I checked my pockets after I finished the game this Friday, and I wasn’t even in the eastern timezone. Yeah yeah, I am an Astro fan, and I will be more bias to calls that favor us, but I feel as though I am realistic when it comes to monitoring the calls of the umpires throughout the course of a game. You could tell it was going to be a long night when homeplate umpire Brian Gorman decided to change the strike zone depending on who was on the mound. Andy Pettitte was the beneficiary of most of these calls, but Mariano Rivera finished the game off with a pyramid scheme to end them all when Pence had all seven of the pitches thrown to him outside the strikezone, but managed to be retired with a K. Joba left Berkman flipping his bat at the third base umpire to end the eighth (perhaps karma from the Chicago game a week ago).
Brett Myers had his traditional rough start of the game, allowing 3 ER on 5 combined hits and walks, one of which was a walk to Swisher with the bases loaded. Myer’s pacing of the mound and hesitance to immediately get back to work after certain pitches showed his frustration with the calls while the ‘Stros had the ball. He would only give up one more run on a short fly single to Big Tex that was set up by a walk and stolen base prior to Russo. If you are going to issue bases on balls, you have to be weary of that coming back to haunt you, and that proved to be the difference maker in the game. Myers got his ERA down to 3.00 for the season, but after surrendering 4 ER in 7 IP, he finished the day at a more than respectable 3.18.
Tommy Manzella proved that he belonged to stay in the line up with a Jeter-esque stab and throw in the second inning. He would also knock in the first two Astro runs on a two out double in the second. Tommy has been doing a more than acceptable job ever since Brad Mills showed that he would be willing to start Blum at short if Tommy refused to be a difference maker at the plate.
In a game that lacked offense, Bourn was able to make a great impact with a double saving catch in left center in the seventh inning. Michael’s ability to help in the field when struggling at the plate has been a great replacement in close games like today where each run counts.
Congrats to Andy Pettitte, though, for achieving his 200th victory for the Evil Empire. It was only five years ago when he was part of a battery that led the Astro’s to their first World Series appearance, and for that, we thank the Deer Park native. He made Bourn look silly in his first two plate appearances that would have been strike outs regardless of whether or not Gorman got his greasy fingers on it.
Today also marked the seventh anniversary of the Astro no-no against the Yanks in the park that the Babe built. Pete Munro, we thank you for your heroic effort.