Someday soon a man wearing a suit should appear in the Houston Astros clubhouse. After confirming the players are indeed the 0-2 Astros, the man should then give them a stack of documents and say three ominous words:
"Consider yourselves served!"
The documents would then state that Roy Edward Oswalt and Wandy E. Rodriguez are suing Astros hitters for an unspecified amount of money for one simple reason:
Lack of run support.
Let's face it, 'Stros fans. Both Oswalt and Rodriguez have pitched better games than they have to open the season, but both pitched well enough to win. Decent run support and the Astros could be 2-0 instead of 0-2.
Yeah, yeah, it's the San Francisco Giants, you might say. Great attitude. Why not just roll over and acquiesce to a last-place finish and a 60-102 record?
Here's what bothered me about tonight's 3-0 loss to the Giants. Barry Zito, who's been a disappointment since coming to San Francisco, looked like Tom Glavine against the Astros: six innings, three hits, no runs, one walk and five strikeouts.
This can't be the same Barry Zito who in his three years with the Giants has been 31-43 with a 4.56 ERA.
I wonder what the cause for Houston's offensive struggles is. Sean Berry, the hitting coach? Uncoachable hitters? A lack of overall talent? Is Tal's Hill causing a distraction? Are the batting helmets too tight or too lose? Is it the humidity? Is the ghost of Marvin Zindler* whispering into the ears of Astros hitters at the plate, "SLIIIIIIIME in the ice machine!"?
It's entirely possible the Astros hitters could get hot and start scoring seven runs per game, but it's also possible these first two games are what we can expect from the team this season. Maybe it'll be a wake-up call for the Astros to be aggressive in drafting and signing good hitters along with aggressively pursuing free agents instead of letting them get signed by other clubs.
The next team scheduled to face the Astros is the Philadelphia Phillies. I imagine their pitchers are giddy with excitement, thrilled at the prospect of getting in some great stats at the expense of the hapless Astros hitters.
Maybe I'll be proven wrong, but unless the Astros' bats wake up, this will be a very long season. It'll also be one that gives Rodriguez incentive to take his pitching services elsewhere.
Brad Mills, I'm sorry you haven't been given a better roster to work with so far.
* In all seriousness, Marvin Zindler (who died of pancreatic cancer in 2007) is greatly missed. I've never seen a TV personality like him and doubt I ever will.
Richard Zowie, a Bleacher Report blogger, thinks the Astros would make perfect legal guardians since they can't hit anybody. Post comments here or to tell Richard directly you think he's an off-base moron, drop him a line at email@example.com.