Frustrations abound with Astros

The Astros had just swept the division-leading Cardinals in St. Louis and had themselves within 6 1/2 games of first place. Life was not good, but it was certainly as good as it could be for a team that endured two eight-game losing streaks in the first five weeks of the season.

But San Francisco has been nothing short of a nightmare for the Astros in recent years. They were crushed 22-0 in their first two games by the Bay last year and suffered an 8-2 loss in Friday’s series opener. Saturday’s game, which the Astros lost 2-1, brought out even more frustration.

They were 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 runners, including leaving the bases loaded in the ninth.

The big story was Roy Oswalt. He pitched his eighth consecutive quality start to begin the season, holding the Giants to six hits and two runs on a two-run homer. Of course, he was outdueled by Giants ace Tim Lincecum, who allowed four hits, five walks and one run in eight innings.

Oswalt was clearly upset about the lack of run support.

“I knew I needed to probably throw a shutout, you know, maybe we can get one [run],” he said. “A pitch backed up on me on a slider. I was trying to go down and away, and it backed up over the plate.”

Teammate Lance Berkman was asked point-blankly what he thought of Oswalt’s comments about the lack of run support: “We’re a team, you know what I’m saying?” he said. “As much as you want to cry for a guy not getting run support, it’s a team game. We win as a team, we lose as a team, and we lost today. I certainly understand his frustration, but it’s not like we’re not trying. We’re out there grinding them out and trying to score some runs, and it hasn’t happened.”

And with that, the 13-23 Astros will try to beat Barry Zito, who’s 5-1 with a 1.90 ERA, in Sunday’s series finale.


I wish today’s game had been on FSN so I could have seen Roy’s interview. Was he saying he knew they wouldn’t score runs because of Lincecum or because the offense has been so bad?

I love having Roy in an Astros uniform and I’d hate to see him go, but he deserves better than this. They need to trade him and let him pitch for a competitive team. It isn’t fair to keep him here, especially if he still plans on retiring when his contract is up, he deserves a ring.

Same goes for Berkman if he wants to leave, although that would probably sting a little bit more! It sucks that he has to accept blame for the lack of offense. As far as at-bats go, he’s barely out of spring training.

As much as I feel for Roy, I’m with Lance on this one: win as a team, lose as a team. Roy is understandably frustrated, but he’s coming across as a major whiner.

There’s no denying that Lincecum is an amazing pitcher and almost always a loss for any team facing him. However, I’m going to have to side with Berkman on this one. Roy giving up a two-run homer was a pretty big factor in the two runs they beat us with.

Oswalt has 8 quality starts and a 2-5 record, and is batting .231. Berkman is batting .244. Let’s see him pitch against Tim Lincecum and only give up two runs. Sheesh.

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