It's safe to say that last night's game between the Houston Astros and the Chicago Cubs was one for the ages. For baseball fans, watching two 300-game winners go head to head — our Roger Clemens versus Cubs slinger Greg Maddux — is like watching Muhammad Ali take on Joe Frazier .
But given our home team's recent performance anxiety (Roger dealing with weak bats), it was hard to blame fans for wondering who -- if anyone -- other than the Rocket would show up for this one.
It turned out to be a night for H-town diamond legends. When Craig Biggio blasted a leadoff homer off of Maddux's second pitch, you knew this contest was gonna be a hot one (and not just because it was 3,000 degrees outside, either). Clemens picked off Chicago sluggers, dropping six shutout innings on Harry Carey's Cubbies.
Hitters Preston Wilson and newcomer Aubrey Huff — who I just knew was gonna be a solid contributor — also came up big. Wilson's two-run double made it 3-0, and Huff's ability to get on base kept things moving offensively.
The kicker: Closer Brad Lidge, who has been coming dangerously close to becoming the next Rick Ankiel, came up with his 22nd save in 26 efforts.
Last night's 4-2 win gave the Rocket his 343rd victory, putting him eighth overall on the all-time list. I'm sure there have been more rewarding 4-2 regular season contests in 'Stros history, but damned if I can come up with one. — Steven Devadanam
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