So that streak ended, and another continued. The Phillies broke their five-game losing streak against Houston this season with a 7-4 win, but Miguel Tejada continued his 16-game hitting streak and his Race to 200 hits with a 1x5 night, bringing him to 192 with five games left.
The night didn't go so well for Wilton Lopez. Or Chad Paronto. Let's do the thing:
Lopez: 3.2IP, 6H/5ER, 2K:2BB, 8/19 first-pitch strikes, 12/33 non-contact strikes (9c:3s)
Wright: 1.1IP, 1H/2ER, 2K:1BB, 1/6 FPS, 8/14 NCS (6c:2s)
Paronto: 1.1IP, 1H, 3/5 FPS, 3/12 NCS (3c)
Fulchino: 0.2IP, 1K, 0/2 FPS, 2/4 NCS (1c:1s)
Gervacio: 1IP, 1K, 1/3 FPS, 6/8 NCS (5c:1s)
Lopez served up a real nice grand slam in the 4th to Pedro Feliz, and Chad Paronto left with a leg injury - as did Jamie Moyer - which makes me wonder about the pitcher's mound. I mean, Jamie Moyer could hurt his leg going to get a LuAnn Platter at Luby's Cafeteria, but when Chad Paronto gets hurt in the same game? Come on.
Yep, it really got away from Lopez in the 4th, with the game tied 1-1. Ryan Howard reached on an infield single to lead off the inning. Raul Ibanez singled to center. Jayson Werth walked. And Happy Pete sent a big fly to left. That's all with nobody out. Lopez recovered to get Bako to ground out to first and Happ to fly out to center. But a Jimmy Rollins single later, and Lopez is gone. After 57 pitches. Five games from the end of the season. Again, why risk an injury to a reliever (that happened in the 6th)? To save Lopez' 9.42 ERA? To keep him rested for the final start against the Mets on Sunday? Nope, instead, Wright throws 27 pitches, Paronto gets hurt, and it takes two more relievers after that to close out the loss. The 84th loss of the season.
Offensively, it wasn't a bad night, even though the Astros were 3x11 with RISP. Berkman got himself his 25th homer of the year; Matsui, his 9th. Lopez had a chance to break it open in the 1st with the bases loaded, but grounded out to 2nd to end the inning. Matsui (2x5), Berkman (2x4), Lee (2x5), Pence (2x4), and Towles (2x3) all had multi-hit games, with Pence and Towles recording the only two walks for the Astros all game. The Astros had the tying run at the plate with Ryan Madson on the mound in the 9th. Matsui and Berkman singled to left, and with one out, Lee struck out swinging, and Pence struck out looking to end the game.
This is the fourth straight year Berkman has had 25 homers, and the 8th season out of ten (and in 2005, he had 24). In all, Berkman has hit 20+ homers in every season in which he has played (not counting the 34-game 1999).
Man of the Match: I guess it's Matsui, much as I'm afraid Ed Wade will read this and not trade him for eight foreskins and a busted resin bag. 2x5, 2RBI to cut the deficit to 7-4.
Goat of the Game: Hard to give it to a guy who threw one bad pitch, and who was pitching in Double-A this season. But I'm gonna. Wilton Lopez, get your goat.