That was a strong effort this afternoon/evening by the boys in brick red. Lance got us going early with a bullet over the fence in left center. Lance has been trying to go the other way quite a bit lately and he was finally able to hit one hard. If you catch a replay, watch as he closes that front shoulder at the last second before the uncoil. Amazing adjustment made by a professional hitter. Soon after that, the rains came again. Roy had the chance to throw 17 pitches for 1 scoreless inning. After the game resumed 97 excrutiating minutes later, Oswalt and Jurrjens had to turn the game over to the bullpens. And on this night, the Astros(10-14) were just flat out better at executing.
The Braves (11-12) first turned to Buddy Carlyle in the third. Chipper Jones, who made 2 errors in the game, was directly responsible for 2 of the 3 runs given up by Carlyle. He flubbed a grounder by Tejada (0/4) that cost the Braves a pair of outs. Hunter (3/4) then had a great AB, fouling off 5 pitches in the sequence before rolling one through the right side for a single, loading the bases. After getting a pop fly from Blum, Ivan Rodriguez (2/4, 1 RBI) lined a sharp single to right scoring Carlos Lee.
Coop then pinch hit for Paulino, who had done an adequate job coming out of the pen for the first time this year. Erstad then got a pitch to drive and that resulted in a Sac Fly scoring Tejada and moving up Hunter. The third run of the inning came next as a result of Azz Mat (2/5, 1 RBI) driving in Pence with a single to center.
The parade of relievers continued for the rest of the game with Byrdak (W, 2.1), Sampson (H, 1.2), Brocail (H, 1.0) and LaHawk (1.0) combining to hold the Braves scoreless for the final 6 frames.
The final run of the game came on a pair of extra base hits from Pudge and Bourn off Atlanta reliever James Parr.
Some Final Toughts:
Everyone in the order had a hit tonight except Miggy.
This season when the Astros play in rain delayed games in Atlanta during the Month of May, and leave 16 men on base, they are 1-0. Hard to believe, right?
The Staff's combined line: 9 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 9 K
Chris Sampson managed to catch a hard grounder with his ankle. The early report says it's just a bruise. He might be out a day or two for swelling.
The rotation will be completely jumbled after today. Sounds like Roy will be pitching Sunday. We'll update in the morning.
MAN OF THE MATCH : Pudge, great game offensively, but really did a great job handling all of the pitchers coop ran out there. Very cool.
GOAT DE JOUR: Miggy, you were the only AstBro that didn't come through with a hit. You are dangerously close to repeating the massive fall off you had last season, only it's starting 2 months earlier this year.