H-Town Sports

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

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Albers, Sampson Help Express Chase Postseason Dreams

AAA: Round Rock 3, Memphis 2 - While Wandy Rodriguez, Chad Qualls and Brad Lidge continue to flounder, Matt Albers and Chris Sampson combined to allow only six hits and two runs while striking out seven (all K's to Albers). Sampson had one bad relief outing against Kansas City (six hits and three runs in two innings) and three great performances (13.1 IP, 10 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 4 K) before being returned to rot in Round Rock, while Albers gave a great effort in long relief against the Reds and struggled in his one chance to start at San Diego before heading to Dell Diamond for the AAA stretch drive. Eric Bruntlett went 2-5 to elevate his average into Ausmus territory (.228).

AA: The Hooks had their last night off this regular season. Brian McTaggart mentions Marc Saccamanno, whose HR ratio is almost equal to Hunter Pence this season, in his minor-league notebook.

High A: The Hooks also had their final off day of the regular season.

Low A: Lexington 3, Lake County 2 - Another nice outing for Brian Bogusevic (6 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 3 K).

Short Season A: Tri-City 2, Lowell 0 - Casey Hudspeth followed Chris Salamida's lead from Sunday, combining with Bud Norris on a shutout (with 12 K's).

Rookie: Greenville had their last night off before their season wraps up on August 30.

Zobrist/Talbot Watch: Ben Zobrist was 0-5, reaching on a pair of fielding errors, to snap his three game hitting streak. Aubrey Huff had a pair of solo home runs in three at-bats before being removed in the seventh inning for a defensive replacement (Morgan Ensberg). Huff has seven HR in 120 ABs with the Astros, and it can safely be said that his numbers have been right around his career norms since coming over from the AL (.267 avg, .353 obp, .508 slg, .861 ops). The question in my mind was not whether or not Huff was a good hitter - he is - but whether or not the fit was right and the price made sense. Mike Lamb was providing nearly identical offensive output and has now been relegated to platoon duty (as has Huff), while the same old, same old problems continue to haunt the team.


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