A great pitchers’ duel for 7 innings.
Jair Jurrgens was almost unhittable, except by CJ (naturally) who had 2 singles, Wallace, who singled, Castro, who singled and Bourn, who tripled to the RF gap – the hardest hit ball all night. He SHOULD have had this game won as a shutout, but with 1 out and Bourn on 3rd, he got Kepp to ground out to short (JUST like last night with Pence on 3rd) and AGAIN, Alex Gonzalez, the SS messed up the throw home- it one hopped and McCann couldn’t tag the sliding Bourn – who, by the way, missed the plate. Fortunately for him, McCann missed the ball, which rolled all the way to the backstop and Bourn heard the screams from the dugout to go back and tag in time.
With Kepp advancing to second on the throw, Jurrgens IBB Pence, then Moylan came in to get Clank to GIDP, and indeed, that was exactly what Clank did, only Alex Gonzalez, the SS, messed up the throw to the 2B, who was charged with an error for missing the bad throw, and Keppinger scored the go-ahead run. Jurrgens looked as if he was ready to jes break down and cry – not that I blame him.
Pence, on second with CJ on 3rd, for some reason decided to steal third (WHY? he could score from second on a single!!!) and was thrown out. So naturally CJ singles under the glove of Glaus. Pence would have been at 3rd, bases loaded, Wallace up.
So Bobby Cox sends in Venters, his lefty reliever, and Mills pulls Wallace, WHO CAN HIT LEFTYS, and sends up Michaels, who strikes out.
And I guess I should go back and mention the fact that Kepp and Pence stranded Sanchez in the 1st, Happ left men on first and third on the 2nd (Castro came up with men on 1st and 2nd and grounded out and it wasn’t a DP because Wallace broke it up); Wallace left CJ on first in the 4th; Bourn, Sanchez and Kepp left Castro on second in the 5th… That is a lot of guys who didn’t score.
Happ pitched his typical outing – which is that he gives up lots of walks, very few hits, very few runs. He has always run out of steam around 5-6 innings. And for some reason, even though he was at 93 pitches, Mills sent him back out without having anyone warming up in the bullpen.
He walked Brooks Conrad (who was put in for Chipper Jones, who hurt his leg – apparently pretty badly, on the great play he made on CJ’s grounder at the end of the previous inning) on 5 pitches. No one gets up. He strikes out Diaz. He’s up to 101 pitches, and he was lookin like Pedro in the infamous Grady Little game. Lopez starts to warm up (WHY???? wasn’t he warming up to START the inning???) and then he throws 3 straight balls to McCann NOWHERES near the zone, then a gimme strike, then ANOTHER ball outside the zone. Mills trots out.
Does he pull Happ, who is CLEARLY finished???
He goes all Grady Little and NATURALLY, Troy Glaus singles in a run to break up the 0-0 tie.
I couldn’t freaking believe it.
NOW Wilton Lopez trots in and gets a GIDP with 1 pitch (I like how there is never a double switch so a reliever who throws 1 pitch can’t go back out for the next inning).
The Astros grab the lead thanks to multiple Braves fielding effups, and then Matt Lindstrom comes in to close. He has only a 1 run lead, and like in St. Louis, he gives it up. First, an infield single to Infante, then he throws a FB RIGHT down the middle and Brooks Conrad sends it 440′ into the RF upper deck. Yes, another guy the Astros Organization didn’t like for some reason, although he was a very good utility guy who would have been better than any number of horrible vets they preferred. He got out Diaz and McCann, then Glaus hit a FB right down the middle waaaay over the Crawford Boxes.
Mills pulls him out and sends in Chacin, but it’s a little too late to do the right thing now, as the old song goes.
The Astros lie down to Billy Wags.
I’m getting those Brad Lidge 06 bad vibes about Lindstrom.
Tomorrow, it’s Tommy Hanson vs Wandy (and it was his 5-2 win that Lindstrom blew last week) so we better hope that the batters score so many runs that we don’t need Lindstrom.