The Atlanta Braves left Houston this afternoon in good spirits. Houston was left feeling like a deflated balloon…on it’s birthday…who just got kicked you know where…and just found out it was adopted. In other words, it was a tough roller-coaster of a series for the Houston Astros.
The Stros and Braves each scored 16 runs in the three game series but Atlanta had 8 errors and none of Atlanta starters factored into a decision. However, Houston lost 2 of the 3 games.
The home team came out hot in game 1 against the Braves Mike Minor making his major league debut. Thanks to poor Atlanta defense, Houston scored 10 runs and made Kyle Farnsworth feel like he was back with the Royals. Bud Norris didn’t pitch great but he didn’t need to. Chris Johnson and Brett Wallace were a combined 4/7.
Oh, and ‘Bo Bailer’ was at the game too…
In game 2, Houston scored 2 runs in the bottom of the eigth to take a 2-1 lead and chase Jair Jurrjens from the game. Matt Lindstrom then promptly gave up 3 runs in the top of the ninth to lose the game and waste a spectacular outing from J.A. Happ. Johnson and Wallace were a combined 4/8.
Game 3 featured a fantastic pitching matchup between 2009 Tommy Hanson and 2009 Wandy Rodriguez. Seriously, I don’t know where this came from. Both pitchers went 7 innings and allowed a run a piece. Michael Bourn stole 2 bases for 38 on the season. Atlanta was up 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth when Chris Johnson (notice a theme?) hit a sacrifice fly off Billy Wagner to score Hunter Pence and tie the game. But then in true Houston fashion, Brandon Lyon came in and gave up 5 earned runs in the top of the 10th. The Astros then failed to score on 73-year old Takashi Saito and lost.
It’s great to see the starting pitching go so well. Norris, Happ, and Rodriguez are going to be in the Astros future for the foreseeable future at least and they combined for 20 innings and gave up a total of 6 earned runs. It’s also encouraging to see Chris Johnson and Brett Wallace, the future middle of the lineup (hell, the current middle of the lineup) for Houston producing. But when Lindstrom and Lyon, who have been Houston’s more reliable relief pitchers this season, lost back-to-back late games and the team can’t capitalize on Braves blunders, it’s a wonder I still have hair. As Atlanta leaves town there is plenty for Astros fans to be happy about as they look to next season but this series also captured the horrific 2010 season in a nutshell.
Everybody remembers the Killer B’s. Maybe after this series we can call the bullpen the Killer L’s?