Astros-Rangers: Houston Wins, Barely, and Somehow Manages to Outclass Atlanta

The game got off to a kind of an inauspicious start last night when Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler led off with a shot to the outfield that was just feet short of a home run, but turned into a double. Two batters later, Kinsler scored, and the Rangers were up 1-0 with a man on and one out.

Flash forward to the ninth inning where the Astros have taken a 4-1 lead. Starting pitcher Brian Moehler managed to hold the Rangers down after that first inning, and with the help of his bullpen, was in a position to get the win. But it should probably be mentioned that Jose Valverde was now pitching, and that with one out and one on, Valverde gave up a home run to right field to make the score 4-3 Astros.

With the Astros hanging on for dear life, Jim Deshaies, from high atop his perch in the broadcast booth, let loose with some words of wisdom he had received from the Arizona Diamondbacks, Valverde’s previous team: give Valverde a three-run lead and he’ll make the game interesting; give him a one-run lead, and he’ll lock down the game. Thus, J.D. summed up, Valverde was just getting the game into the proper position for him to save it. Which he did, striking out Ian Kinsler to end the game.

The Astros’ 4-3 win broke a five-game Astros losing streak at Minute Maid Park. It was also the first time since the Memorial Day weekend series with the Phillies that the Astros found a way to win two straight games. And, for anyone who’s interested besides Drayton McLane, the win tied the season series with the Rangers at two games each, which means the Silver Boot is still very much up for grabs.

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The Astros record for the season is now 36-41, but they’re still in fifth place. Roy Oswalt (6-7, 4.84) gets the start tonight against Scott Feldman (1-3, 4.61) as the Astros try to win their second straight series as well as start a real winning streak.


Now here’s some shocking news: Kaz Matsui is on the disabled list. The guy’s a walking injury who’s never played more than 114 games in a season – what a waste of a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract that was. The whole Matsui thing just makes the team’s treatment of Mark Loretta that much more disgusting.

****************** While Ed Wade tells the Chron that he is looking to upgrade the starting rotation, the Philadelphia Inquirer is writing that the Astros have had high-ranking scouts checking out the Philadelphia Phillies as part of a possible trade for Roy Oswalt.

The Inquirer doesn’t think the Phils will be able to pull off a deal for a player like Oswalt or C.C. Sabathia of Cleveland because the Phillies farm system is thin on prospects. And they think this might be a problem. But you would think the writer would remember that Ed Wade is in charge here in Houston. This would be the same Ed Wade who gave Matsui big bucks, who signed Shawn Chacon for two million bucks to be a starting pitcher, and who traded for Miguel Tejada on the eve of the Mitchell Report.

So I’m thinking that Adam Eaton should probably start getting fitted for an Astros uniform.

****************** I’ve got to give it to the Atlanta Braves. I didn’t think it was possible to out-tacky Drayton McLane, but the Braves have found a way. Instead of those idiotic Chick-Fil-A “Fowl Poles” – and really, if cows are smart enough to write, then you’ve got to believe they’re smart enough to know how to spell – the Braves have installed a gigantic Chick-Fil-A cow way up in centerfield at Turner Field that does the tomahawk chop during Braves rallies.

I can’t believe Drayton didn’t just stick one of those damn giant cows on the choo-choo train, and make it look like the cow was driving. Though, I supposed what really worries me now is that, seeing what the Braves have done, Drayton will stoop to even lower levels of tackiness. As if MMP becoming even tackier is even possible.

****************** Our sucker of the day award goes to Astros radio broadcaster Brett Dolan, who, according to Charlie Pallilo, is steadfast in his belief that the little viral video of the ball girl climbing the fence and making a stunning catch is real. I think it’s pretty obvious the thing is a fake – though I actually do know a few people who thought it was the real thing.

First, the leftfielder never attempts to make a play, and then, after the catch, there’s absolutely no reaction from the fielder. Second, ball boys/girls are never stationed that far down the outfield line. Sure, it looks good. But so does Spiderman crawling up walls, and we all know he’s not real.

****************** I’ve got a request for Fox Sports Houston. I’m really sick of the shots of Los Cabillitos and those puma costumes idiots. With Drayton having turned on the heat at MMP, I’m sure that there are lots of attractive women wearing shorts who are in attendance. And I used to work in TV, so I know your camera guys are shooting them, and that you guys in the production truck are getting some nice visuals.

So how about sharing, huh? – John Royal

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