Basically the only thing that would salvage this season for me is if the Astros finish ahead of the Cubs. And Roy threw 7 strong IPs to help that cause, as the Astros took game one of this series with a 5-3 win. The Astros did a rare job of beating up Rich Harden, and Carlos Lee was El Hombre of the night. Let's do the thing:
Roy: 7IP, 6H/2ER, 3K:1BB, 22/28 first-pitch strikes, 24/68 non-contact strikes (15 called:9 swinging)
LaHawk: 1IP, 1H/1ER, 1HR, 2/4 FPS, 4/9 NCS (2c:2s)
Valverde: 1IP, 2K, 2/3 FPS, 6/9 NCS (1c:5s)
What is surprising me about Roy this season - who got his 8th win of the season - and needs two more wins in what looks to be around five starts to reach 10 wins, a mark he has reached in every season of his career - is the lack of strikeouts. Roy has recorded fewer than five strikeouts in 15 of his 27 starts in 2009. That's already two more than in 2008, when he had 5+ strikeouts in 19 of his 32 starts. 2007? His K/9 rate of 6.5K/9 innings in 2009 is at its lowest since 2007, which was also 6.5 - the lowest of his career. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Roy's 3.80 ERA is currently the highest of his career.
Offensively, Carlos Lee had it going on - something about the fans in left field - with a 2-run double and a 2-run homer. Michael Bourn had the other RBI for the Astros, and with a walk and a hit, Bourn has reached base in 24 straight games. In August, Miguel Tejada has gone 21x100 and has lowered his average from .325 to .303. So he won't be getting the Employee of the Month for August.
Berkman was 1x3 with two walks, so while his batting average is at .276 - the lowest since his 34 game stint with the Big Club in 1999 (.278 average in 2007) - his OBP is .406, highest on the team.
Pitch Count Hero: Berkman and Bourn - 25 pitches in 5 PAs each (Berkman 1x3; Bourn 1x4)
Pitch Count Punk: Miguel Tejada - 12 pitches in 4 PAs
Man of the Match: Carlos Lee - provided 4RBI on the night with two big hits.
Goat of the Game: Tejada. Clearly struggling, 1x4 with 3Ks, and a falling BA.