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Astros-Mets: Houston Takes Two of Three from New York, But St. Louis and Milwaukee Keep Chugging Along

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I hope that you Astros fans aren’t too upset with me. I tried to watch the Astros this weekend. I really tried to watch all 28 innings of the games with the Mets. Honestly. But there were just so many other more interesting things out there for me. I had my fantasy football draft to prepare for –Kyle Orton, David Carr, Ahman Green, Cedric Benson and Chris Henry; is that a great squad or what? – then there was the fun of watching the Hillary Clinton supporters get pissed off and vow

once again

to vote for John McCain because Barack Obama selected Joe Biden to be his vice-president instead of Hillary – and really, if you’re a Clinton supporter and you’re actually contemplating voting for McCain, then you weren’t much of a Democrat in the first place.

But most of all, there’s the fact that I have the MLB Extra Inning package and this weekend I had the chance to watch the Astros and Mets, or I could watch four really good teams playing, with the first place Tampa Bay Rays visiting the Chicago White Sox, and the Minnesota Twins visiting the first place Los Angeles Angels.

Tell me, given those options, what would you do? Yeah, me too. I mainly watched the other games. There’s just something about the chance to watch good baseball teams play each other that just really turns me off on the Houston Astros.

The Astros won two of three games this weekend – there’s still a game Monday night against the Mets left to go in the series. But strangely, the game they lost was really the game they should have won, losing 3-0 on Friday night even though Roy Oswalt pitched the Astros first complete game this season. Brandon Backe pitched a good game on Saturday night as the Astros won 8-3, which was good enough to get Richard Justice to once again sing the praises of Backe. And even though Randy Wolf once again failed to pitch a quality start – truly, does this guy even known the definition of a quality start? – the Astros won Sunday 6-4 after Hunter Pence, Brad Ausmus, and Darin Erstad bailed out Wolf with home runs, the last two coming in the tenth.

But even after winning two of three games this weekend to better their record to 66-64, the Astros’ playoff hopes continue to fade away even more. The Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals, the two teams in the lead for the wild card, failed to understand that destiny is supposed to be with the Astros as they kept winning game after game. The Astros are still 9.5 games back of the Brewers and are six games behind the Cardinals. However, Sunday’s win was the team’s 16th win of the month, insuring that the Astros will have a winning record for a month for the first time since May.

Brian Moehler (9-4, 3.87) gets the Monday night start against New York’s Mike Belfry (12-8, 3.86). And following Monday’s game, the Astros return home to Minute Maid Park to finish out the month of August with three games against the Reds and three games against the Cardinals. – John Royal

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