Astros-Reds: The Vaunted Offense Keeps Hitting

Here are the basics from last night’s Astros-Reds tilt:

The Astros won 9-3. The Astros had 14 hits. They have now scored 30 runs in the past three games. Hunter Pence continues to be on fire as he had another multi-hit night to move his average up to .256. And Chris Sampson lasted more than two-thirds of an inning this time out, throwing seven innings while surrendering only eight hits and two runs and getting his first victory of the season.

But come on, when the Edwin Encarnacion led off the Reds portion of the ninth inning with a home run off Geoff Geary, then Joey Votto reached on an error and there were no outs, didn’t you just feel the whole thing was about to blow up?

I know I did. But they managed to hold on and win the game.

Jack Cassel gets the starts for the Astros today at 11:30 a.m., and he’s facing one of the young guns of the National League, Johnny Cueto.

SOME MISCELLANEOUS BASEBALL NOTES:

The seven runs the Astros scored in the fourth last night were the most runs they’ve scored in an inning since scoring seven runs against the San Diego Padres last July 29th. And the seven hits in the fourth were the most hits the Astros have had in an inning since collecting seven in an inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates last September 16th.

And with the barrage of runs and hits the Astros improved their record to 10-12 and moved into sole possession of fourth place in the National League Central.

********************* Ken Griffey, Jr. homered in the first inning last night to give him home run number 597, which was probably about the only thing to go right for the Reds yesterday.

General Manager Wayne Krivsky was fired yesterday morning and replaced by former St. Louis Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty. Krivsky has been on the hot seat for a long time, primarily because some of his moves have made both Tim Purpura and Ed Wade look like geniuses. Jose de Jesus Ortiz, however, seems to think Krivsky should’ve kept the job because he’s a classy guy.

******************** The quote of the night belongs to Bill Brown: “There’s a drive to left field, but Carlos Lee’s not running.” Not to pick on Brownie, whom I really, really like, but it was a foul ball, and frankly, I don’t think Carlos Lee knows how to run.

******************** Along with Griffey’s homer, last night was set up to be a milestone night. A Chicago Cubs victory last night would be the team’s 10,000th. There is only one other major league team with more than 10,000 wins to its name, and it’s not the New York Yankees. It’s the New York/San Francisco Giants.

The Cubs were losing to the Colorado Rockies by a 5-4 score going into the ninth, but a two-run Aramis Ramirez homer put the Cubs up 6-5. Closer Kerry Wood came into nail down the historic victory and easily got the first two outs. Then pinch hitter Scott Podsednik singled to left field. And on the next pitch Colorado centerfielder Ryan Spilborghs tripled to the right/centerfield gap to tie the game and prolong Cubs history for another inning as the Cubs would go on to win game 10,000 in the 10th inning by a score of 7-6.

You know, you would think that a team that’s won 10,000 games would have been able to win a World Series or two over the past century or so. Yes, you would think, but you would be wrong.

The other milestone involved San Diego Padres pitcher Greg Maddux, who was pitching for career victory number 350 the night after his former Atlanta Braves teammate John Smoltz joined him in the 3,000 strikeout club. Maddux pitched, what for him, was a rather standard game of excellence. He went seven innings while giving up only four hits and no runs as he left the game against the Giants with a 1-0 lead. He walked no one and struck out five – how many of his stat lines from the other 349 wins looked like this? (I’m thinking most) – and he even got a hit himself. Future Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman came into the nail down the victory, but with two outs in the top of the ninth, Hoffman surrendered a home run to San Francisco’s Benjie Molina to tie the game, costing Maddux number 350. – John Royal

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