It only took two swings of the bat, but it was enough for the Astros as they sent the Pirates to their 12th straight road loss in a 4-2 win. Carlos Lee hit a two-run jack in the fourth, and Miggs took Ohlendorf deep for a two-run jack in the sixth. Despite getting nine hits, the Pirates only got two across in the loss. Let's do the thing:
Moehler: 6IP, 7H/2ER, 4K:3BB, 17/27 first-pitch strikes, 20/59 non-contact strikes (15 called:5 swinging)
Fulchino: 1IP, 1K, 1 win, 2/3 FPS, 4/7 NCS (2c:2s)
LaHawk: 1IP, 2H, 2/5 FPS, 3/7 NCS (2c:1s)
Valverde: 1IP, 3/3 FPS, 2/7 NCS (1c:1s)
Astros pitchers threw first-pitch strikes to 24 of 38 Pirates batters, and Moehler threw another quality start, lowering his ERA to just a tick above 5.00, and if he gets under 5.00 for the year, that would qualify as a surprising turn of events. How did it happen? Moehler got 10 groundball outs, compared to three flyball outs.
Offensively, there wasn't much happening for the Astros, except for those two swings. Carlos Lee's homer was with two outs, and his 94 RBI put him within tapping distance of 100 RBI for the season. This is how we know Ross Ohlendorf got a raw deal: Pirates batters saw 139 pitches in eight innings. Astros batters saw just 97, in nine. Whoops. The Astros also had a grand total of zero at bats with RISP.
Keppinger was back in the lineup after missing five (six?) games with a bad back. Tommy Manzella still hasn't seen any starting action, as the young'uns sat on the bench and talked about Round Rock, and road trips to Nashville, Oklahoma City, and Portland.
Pitch Count Punk: Chris Coste - 4 pitches in 3 PAs (0x3)
Pitch Count Hero: Lance Berkman - 16 pitches in 3 PAs (1x2, BB)
Man of the Match: Brian Moehler. He's given up six earned runs in his last 17 innings, and hasn't allowed more than 3ER in a start since August 10 (six starts)
Goat of the Game: How about Chris Coste? Those are some short at-bats, with nothing to show for it...