Roy Oswalt has had a pretty stellar major league career. But pitchers just normally don’t have career numbers against teams like the numbers Roy Oswalt has against the Reds. Last night was his 25th career start against the Reds. And after last night’s 4-1 victory, Oswalt is now 22-1 all-time against the Reds. That is just an outstanding number.
Like Tuesday’s game, last night’s was an exceptionally pitched game. That’s not surprising coming from Oswalt, but Reds starter Josh Fogg has been rather awful this season. The Reds only got six hits, but they took the early 1-0 lead, scoring in the first inning. But the Astros chipped away, and Hunter Pence put the Astros up 2-1 with a two run homer in the fourth inning. It was still a close, nail-biter of a game until Ty Wigginton put the game out of reach with a two run homer in the seventh inning.
After last night, the Astros have won 13 of 15 games against the Reds season, and are now 67-66 for the season. The Astros go for the series victory this afternoon. Brandon Backe (8-12, 5.54) tries to put two good starts together as he pitches against Aaron Harang (4-13, 5.35).
SOME MISCELLANEOUS ASTROS NOTES:
Brian McTaggart’s got some interesting Astros minor league news. For instance, the Astros Single A club, the Salem Avalanche, are owned by the Boston Red Sox, and the Red Sox have announced that they are not renewing the player development agreement with the Astros. This means that the Astros must find a new minor league home for their Single A minor leaguers next season.
Hey, Sugar Land, maybe you should hurry up a bit with that town development.
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And the Astros have been beaten up in some games this year, but nothing compared to what happened to the Corpus Christi Hooks on Monday night. The Hooks, the Astros Double A affiliate, were defeated 21-3. This is the worse loss in the history of the Hooks.
***************** Steve Campbell notes that the Astros are on a pace to score 725 runs this season. Which is only two more runs than the Astros scored last season. And he wants to know: What happened to this so-called vaunted offensive machine of the Astros? Well, I can tell him what happened. The Astros relied on Kaz Matsui to stay healthy. They relied on Miguel Tejada to hit for an entire season. They relied on Michael Bourn to be able to play for an entire season. And J.R. Towles was supposed to hit. Also, as Campbell notes, the Astros have a lousy on-base percentage, ranking 11th in the National League, and they are dead last in the NL with only 370 walks.
This is not surprising however. The Astros have never been a team about on-base percentage. Can anyone out there ever remember Craig Biggio working a pitcher and trying to draw a walk? Until the Astros learn to get on-base, they’re always going to have trouble scoring runs.
Oh well, only 29 more games left this season. The horror will soon be over. – John Royal