Bud Norris grows up, and the Astros win 3-2.
*Of course the big story was Norris' career-high 14 strikeouts. It's the second-highest total in the Majors this season, behind Brandon Morrow and tied with Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg.
*The first two innings were key for Norris. He left a runner in scoring position in the 1st. He left the bases loaded in the 2nd. He then retired 12 in a row, and held 15 batters without a hit before Paul Maholm singled to right.
*Wade Miller was the last pitcher to strike out 14 batters - on May 30, 2003.
*The Astros ended up striking out 17 Pirates. The last time they struck out that many batters was on July 6, 2008 - when they struck out 18 Braves in a 16-inning game. And lost.
*The last time they struck out that many batters in a nine inning game was June 15, 1987, when the Astros did it against the Reds. Mike Scott struck out 14 batters, and Dave Smith struck out three.
*Wilton Lopez threw yet another scoreless inning, striking out two without a walk. He hasn't walked a batter since July 23 - a span of 41 batters. He also hasn't allowed an earned run since July 18 - 13.2IP.
*Carlos Lee got the start at 1B for the first time since October 1999, and then went 0x4. He's hitting .246 on the year.
*Let's just do a little exercise to find out what it would take for him to hit .300 for the season. He's had 426 ABs. Last year, he got 610 PAs, and hit right at .300. For Carlos Lee to duplicate last season, he would need to hit .424 from this point forward to reach .300.
*Big Bat of the Night belonged to Hunter Pence, who homered to left in the 4th inning to make it a 2-1 game, and then doubled to left center to bring in Angel Sanchez for the go-ahead (and ultimately game-winning run). Pence is hitting .364 in the last seven days.
*Chris Johnson failed to get on base last night for the first time since the All-Star Break.
*The Astros started the 7th inning behind, 2-1. They are now 11-53 in games where they are trailing to begin the 7th.
*Pitch Count Hero: Angel Sanchez (1x4) - 18 pitches in four PAs.
*Pitch Count Punk: Chris Johnson (0x4) - 10 pitches in four PAs.
*Man of the Match: Bud Norris!
*Goat of the Game: Carlos Lee. There's no reason to keep hitting him 4th.