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Astros-Red Sox: 33 Runs = Two Out of Three for Houston

I’m going to be honest here. I know that many of you probably love games like the one the Astros and Red Sox played on Saturday night. Sure, it was a 11-10 Astros win – and wins have been in short supply this month – and the Astros had to come from behind multiple times to win the game.

But I think these kinds of games are boring. The pitching sucked all of the way around – I’m beginning to think it’s time for Ed Wade to have a Shawn Chacon-type meeting with Brandon Backe – and the defense was awful – yeah, Hunter, I’m talking to you. Sure it’s nice that the Astros scored five runs after two outs in the third inning, especially since Backe had let the Red Sox score four runs after two outs in the top of the third. And I’m sure many of you found it amazing that the Astros scored five runs in their last two innings, but once again, Jose Valverde decided to make the game interesting by giving up a home run to Mike Lowell in the top of the ninth to make the score 11-10.

It’s not often the Astros are going to win a game against the Boston Red Sox when they let the Red Sox score run after run after run. Like on Friday night when the Red Sox jumped on Shawn Chacon Runelvys Hernandez for three runs in the third inning to coast to the 6-1 victory.

Now Sunday’s game, however, that was one of those types I love. Some really, really good pitching from both Brian Moehler and Josh Beckett. Some decent base running and some decent defense. It was a tight game that didn’t give you the chance to breath. (All of that said, could someone please explain to me why Cecil Cooper brought in Oscar Villarreal to pitch Manny Ramirez in the seventh inning? That makes absolutely no sense to me. You don’t bring a home run generating pitcher to throw to a home run generating hitter.)

Somehow, the Astros won 3-2 on Sunday, and somehow they were able to win two games they did not deserve to win in this series. But the wins elevated the team’s record to 39-43. It also elevated them past the Pittsburgh Pirates and into fourth place in the NL Central.

The Astros end this otherwise disastrous month of June tonight with the first of a four game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Roy Oswalt (6-8, 4.77) matches up against Eric Stults (2-0, 0.60) tonight. Wandy Rodriguez (3-3, 2.58) gets the start versus Clayton Kershaw (0-2, 4.36) on Tuesday. Shawn Chacon Runelvys Hernandez (0-1, 5.10) goes against TBA on Wednesday, and Brandon Backe (5-8, 5.12) ends the series against Chad Billingsley (6-7, 3.64) on Thursday afternoon.


Cecil Cooper finally got around to shaking up the lineup Saturday night. You would think this would be something he might have done earlier, but I guess he wanted to wait until the team had lost 16 games in June before making the big move.

The big move consisted of moving Hunter Pence up to second spot in the batting order, moving Lance Berkman to the third slot and Carlos Lee to the fourth, and moving Miguel Tejada to the fifth spot. Seeing as how Tejada’s barely hitting over .200 for the month, you’ve got to wonder about not only why he wasn’t put in the nine hole, but why he’s still starting every night.

***************** The Classless Move of the Weekend Award goes, of course, to the Houston Astros. Courtesy of the Chron’s Brian McTaggart comes the story of the Saturday first pitch experience that wasn’t.

Dave Aardsma, Senior Vice President of Waste Management, was selected to throw out the first pitch before the game. His son, David Aardsma, asked if he could catch the pitch. Astros management said no. The Astros didn’t feel that it was appropriate for David to catch the pitch because David’s a relief pitcher for the visiting Boston Red Sox, and they felt the fans might not like a Red Sox catching the pitch.

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First, since when have the Astros ever given a damn about what the fans think? Second, they had no trouble letting Yankee lover and serial-adulterer Rudy Giuliani throw out the first pitch when the Yankees were in town. And finally, do you really expect me to believe that, if Bob Ford told all of the fans that Dave Aardsma was throwing out the pitch to his son David, who played college baseball for Rice, that the fans would boo? I don’t think so. Not when half of the place was packed with Red Sox fans.

***************** The Bad Scoring Decision of the Weekend Award goes to the official scorer of Saturday night’s game who gave Red Sox centerfield Jacoby Ellsbury a triple in the sixth inning for a line shot off of Hunter Pence’s glove in right field. I think all of you know how big a Pence fan that I am, but he blew that play. And so did the official scorer.

***************** Does anyone know what the hell Fox Sports Houston was doing conducting an in-game interview with Bill Bellamy on Saturday night? Not only did Patti Smith never have control of the interview, but Bellamy used it as a chance to pitch his performance at the Improv. Which was to start at 8:00 p.m. So I guess Fox wanted us to turn off the game and go see Bellamy instead.

***************** I’ve got a question for the guys at Houstoned Rocks. Paul Wall? Who is this guy? I hear that he’s a Houston rapper. And I also know he’s that moron who keeps putting up the Houston Supports Roger Clemens billboards. But who he is? Is he really a rapper? Does he have any talent? And what does it say about the Rocket that this is the biggest supporter he can get? -- John Royal

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