You Close Your Eyes for a Minute, and They Give Up Six Runs

When I went to bed last night, it was the middle of the 7th inning, and the Astros were up 9-4 and seemingly on cruise control. I figured it would be an easy post to write this morning. I'd mention how Chris Sampson didn't have his best stuff, but that he battled and kept the Astros in the game long enough for the offense to beat up on Angles starter John Lackey and take a safe lead. I'd note that Mike Lamb and Mark Loretta are still killing the ball. And I'd question what kind of idiot keeps batting Craig Biggio lead-off on the road, where his average is hovering around the

Mendoza line


Then I woke up this morning to discover that the Astros lost 10-9.

What the fuck, I wondered? Did Brad Lidge pitch?

So, wanting to know what happened, I wandered over to the Los Angeles Times Web site and discovered that Chone Figgins, batting .258 heading into last night's game, hit a game-winning triple off of Trever Miller in the 9th inning. Figgins also went 6-6 and raised his average to .284. Which has me wondering about just what kind of idiot, with only one man on base, and two outs, decides to pitch to a guy who, at that point, is 5-5 on the night? It also leads me to wonder just what kind of idiot it is who decides that Trever Miller is just the guy to get this all important final out?

I then read that the Astros were able to load the bases in the top of the 9th inning, with only 1 out, but that Morgan Ensberg lined out, and that Craig Biggio struck out.

I also surfed the Net for a bit and discovered that, while Miller was pitching to Figgins, Dan Wheeler and Brad Lidge were ready to go in the bullpen. Not that I'm thrilled about the idea of Lidge pitching at this moment in time, but isn't he paid big bucks for just moments like this? And it makes you wonder about whether Phil Garner actually looks at the stats of his players before putting them into a game.

And, I discovered that if I'd stayed up for the bottom of the 7th inning, I would have seen the Angels bat around and score five runs off of Chad Qualls to tie the game, though Sampson was charged with three of the runs since he's the one who loaded the bases. I also noted that Chone Figgins -- yes, him again -- is the one that tied the game when he hit an infield single.

It should also be pointed out that Craig Biggio did get one hit, moving him to within 10 hits of the magic 3,000 hit mark. It should also be noted that Biggio went 1-6 for the game, which is not a really good average, especially for a lead-off batter.

The Angels do have the most wins in baseball, and that's probably because they know how to win games win losing by five runs in the 7th inning. The Astros, however, fell to nine games behind the Brewers.

First pitch is set for a little after 9:00 tonight, Houston time. With Jason Jennings pitching for the Astros. -- John Royal

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