Thursday, April 16, 2009

Recap - G9 at Pittsburgh

That's what I'm talking about. The Astros finally get the big hits they need, and Russ Ortiz has an effective, if inefficient, start to his season. Every Astros position player contributed, spreading 10 hits over the entire lineup - even Russ Ortiz. Tejada had his second multi-hit game in as many days, and Lance chimed in with a 3-run blast in the 6th to break a 3-3 tie.

Ortiz: 4.2IP, 5H, 3ER, 2K:2BB
Wright: .1IP, 0H
Sampson: 1.2IP, 3H, 0ER, 0K:1BB
Byrdak: 1.1IP, 1H, 2K:0BB
LaHawk: 1IP, 1H

Ortiz looked rough in the first, giving up a leadoff double to Morgan, then a run-scoring WP two ABs later, a McLouth single and an Adam LaRoche double. He threw a lot of pitches, 99 to get through 21 batters, and the 12 first-pitch balls didn't help much, either (with seven of those ABs getting to 2-0). All five of the Pirates' hits off Ortiz went to right-center or right field.

And Sampson could have thrown fewer pitches if it wasn't for Freddy Sanchez' 17-pitch AB in the 7th in which he fouled off nine consecutive pitches with a 3-2 count.


Lots of Astros had strong ABs, which is nice to see. Keppinger got the start at 2B because Matsui's stiff back and went 1x2 with a triple and a walk. The Astros drew seven walks - two from Michael Bourn, who looks like he's living up to the buzz of having developed some plate discipline. Pence homered to left, and stole a base, as well. Blum went 1x5, but of his four hitless ABs, three of them were flyballs to center, so you feel like he's due to get some hits in there pretty soon.

Man of the Match:
Lance Berkman. The three-run homer in the 6th was the difference in the game.

Goat of the Game:
We'll give this one to Russ Ortiz. A run-scoring WP, 99 pitches to 21 batters (4.71ppb). Good thing the bullpen was solid, yet again.