The Killer L’s Strike Again


Wandy Rodriguez pitched a fantastic game for the Astros tonight but saw it ruined by the Killer L’s (one of them anyway). Brandon Lyon came into a tie game in the 8th inning tonight against the New York Mets. Lyon pitched brilliantly throwing 10 of 15 pitches for strikes in a perfect inning including 2 punch outs. Lyon’s ‘L’ partner, Matt Lindstrom, did not pitch quite as well. Lindstrom needed 18 pitches to get one out and gave up 3 hits, a walk, and 2 earned runs before being relieved by Gustavo Chacin. Lindstrom picked up the loss as the Astros went down 3-1.

This is just another wasted outing by Wandy Rodriguez. And according to Pitchfx, Wandy brought a little extra something to Minute Maid tonight. For the season, Wandy’s average speeds for his fastball, curve, and change are 89.5, 75.5, and 84.2 respectively. Tonight against the Mets they were 90.6, 76.5, and 85.5 respectively. This may not look like a huge difference but over seven innings and 110 pitches, these velocity increases are substantial. Rodriguez looked great tonight allowing just 4 hits, 3 walks, and 1 earned run while striking out 6. The increased velocities are also much closer to his stellar 2009 season where his fastball averaged 90.1 and his curve 76.7.

Tonight’s performance dropped Wandy’s ERA to 4.04, the lowest it’s been since May 1. Overall, Rodriguez’s stats don’t look too bad on the year despite some big struggles along the way mostly thanks to a recent hot streak. In his last 5 starts, Wandy has allowed just 3 earned runs over 35.1 innings lowering his ERA over a full run from 5.11. The first few months of the season were a bit of an anomaly for Wandy but he seems to have rediscovered what made him one of the best pitchers in the National League just a season ago. Which is great news for the Houston Astros.