No way. Mike Hampton got the win, and Matt Cain suffered his third loss in a 4-3 win over the Giants. Pitching into trouble isn't news for Hampton, but last night he actually pitched his way out of it, including a bases-loaded jam in the 6th. The Astros got some big time hits from some unlikely sources and the bullpen was fairly solid (Valverde just can't help but make people nervous) in preserving the win. Good team effort, and these are the games the Astros are going to need in order to keep this season interesting, October-wise.
Let's do the thing:
Hampton: 6IP, 8H/1ER (2R), 6K:2BB, 17/28 first-pitch strikes, 30 non-contact strikes (17 called:13 swinging)
Sampson: 1IP, 1K, 2/3 FPS, 3/5 NCS (1c:2s)
Arias: 1IP, 1H, 2/4 FPS, 3/11 NCS (2c:1s)
Valverde: 1IP, 2H/1ER, 1K, 4/5 FPS, 5/11 NCS (2c:3s)
Hampton made one of his Not Top Ten plays when he took a shoulder dive trying to scoop the ball to first baseman Geoff Blum, but whatever. His first-inning woes continued with three straight hits, one of them for an RBI by Garko. Valverde relieved Arias for the 9th inning, and got Ishikawa to strike out swinging, allowed a single to left by Eugenio Velez - who later scored on a Pablo Sandoval double. With the tying run in scoring position, Bengie Molina grounded out to third to end the game.
Astros hitters didn't put a run up until the 5th, when Blum tagged an 0-2 pitch over the fence for a solo homer, and then got two in the 6th with Matsui's 5th homer of the year. Carlos Lee knocked in Pence for what proved to be the winning run. It's also worth noting that Pence got himself another outfield assist when he threw out Edgar Renteria at home in the 2nd inning. The top four of the lineup were a combined 6x16 with three runs and three RBI. Rest of the lineup? 1x16.
Man of the Match: Mike Hampton. I'll admit I was terrified of this matchup, because it looked so uneven. The Astros got some lucky knocks off a solid Matt Cain, and Hampton shut the Giants' offense down.
Goat of the Game: I think this one's going to Pudge. He was 0x3 with another K. He's now hitting .248/.278/.391, and has only four walks since July 1 (155 plate appearances), and is .232/.252/.338 since then...