Astros ace Wandy Rodriguez gave up four runs — two earned — and walked five in 3 2/3 innings Thursday in a loss to the Mets. And this is what passes for one of his better spring outings.
The loss left Rodriguez 1-2 with an 8.10 ERA in three starts this spring. Since 2006, the left-hander is 4-17 with a 7.44 ERA during Grapefruit League action. He’s allowed 96 runs — 86 earned — in 104 innings. During that same timeframe, he’s 63-65 with a 3.89 ERA in the regular season.
What makes it especially odd is that Rodriguez turns it on the moment the regular season starts. April is actually his best month, as he has a 3.17 ERA in 28 career starts. His next best ERA in any month is a 3.81 mark in July.
So, next time Wandy says he’s just working on a pitch after one of his poor spring outings, one should probably take him at his word. It’s not at all unusual for pitchers to post lousy spring ERAs and then get it going once the opening bell rings, but no one does it quite as consistently as Rodriguez.
People like to decry “participation trophies” as a harbinger of the end of civilization as we know it, but they beat the heck out of people who think youth sports is the most important thing going. Because it’s those sorts of misguided souls who start ugly stuff like that which went down at a baseball game for seven and eight-year-olds in Lakewood, Colorado over the weekend.
As usual it was the parents — not the kids — who caused the ugliness. What sparked it? A call by the umpire. The umpire who is 13-years-old by the way. Because, obviously, the stakes were that high.
It’s unclear how a disputed call escalated into the full-blown brawl you see below, but I’m guessing the call was merely pretext for some pretty horrible people to do some pretty awful things in front of their small children. Predispositions to be jackwagons are hard to shake.
Particularly awful is the sucker punch the guy in the teal shorts and white t-shirt unleashed, which led to what appears to be a serious injury to the guy he punched. Lakewood police are circulating the video in an effort to get more information about the fight and, particularly, to track down the guy who threw that sucker punch.
(h/t Yahoo Sports)