

Have you guys been watching the plays that he makes on that thing? Willy Taveras never made those kind of plays. Neither did Craig Biggio. Or Roger Cedeno. Or Richard Hidalgo. Or Lance Berkman. Or Chris Burke. Or any of the other poor unfortunates who have been forced to play Minute Maid Park’s centerfield.

Tuesday night, Philadelphia’s Ryan Howard hit a blast to deep deep deep centerfield. It was a shot that would’ve been a home run anyplace else. But this is Houston. And Pence had to negotiate that fucking hill. Then he had to turn. And then he’s standing right next to that fucking flag pole. And he had to find the ball. And he hauled it in, ending the inning.

The Astros would win the game on Tuesday night. Thanks to my man Hunter. Who not only made the above-mentioned play, but also hit the first pitch in the bottom of the 13th inning for a game-winning home run.

The Astros trailed 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth. There was one out and the bases were loaded when Carlos Lee hit the ball toward short. Jimmy Rollins tossed the ball to Chase Utley who got the out at second base then proceeded to throw it to Ryan Howard at first. Now, even though replays would clearly show that the ball beat the runner, Carlos Lee was called safe and the run scored.

The Astros luck didn’t hold for Wednesday. Hunter Pence homered again. And so did Eric Munson. But the Astros only scored three runs. The Phillies found a way to eek out eight runs. Eeked out eight runs by having Ryan Howard homer twice. By having Jimmy Rollins and Wes Helms and Pat Burrell homer.

But why quibble. The Astros won a second straight series. And the team’s now three for four for this second half of the season. However, the team’s still only 37-48 for the season. The Astros are still sitting alone in fifth place in the NL Central, and the team’s still 11.5 games behind the Brewers.

Next in line for the Astros is a four-game series at Minute Maid against the NL East leading New York Mets. Jason Jennings gets the start tonight, pitching against John Maine.

Oh, and a little side note before I go. Could someone please tell me how much longer the Chron’s going to allow Jesus Ortiz’s unprofessional behavior to continue? Ortiz is now requesting that Astros fans stuff the ballot box in order to get Roy Oswalt on the NL All-Star Game roster. I’ve got nothing against Roy Oswalt going to the All-Star Game (I do believe that San Diego’s Chris Young is more deserving of the spot). What bugs me is that Ortiz isn’t a columnist. He’s a reporter. And as a reporter, he’s not supposed to be cheerleading, and he’s not supposed to be opining in his work. Yet, that’s what he’s doing. Yeah, I know that this isn’t his most egregious offense of the season, but still, the man’s bugging me, and I really wish that the Chron would do something about it already. – John Royal

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