If I told you that the Astros only collected 4 hits with none after the sixth inning, relied on the battery of Quintero and Manzella for run support, needed Carlos Lee to make a catch on the warning track in the ninth, and had an inning in which three relievers pitched, you would be thinking we faltered in the series finale. But a lose is not the case, but rather a win that let the Astros take their second 4 game set of the past two weeks and their eighth win in the past ten games.
Humbo and Godzella knocked in all five runs this afternoon while top six of the batting order went 0-21. Q finished with 3 hits on the day to make it the fourth consecutive game with multiple hits, and he did so with a long ball in the in the fifth and a RBI double in the second to put us on the board. Manzella provided the rest of the offense with a sac fly in the second to bring in the left overs from Q’s double and also had the most important hit in the game in the sixth with the two out, two RBI, bases loaded single which would also be the last Astro hit of the game. In Humberto and Tommy’s 25 at bats this series, they finished with 12 hits and 6 RBIs.
Today was not an exception in the sense that we must have help from many areas in order to wrap up a win. Outside of the offensive performances from Q and T-Man, Roy Oswalt pitched 7 innings of 2 run baseball while racking up 9 strike outs. The past two starts were concerning for the team’s ace, but today erased all doubt that Roy had hit a wall for the season. Rather, it was a speed bump that he drove over with his tractor. Colorado had no answer to the Wiz today scoring their only two runs on a ground out and a sacrifice fly that was set up by a mistaken relay throw. Today was the seventh start in which Roy posted 7 or more strike outs.
Another notable pitching performance came from the arm of Casey Daigle in his fourth appearance of the year since being called up for the injured Chris Sampson. Daigle came in with the bases loaded and only one out in the 8th with a two run lead, and was able to preserve the victory by getting Giambi to ground out to third and a pop fly in the following at bat. He could have escaped without giving up a run had Feliz cleanly fielded the Giambi candy grounder, but instead, Pedro bobbled the roller and left the door open for the Rockies. The reason I say this is that he was brought here to be a defensive stopper, yet he almost cost the Astros the game by not converting the two-fer. Lyon converted the save in the ninth, but kept it interesting by giving up a warning track bid from Gonzalez, but it was corralled by Lee to win the game.
The win wrapped up a four game set in Colorado that consisted of four quality starts from the starters. If we continue to put starters out there that give us a chance to win games, you can rest assured that this season is not worth giving up on. After winning our third series in a row, we have seen this team hang its hat on solid pitching and timely hitting. Enjoy this while it lasts because whether it be next week or October when it ends, this is how baseball was meant to be played.
This weekend takes us to New York City to face the Bronx Bombers in their new home. This is a true test for the pitching staff against the Yankees and their major league leading 330 runs. We start the series with Brett Myers and his 3.01 ERA against Deer Park native Andy Pettitte. Let’s see if we can stay hot.