Call It a Pitchers' Battle (to Surrender Runs)

The guys with the Chron sports department write lots of stupid things. But seeing as how the Astros have played this past week, I wonder if Richard Justice would like to take back this statement: “I would think [Purpura is] hustling to sign Jennings to an extension, but I don't know that to be the case. If he did, he'd begin next season with a front three of Roy Oswalt, Woody Williams and Jennings. If he added a starter via free agency, the rotation potentially could be very good.”

Since Justice wrote that, the Astros pitchers have surrendered 9, 1, 18, 12, 12, and 11 runs. Woody’s been beat up on twice. Jennings gave up 11 runs in two thirds of an inning in his last appearance. So, does this rotation still have the potential to be very good?

Yeah, reality bites.

But let’s hear it for the Astros. This time the team was able to withstand the suckiness that is Woody Williams and, thanks to a Mike Lamb eighth inning grand slam, sent the game to extra innings. The Astros were even able to take a two-run lead into the bottom of the 12th inning, but Brad Lidge returned to form and surrendered a two-run homer to Matt Diaz – getting his fourth blown save of the season in the process. Jason Jennings got the game-winning hit, an RBI single in the 14th – yes, that Jason Jennings – and the Astros won the game 12-11.

Trivia note: This was the first time in Astros history that the Astros surrendered 10+ runs in a game in four straight games.

Further trivia note: Brian Moehler recorded his first major league save.

The Astros are now 47-61 on the season with 54 games left. (God, won’t it ever end?) The team now has a weekend series in Miami with the Marlins. And Roy Oswalt pitches tonight, so there’s a hope that the Marlins just might get held to single digits in the runs column. -- John Royal

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