Bonehead Play by Villar Rings Bell for Correa Now

“CALLING CARLOS CORREA!
CALLING CARLOS CORREA!”

“READY OR NOT,
YOUR TIME HAS COME,
TOMORROW IS TODAY!”
(EVEN IF YOU NOW ARE, AT AGE 20,
THE YOUNGEST PLAYER IN THE BIG LEAGUES.)

It was going to happen soon, anyway. Jonathan Villar just helped Astros management ring the call-up for Carlos Correa from Fresno about a week earlier than many of us expected.

It happened, as you probably know, in that classic pre-2015 Astros pitching and defense meltdown that rescued the club yesterday from the joy of victory and delivered them to the agony of defeat. And Mr. Villar at shortstop made a primary contribution to something that last year was as predictable as the use of another tissue from the box extraction by someone with a Houston environmental sinus problem. – The Astros lost their fourth game in a row for the first time in 2015, incidentally completing their three-game sweep loss to the Blue Jays in Toronto.

Closer Luke Gregerson did his part by blowing his first save since April 24th. Luke just had one of those days in which his impression of “Mr. Hittable” simply served him up as bait-fish to the hungry Blue Jay batters. For every pitcher who loses his stuff in a game, and especially on the road, every town is “a town without pity”. Toronto just ate up Luke on Sunday, only stopping because a walk-off two run single by Chris Colabello in the bottom of the 9th had given the Jays a 7-6 lead for the win.

And that winning run could not have scored had not Astros shortstop Villar not given him the opportunity to be a base runner. earlier in the inning. With Jose Reyes running at second base, Jose Bautista popped a high infield fly that seemed to be coming down directly over second base. Based upon the body language of Jose Altuve, it appeared on TV that the ball was  taking a downward path that was aiming slightly to the first base side of the bag. Altuve seemed to be calling for it and the fact he did was soon confirmed by the Alan Ashby-Geoff Blum broadcast team.

No matter. Villar was coming for the ball no matter what. You could see Altuve backing off at the last second. Fine, except for one thing. Villar was going to have to either go around or through base runner Reyes to reach the ball in time for a catch. Villar tried to go straight to the ball’s descent path, but he collided with runner Reyes on second. Villar tried to reach around Reyes for the catch, but the ball that Altuve could have easily caught, had he not been rhino-run out of the way, simply did what gravity had in mind for all the while. It dropped to earth. The eventual winning run in Jose Bautista was now safe at first.

And so the thing that was going to happen, probably has now happened a few days sooner. Carlos Correa, the poster child for all the club’s future talent is on the way. Tomorrow is today. The future is now. And the timing probably was aided by the loss that slipped up on the Astros yesterday. It was a loss aided considerably by Villar’s bonehead play at shortstop on Sunday.

Remember those concerns that some fans and writers were expressing about a month ago? They were along the lines of “what if the Astros don’t call up Correa in time – and the club goes on to miss the playoffs by one lousy game?”

If that happens, we, at least, now know when that “one lousy game” loss differential occurred. It happened yesterday in Toronto, Sunday, June 7. 2015, when the Astros blew a game to the Blue Jays, 7-6, that they should have won. And might have won, had Carlos Correa already been playing shortstop instead of Jonathan Villar.

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2 Responses to “Bonehead Play by Villar Rings Bell for Correa Now”

  1. Tom Hunter Says:

    Yesterday’s ninth inning was a nightmare. Carlos Correa will have his baptism of fire tonight against Sox lefty Chris Sale’s nasty slider. Hope it’s a memorable debut.

  2. Rick B. Says:

    Now Vincent Velasquez has been called up from Corpus Christi to make his pitching debut on Wednesday. Since the Astros are ahead of schedule by competing for a playoff spot this year (yes, I know it’s still early, early, early), it’s good to see them bringing up the young guys. If they fall flat in their first MLB go-around, at least they are getting valuable experience. If they succeed, then the Astros will have some recognizable names again, which should definitely create more excitement and support for the team. I’m definitely excited that they’re going for it this year.

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