Baseball is a funny game. The San Francisco Giants are the defending World Series Champions. The Houston Astros are struggling through their worst season in franchise history. A casual observer of last night’s game might have thought the exact opposite was true. Wandy Rodriguez and the Astros welcomed the Giants to Minute Maid Park with a 6-0 beat-down.
Wandy Rodriguez had the magic working for eight strong innings, allowing only five hits and two walks. Wandy got called strikes on back-to-back low fastballs to start the game. The Astros hurler then started to mix in his Bugs Bunny curveball with pinpoint control spelling serious trouble for the visitors. The win evened Wandy’s record at 9-9 for the season. Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong was the loser, dropping to 10-3. San Francisco batters struck out ten times against Rodriguez and reliever Jeff Fulchino. The Giants also struggled on defense, making two errors and failing to secure the bouncing ball on several other occasions.
Brian Bogusevic thwarted the Giants’ best chance to get on the scoreboard when he threw out Aubrey Huff at the plate to end the second inning. Bogey also added the icing on the cake with an eighth inning homerun that landed in the Astros bullpen. Fellow rookies J.B. Shuck and Carlos Corporan were also major contributors to the Astros victory.
Last season the Giants opened the season with a three game sweep of the Astros in Houston. That series seemed to set the tone for the season. The Astros would struggle to score runs for the majority of the summer and the Giants pitching staff led by Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain would stymie hitters all year. Now the young Astros have a chance to play spoiler and turn the tables on San Francisco. Now it’s the Giants who are having trouble scoring runs. Their lineup crippled with injuries, the Giants have fallen two-and-a-half games behind the upstart Diamondbacks in the National League West. Lincecum and Cain just pitched in Atlanta and will not see action in Houston this time around. The Astros have yet to put together a significant winning streak this season. Even bad teams have to get hot every once in a while. Maybe Houston can come up with another of their patented late season rallies at the expense of the Giants.