As predicted, Oswalt dominated the Reds, and Valverde blew a 1-0 lead in the ninth by giving up a 2-run jack to Ramon Hernandez, who is now hitting .192 - after his 1x3 day.
Oswalt: 6IP, 5H, 0ER, 4K:3BB
LaHawk: 1IP, 1H
Valderde: 1IP, 1H, 2ER, 1K:1BB - 1L
These things are going to happen. Hard-throwing closers are going to get hit hard every now and then. It just sucks that Roy is still winless after doing what he always does: Dominating the Reds.
Let's look at the 9th inning: Due up with a 1-0 lead is Jay Bruce, Edwin Encarnacion, and Ramon Hernandez.
Valverde gets Bruce to strike out swinging - on the 6th pitch
Encarnacion walks on four straight pitches
Hernandez, on a 1-2 pitch, takes Valverde to right deep on the 2nd pitch of the AB. It takes Valverde 11 more pitches to get out of the inning.
I'm concerned about how many pitches Valverde is throwing. And we'll look at that, at some point. I've got to create suspense.
Berkman saw 21 pitches in an 0x1, 3BB, 1RBI performance. Berkman walked, scoring Roy, creating all the offense for the Astros. Carlos Lee went 0x4 (that means Berkman is hitting .212, Lee? .189) with 6LOBs. Where did these six men come from?
1st inning: Struck out with Berkman on 1st (1)
4th inning: Lines into a double play with Bourn on 2nd (2), Berkman on 1st (3)
5th inning: Grounds out to short with the bases loaded (4, 5, 6)
That's four RISP that don't score with Lee at the plate, which is also not good if you're the cleanup hitter. Cleanup men are not to leave things dirty.
Man of the Match:
I'm going back-and-forth on this between Berkman who, in the absence of hits, is at least getting on base; or Roy-O for throwing six dominant innings. Let's give it to Roy.
Goat of the Game:
Toss-up between Lee and Valverde. Since this was a pitcher's duel, we'll give it to Valverde, for blowing Roy's win.