The Astros welcomed Wandy back with a bang and Wandy picked up right where he left off before the DL. The Astros finally ended a four game skid with an 8-3 victory in the series finale with the Braves. Wandy went six innings, giving up only two hits and four walks while striking out five. He had a strong performance, Brad Mills kept his pitch count under 100, and he got a win for his efforts even though the bullpen had to pitch the final three innings.
Wilton Lopez and Sergio Escalona had good appearances, pitching an inning each, giving up only one hit each and striking out one batter each. Then Brandon ‘Cowardly’ Lyon came in and luckily the Astros had an 8 run lead because Lyon gave up a three run blast to Jordan Schafer before registering his final out. Lyon’s ERA is now up to 11.48 and over his past two appearances has given up seven runs and registering only three outs. I am not sure if Lyon’s struggles are some physical and he is still having arm troubles or mental but either way Brad Mills can’t run Lyon out there in tight games until he is able to figure it out.
But onto the other piece of good news and that is Hunter Pence extended his hitting streak to 23 games with a home run in the third and finished the day with an impressive stat line of 3 for 4, with four RBI, and one walk. He did all this with a tight lower back and you could see the pain on a couple of his swings at the plate.
Unfortunately for him the Astros don’t get a break as they welcome Pittsburgh for a series starting today. The dilemma that Brad Mills faces is that Hunter Pence is playing hurt and if he stays in it could make the injury worse and he will be out for an extended period of time. However, Pence is playing the best ball of his career and sitting him may affect his rhythm and he could lose the magic.