The slumping Astros are facing the slumping Milwaukee Brewers this weekend in a series that is key only to those of you deluded enough to think the Astros have a shot in hell at making the NL playoffs. The good thing is that both teams have been losing, and losing badly. The pitching staffs are beaten up. And there promises to be lots of fireworks. But if you're looking for a reason to attend one of the games, then just read up, as we've got ten good ones.
10. If you don't attend the games, and the stadium is empty, then expect Drayton McLane to start his annual bitching about how he's losing money. Paul Dolan, owner of the Cleveland Indians has already started his whine, and you just know Drayton's just waiting for the right moment. So let's not give it to him.
9. It looks like Mike Hampton will be pitching instead of the still injured Roy Oswalt this weekend. And Hampton's been sucking badly. So hopefully he'll let a pitch go a little too far inside to Prince Fielder. Then just place someone with a video camera at the entrance to the Astros locker room, and just wait for the fun to start.
8. Both pitching staffs really, really suck right now. So the folks sitting in the outfield seats can expect a lot of souvenirs.
7. Hey, if you're lucky, maybe you'll get to see Carlos Lee actually run -- nah, that's never going to happen.
6. From the because you can never have enough Craig Biggio crap department-- and because Drayton is going to continue to milk Biggio for every penny that he can -- comes the Saturday night game where the first 10,000 fans get a Craig Biggio T-Shirt.
5. It's a great chance to see the Sausage Races. Oh wait, that's one of the few things that Drayton hasn't ripped off from another ballpark, and it's actually one of the fun ones -- which is probably why he's not ripped it off.
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4. The Astros have only had four quality starts in their last 12 games. That's an average of one per series. So let's have a contest to see which one of the starters hits that mark against the Brewers. My money's on Bud Norris.
3. Michael Bourn didn't play Wednesday because he was the just the latest in a long-line of Astros this season with a hamstring issue. So let's show up and place wages on the next Astro to suffer a hamstring problem. I say no to Lee because that would mean he would actually have to make some kind of effort. Kazuo Matsui is always a possibility. But I'm going with Hunter Pence because he actually seems to care about what happens in the game and bothers to make an effort throughout the game.
2. One of my favorite ballpark activities is watching Dave Clark in the third base coach's box and trying to figure out just how he's going to screw up. And since the Brewers pitching isn't that good at the moment, he might have lots and lots of chances to screw up.
1. Bud Norris is pitching tonight. The kid was fantastic in his first ever major league start on Sunday, so let's watch was he does tonight. Hopefully he's just as spectacular.