H-Town Sports

Houston Sports Blog - Real sports cities have TWO Conference USA teams

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Patton Promoted to Corpus

Now the Astros will win games, for sure, since Fernando Nieve was (finally) shipped out to Round Rock after last night's incredibly embarrassing rout at the hands of the New York Mets, a move intended to make room for Brandon Backe on the 25 man roster. Mike Gallo also (surprisingly) cleared waivers and (unfortunately) accepted an assignment to Round Rock, clearing room for Backe on the 40 man roster.

Nieve threw two scoreless innings on Friday night and was understandably frustrated by the club's decision to demote him. Nieve had allowed only two runs in his last ten ninnings of relief work and is certainly not the root of the Astros' problems. The offense is clearly the problem, not the bullpen. A lineup that cannot muster a single run against the likes of John Maine or more than two runs against Carlos Marmol cannot be expected to win games on a regular basis, no matter if Christy Mathewson is on the mound. Orlando Hernandez versus Brandon Backe is not a matchup that favors the Astros today, either. Backe was not impressive at all in his rehab starts for the Express. It will be interesting to watch the Astros' front office's reaction through the weekend. The Astros go into play Saturday five games behind the Reds in the Wildcard race and nine games behind the Cardinals in the NL Central.

AAA: Chris Sampson had one bad inning, allowing four runs in the seventh inning in a 4-3 loss to Omaha. Brian Gordon had two home runs for the Express. Jason Lane got the night off.

: A late rally fell short, as the Hooks lost 7-4 to Midland. Ronnie Martinez was roughed up in his second Double-A start. The Hooks were down 7-0 going into the bottom of the ninth but managed to get the tying run to the plate before being finally put down. Jonny Ash and Hunter Pence each had two hits in a losing effort. In an exciting, if expected development, Troy Patton was promoted from High A Salem to join the Hooks and will make his Hooks' debut on Tuesday at San Antonio. Ricky Bennett, the Astros' farm director, calls Patton "tougher than anybody we've got in our system."

High A
: Salem shut out Potomac 5-0 behind Rory Shortell. Ole Sheldon had a home run and five RBI and Beau Torbert had three hits.

Low A
: Lexington was rained out.

Short Season A
: The Valley Cats lost their second consecutive game, this one 2-1 to Aberdeen. RF Jordan Parraz had a two-hit night for Tri City, who is retiring #21 in honor of the newest big leaguer in Houston, Matt Albers, who became the first Valley Cat to reach the majors when he was called up earlier this week.

: Greenville coasted past Bluefield 6-1. Polin Trinidad continued to dominate with five one-hit innings, running his record to 3-0 and his ERA to 0.25.

Zobrist/Talbot Watch
: Ben Zobrist was 0-2 with two walks on Friday night, and he made a throwing error (his second error since the trade. By the way, his next-door neighbor at third base, BJ Upton, committed his 30th error of the season. Through nine games, Zobrist is 11-30 with three RBI and six runs scored, three steals, and seven walks versus three K's. He has an average of .367, an OBP of .486, a SLG of .367 and an OPS of .853.
Mitch Talbot is scheduled to start tonight for Montgomery against West Tennessee.
Aubrey Huff was 1-3 against the Mets Friday night and is 7-28 since being acquired by Houston. His splits are .250/.364/.429/.792. The Astros are 3-5 since the trade.


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