Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Lindstrom or Lind-storm?

Astros closer Matt Lindstrom has been making a art of choking away a lead or a tie ball game as of lately. Here are a two reasons why.

Ouch: His back hurts! As manager, Brad Mills, said. "He isn't one to pass up a weight room." Meaning Lindstrom is a gym rat and probably takes out his frustration of a tough outing by lifting a lot. As a ex-gym rat I can tell you it is a very good release, but as with anything, it's only good in moderation. All that lifting combined with what I'm guessing is a lack of sleep and a hectic travel schedule is more than enough to cause a couple a back spasms. I can speak from experience on how hard it is to play, let alone pitch with your back muscles trying to what feels like breaking your own vertebrae. Astros mlb.com writer Brian McTaggart reported that Lindstrom purchased a bed in the $5,000 dollar range to help. Very wise investment if you ask me.

Natural High: Closers are adrenaline junkies. Everyone has heard of the "fight or flight" response. Closers genetically always fight. Have you ever wondered why you don't bring a closer into a non-save situation? Or why when they are brought into a non-save situation they botch it up into a save? It's because they need the rush and love the pressure.

I hate to say the words "modern day closers" because the idea of a closer is still pretty new to baseball. So new that you can actually see a difference in the motions and arsenal of pitches. Closers like Mario Rivera, Trevor Hoffman, and Billy Wagner, and I'll throw in Brad Lidge for good measure, have a motion very similar to a starter but have one very different quality; they have a pitch that breaks down in the "zone" causing batters to either strike out or ground out.

On the other hand, we look at closers that have abnormal mechanics. Francisco Rodriguez, Jose Valverde, and Matt Lindstrom have a more "jerky" motion than what is considered normal. They too have one thing in common; when they were born the baseball gods reached down and turned their throwing arm into a lightning bolt (to quote the movie "Bull Durham"). I honestly believe that when Matt throws a pitch out of the wind up, he prays that it winds up in the area the catcher put his mitt.

Lindstrom is a good closer. Don't talk about his blown saves because he hasn't been put into true pressure situations (Astros are not in a play off race). He and his good friend, Uncle Charlie, will come through when the time is set.

It's hot. It's humid. It's Houston. Thanks for reading. I don't proof read so call me out on Twitter.

Friday, July 30, 2010

It's hot. it's humid. It's Houston. Berkman is a Yankee. Roy is a Philly and we have a couple of minor league guys just waiting to get a starting job. J.A. Happ will fill the gap for the rest of the season but will by no means be a true Astro. You have to have a do something spectacular to be loved so quickly in this town.

Off the top of your head, Can you tell me the short stop for the Astros in the summer of 2005? it was Adam Everett. Now if i say "Who was playing first base, second base, or catcher?" We all know who those guys, and what sucks about it, we still have that hang over. These two trades are the wake up call that we needed. All we need is a good breakfast to get us started.

With any hang over, the best way to go about it is with a lot of water and a fatty yet nutrious breakfast. We have our water. Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn are the cool refreshing drink that Astros fans have been band-wagoning on for the past two seasons, only if we could get rid of that damn head ache known as Carlos Lee.

The good part of the hang over is the scrambled eggs, sausage links, bacon strips, pancakes or waffles, and the strong cup of coffee to get you going. Chris Johnson is our scrambled eggs. He is the first "rookie" that we look at with high batting numbers and will flash the leather because he has been there. He acts like he has been there before, he's a staple. The sausage links are the shorts stops, Sanchez and Manzella. Sanchez has been playing above what we would expect, but there is a reason why Tommy Manzella was our starting 6. Manzella flashes the leather and has been listening to Bagwell while in the minor leagues. We all love Bags for the home runs but we forget how great of a situational hitter he was and that is why Tommy should be Jeff's shadow while on the DL. Ah, Bacon. Brett Wallace didn't get a hit in his first major league start but is a blue ribbon player. He looked so nervous in his AB's that he might as well been hitting aspirin with a broomstick. Let's face it. Playing first base for the Houston Astros means you have pretty big shoes to fill. Pancakes. I love me some pancakes. Our bench is that part of the team you look forward to towards the end of the game. JMike rips the ball from the right side and Blummer rips it from the left, either way the opposing team has to waste a pitcher in their bull pen. The Jolt is Jason Bourgeois. He can run down a fly ball in left (where he should be starting). He can steal bases like a frat boy with ruffies, and probably has the stones to do a straight steal of home. He is the shock that the Houston loyal need to get our ears perking again.

I didn't have anyone proof read this so correct my mistake and comment/bitch at me on twitter. @brentjwallace