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The right foot

April 16, 2010

The Houston Astros, after starting off the season with an eight-game losing streak, finally got rookie manager Brad Mills his first Major League win with a 5-1 triumph over the Cardinals. Now with one win and eight losses, Houston is no longer the worst in baseball, as Baltimore stretched its losing streak to seven against Oakland yesterday to put its record at 1-9.

According to’s Nate Latsch, one of the main things the Astros did yesterday that was different than their eight losses was change the music in the clubhouse before the game… to Jason Michaels’ collection of *NSYNC and Backstreet Boys. And while at least it’s not the Jonas Brothers, I think listening to “Bye Bye Bye” and “I Want It That Way” before every game in hopes of a win would make me think, “you know, I think I’d rather just lose.”

But at least the Astros won, and Brad Mills got his first W. It’s about time for the former Red Sox bench coach, who undoubtedly had hoped for a bit more from the start of his managerial career. If he actually is Terry Francona’s protege as he is touted to be, I’m more than confident that he can turn it around a la 2005 Willie Randolph and make the Astros competitive again. Besides, Pittsburgh’s getting antsy not being in the basement.

Mike Pelfrey led the Mets to their first win in six days when he shut down the Rockies yesterday with seven scoreless innings. The big righty is pitching like the Mets hoped he would, and after two starts is their only starter with two wins and an ERA under 4 (his 1.38 impresses considerably more than Johan Santana’s 4.91). Pelfrey struck out six and, more importantly, walked none, which is always a bright spot for a Mets staff that finished second to last in the Majors last year in walks allowed and has already walked 37 batters this season, an average of 4.11 walks per nine innings. Just to make his day complete, Pelfrey also went 1-for-2 with a walk and an RBI to maintain his .500 average on the season. Still waiting for his first home run…

The Yankees’ Robinson Cano couldn’t have picked a better time to have a good game. The Yanks’ second baseman, who was named after Jackie Robinson, hit two home runs yesterday during his team’s 6-2 victory over Los Angeles of Anaheim. His performance came on a day when baseball honored the Dodgers’ Robinson, also primarily a second baseman during his career; now that’s something I bet even Cano couldn’t have wished for.

Javier Vazquez, though, seems to have gotten off on the wrong foot during his second tour of duty with the Yankees. Seemingly acquired purely because the Steinbrenners saw him succeeding with a team other than the Yankees, he had hoped to win the fans over from the last time the Steinbrenners did the exact same thing. However, he is 0-2 with a 9.82 ERA to start the year. The fact that he considered “unfair” that the home fans booed him after he gave up four earned in 5.1 innings in a loss to the Angels reinforces what the Yanks should already have known: some people are just not meant to pitch in New York.

Short hops: Kris Benson will make the start for the Arizona Diamondbacks tomorrow as their fifth starter. Enjoy Anna, fellas! She’s great in public relations… Toronto is still in first place after their 7-3 victory yesterday put them at 7-3 on the season. They are a half-game up on the Yanks and Rays… Jorge Cantu hit an RBI double yesterday to put his streak at ten straight games with a hit and an RBI to start off the season. Dating back to last year, he now has 14 such games in a row. The last time any player went that long was when Mike Piazza did it in 15 straight games in the middle of the 2000 season. I was at the thirteenth game in that streak.

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