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Wandy Keeping Astros Afloat, Barely

"When I was a kid I used to collect baseball cards and a kid talked me into trading a Duke Snider for a Gene Hermanski. I shoud have never made that deal." - Ben Stone, Law & Order

Boy we could do with trading a few Gene Hermanskis for a few Duke Sniders.

The most astonishing factoid from Steve Campbell's links segment today is that the Astros are 4-1 in Wandy Rodriguez's starts since April 27th and 4-15 in everybody else's. And Rodriguez's run support is a ghastly 3.16 runs per game. And that one loss was the eight-inning shutout of the Braves. If not for Brian McCann's solo home run off Mark Melancon it would be 5-0. 

Give that man a raise!

Oh yeah, we already gave him one. 

Well, trade him for a Duke Snider before he catches the loser's lurgy off the rest of the 25-man roster. 

Rodriguez was hardly vintage last night, but for two mistakes, he did enough against a tough Blue Jays offense, limiting their scoring to two solo home runs. Toronto is fourth in the AL in runs scored, and second in home runs incidentally. He kept Jose Bautista in check, but the truth is he looks a lot less scary with the bases empty. 

The biggest puzzle of all is why his bWAR is at 1.9 (his fWAR is 0.7), good for seventh in the NL behind Halladay, Johnson, Lohse, Lincecum, Hamels and Kershaw. Must be all those baserunners and luck or something. 

This is the point when Tim McCarver pipes up with some drivel about pitchers being better when they have narrow leads compared to large ones. 

Among qualified starters Rodriguez's left on base percentage, at 84.0, is the highest in the NL this season, which means once men get on base he starts to turn the screws, or perhaps its the fault of an incompetent defense for letting them get on in the first place. And he's allowed nine home runs already, tied for fifth most in the league. 

The other thing he has done well is pitched deep into games. You know Brad Mills gives him an extra pat on the back if he can go seven or eight innings. In his seven starts he has gone eight innings twice, seven innings four times and six innings once.

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.