4-3 Win Highlighted by Lee's Hitting and Moehler Not Sucking.

It seems as though everyone in the world enjoys it when I eat my words. I am completely cool with that since I seem to be a glass

Michaels disagrees with Hawpe's attempt at a homer - AP

half empty / other half filled with soiled poo kind of guy. Then again, this is all worth it for the few occassions I am correct and get to act as if I know what I’m doing or talking about. This is seldom. Brian Moehler decided to join this ever growing party of “prove Trevor wrongers” by going out and pitching a game worth watching after he recorded his first out.

The first inning was rocky for the journeyman, giving up four consecutive hits in the bottom half of the frame, but outside of that, he did moderately well. He was able to post a quality start for the second consecutive outing, but was unable to finish with the decision due to the late inning offense coming after he had left the game. Moehler is filling in for the injured Norris, and pitched only 86 pitches since he is slowly adjusting to life outside the long inning relief man. Granted he did finish with a WHIP of 2, Brian was able to get out of jams when it mattered most, and produced 3 double play balls as well. Kevin Cash was also able to help the cause by throwing out Olivo in the third to prevent Ol’ B-Moeh from having another tough inning in which to shake himself out.

The bullpen would take it from that point on, and prove to be extremely effective letting only 1 of the 10 batters faced on base. Wilton Lopez and Brandon Lyon recorded a perfect inning a piece with Lopez picking up the win. Lopez is someone who should be climbing up everyone’s radar as a servicable reliever while on his current stretch of 7.2 innings of only allowing 1 ER. He finished with an ERA north of 8 last year, and experienced a rough start to the 2010 campaign, but as of late, he has been able to get it together and showcase what value he brings to the team. Lyon is in a stretch of 8.1 innings of 1 ER baseball as well, and if he gets his ERA below 3, which he is on pace to do, he will be worth his contract closer or not. Speaking of closers, Lindstrom is back on track for being reliable, posting his 14th save on the year.

All of this, though, would be for not had Brad Mills made the defensive substitution of putting Michaels in left field as a result of keeping pinch hitter Michael Bourn in center. In the 8th inning, Michaels made a leaping catch at the wall to rob Brad Hawpe of a game tying homer that would have swung the momentum in the favor of the Rocks. Mills adopted this idea from Coooper, but has been able to do so in a more respectful manner by letting Lee stay in only if offense is still in the equation. Michaels, though, has proved that he is worth his salt by that gutsy performance last night.

It wasn’t an explosion of offense, but the Astro bats eventually came to life late in this one on the back Lee’s three hits and . . . Tommy Manzella? Tommy “The Man-Eater” had a clutch (okay, I got carried away the with the clutch, but I’m just excited for the kid) hit the fourth to get the offense on the board. Feliz and Berkman each recorded ground out RBIs in the 7th and 8th and would be followed up by Lee plating Berkman to put the ‘Stros ahead for what would be the rest of the night. That two run eight inning was started by Michael Bourn pinch hitting his way on with a single. As you may recall from my article yesterday, Bourn has proved himself a catalyst for the Astro offense in the innings he leads of and records a hit with tonight being no exception. Bravo on the win boys.

Tonight, we go for a share of a tie in the four game series with Paulino on the mound against Aaron Cook. Felipe is coming off an impressive first win of the season against the Cubbies and is on a 4 game stretch of awesomeness. Cook has been shaky all season, but is slowly putting it together, so look for the ‘Stros to score early and jump on this headcase.

Tags: Brandon Lyon Brian Moehler Carlos Lee Colorado Rockies Felipe Paulino Houston Astros Jason Michaels Lance Berkman Michael Bourn Tommy Manzella Wilton Lopez

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