After the past few painful weeks of not being able to score runs as a result of leaving too many runners on base and not hitting with runners in scoring position, I have grown a greater appreciation for the long ball. I am slowly recalling what started my love affair with America’s past time…
Today was by no stretch of the imagination a game that will go down as a text book win, but it had the characteristics of what could result in wins in upcoming months. No one thought that Carlos and Lance would stay in their slumps as long as they have, but their coming out party has been one that has made the month of June memorable so far. Lee’s homers in the past couple games have put the Astros ahead, and today’s was in grand fashion with a walk off homer while Berkman has been putting a considerable amount of RBIs in the blue collar middle innings as well as a couple in walk off style on Tuesday. If these two guys can keep up the hot sticks, I am not promising that we will finish in the playoff chase or above .500 for that matter, but I can say that we can take off our brown sacks and watch a team that is in transition and still has some stars worth watching.
That being said, there must be some concerns in the bullpen with the collapse of Matt Lindstrom over the past week ever since the melt down against the Los Angeles Dodgers of Los Angeles. Is the door perhaps opening for Brandon Lyon to come in and claim the job that he is getting paid $4.25 million to to do? I would sure hope so. Lyon has only given up runs in 2 of his previous 19 appearances, and even though his strike out rate of 6.17 per 9 innings is not terribly appealing, it would be nice to get his benjamins out on the mound in the 9th. Lindstrom is servicable, don’t get me wrong, but let’s give him the job that he thought he was going to have. Also, if anything, he has boosted his trade value by pitching solidly over the past two months minus a couple hiccups. Keep in mind as well, though, that I can only say this since we won today. Had he of cost us the game today, or Tuesday for that matter, that could possibly have been 2 more losses in the L column, and if you are pitching in the ninth, you do not want crooked numbers in your win-loss total.
All in all Junction Jackers, it was a good day because any day you bring home a win with a long reliever on the mound to start the game, you have over achieved. But hey, in a world where Lyle Lovett can marry Julia Roberts, overachieving is a life style.