Well, well, well. Brian Moehler comes through with 6+ good innings, Berkman comes through with one good calf, and Carlos Lee comes through with one good swing of the bat, and the Astros take the opener of this important series, 3-2.
All the scoring came in the 4th inning. Moehler didn't allow a hit until the 3rd, when he got a groundball with two on and two out. In the 4th, Moehler got Pujols to groundout leading off the inning, then three straight hits - Ludwick single, Ankiel ground-rule double, and Molina single scoring Ludwick and Ankiel. And I bet you were all thinking, "Uh-oh."
In the bottom half of the inning, Tejada reached on an infield single, Berkman drew a walk. The Astros were just 1x3 with RISP, but the one was a big one: Carlos Lee deposited a homer in left field, and that was all that was necessary.
Coop said he wouldn't let Pujols beat them, and that's exactly what happened. Pujols came up in the top of the 5th with two out and Schumaker on 2nd. Moehler gave him the IBB, and Ludwick flied out to end the inning.
Moehler: 6.1IP, 6H/2ER, 5K:2BB, 15/27 first-pitch strikes, 24/64 non-contact strikes (16 called:8 swinging)
Wright: 0.1IP, 1/1 FPS, 0/1 NCS (1 pitch, 1 out)
Fulchino: 0.1IP, 1/1 FPS, 1/2 NCS (1 swinging)
LaHawk: 1IP, 2H/0ER, 1K, 2/4 FPS, 4/12 NCS (1c:3s)
Valverde: 1IP, 1H, 1K, 2/3 FPS, 5/8 NCS (3c:2s)
LaHawk got himself into a little bit of trouble in the 8th. Ryan Ludwick struck out swinging, but LaHawk's pitch got away from Pudge and he was safe at first. That was followed by an Ankiel single, so two on and one out in a one-run game. Yadier Molina up, already with 2RBI, but he grounds into a double play, inning over.
But the big story is how the Astros kept Pujols in check. Four at-bats, two ABs where he led off the inning, and he was walked the only time he was up with a runner on base.
Offensively, we've pretty much already taken care of it. The Astros only had five hits, three of them for extras with doubles by Berkman and Pudge, and Lee's homer. Michael Bourn was again 0x4, and he has 4 hits in his last 22 ABs.
Man of the Match: This is tough, because Lee and Moehler are equally deserving, but this one goes to Carlos Lee. One swing of the bat took care of all the offense needed for the win.
Goat of the Game: Back to Michael Bourn. 0x4, 2Ks, and ended the inning twice.