The Troof has set us free. Bud Norris threw six strong innings and the Astros got some clutch hits from Jason, The Line Drive of Love, Michaels in a 6-3 win over the Brewers. Bud threw strikes three times to seven Brewers in the lineup, at least one every inning.
Norris: 6IP, 3H/2ER, 7K:5BB, 15/25 first-pitch strikes, 36 non-contact strikes (22 called:14 swinging)
Sampson: 0.2IP, 3H/1ER, 2K, 3/5 FPS, 5/12 NCS (3c:2s)
Byrdak: 0IP, 1BB, 1/1 FPS, 0 NCS
Fulchino: 1.1IP, 1H, 2K, 4/5 FPS, 8/13 NCS (5c:3s)
Valverde: 1IP, 1H, 1K, 1/3 FPS, 6/8 NCS (5c:1s)
It could have been ugly in the first. Norris walked Craig Counsell and gave up a Ryan Braun double to left. Counsell ended the play by foolishly running on Carlos Lee and getting nailed at home. Norris then settled in and got the next seven batters in a row. Things got a little hairy in the 4th/5th, when Counsell and Cameron walked, but got Frank Catalanotto to end the 4th. And then in the 5th when J.J. Hardy walked to leadoff the inning and then Jason Kendall gave the Brewers a 2-1 lead wih a homer to left. Anyhow, three of Norris' strikeouts ended the inning.
Reliever of the night is Jeff Fulchino, who came in and got four outs, and had to pick up Byrdak's walked batter.
Offensively, the Astros were aggressive, didn't take many pitches - 104 pitches in 33 plate appearances - but had it going on. Nine hits, two hits from four players - Tejada, Lee, Blum, and Michaels. Five of the Astros' six runs came on homers: Four RBI on two homers from Michaels (who raised his season RBI total from 9 to 13) and a Tejada solo shot, and a slightly different set of five runs came with two outs. Even Erstad came through with an RBI single after being activated from the DL.
But it wouldn't be a game without an Astros baserunning mistake. Carlos Lee was thrown out stretching a single into a double.
Pitch Count Hero: Erstad - 14 pitches in 3 PAs. Although, to be fair, Bud Norris can get a nod as he took 11 pitches in 2 PAs.
Pitch Count Punk: Matsui and Blum - 10 pitches in 4 PAs.
Man of the Match: Jason Michaels. Playing in place of Michael Bourn, comes up with 4RBIs.
Goat of the Game: Kaz Matsui. Leadoff man goes 0x4 and only sees 10 pitches.