Yall may not realize it with all the network hype about the Yecchies and the Dead Sox but B B no longer stands for Barry Bonds – it stands for (take yer pick)
Let me tell yall about it…..
Yesterday was just insane when we Rocketed to victory. Question – is it possible for a crowd that broke The Who’s record for most decibels in a closed crowded place to be even louder than yesterday?
Oh yeah, baby YEAH!
Today, we’re sittin with a bunch of frat boys from BOTH A&M and UT (the lion shall lie down with the lamb – just don’t ask me which is which) and they yelling GO STROS during Cardinal BP.
MLB says game is supposed to start at 3, but Husband says, don’t be silly, they gonna wait until the football game is safely over, so the newspaper is right about the 3:40 start time and the Box is overstuffed by the time some Famous Guy, who obviously don’t sing for a living, sings the National Anthem double time -I guess to make up for Mrs. Pettitte yesterday.
Barbara Bush throws out the first pitch. Stros fans L U V her – don’t make no difference your color, age or politics -and she gets a standing O. We’re still screaming when the Stros take the field and Roy-O throws the first pitch…
1st inning – And it’s a strike!! to Womack, who GO on strike 3. Loud cheers and screams. Walker up. Roy’s throwing 96 mph fastballs, but he’s having a lot of trouble finding the strike zone, or the ump’s not calling borderline pitches, and Walker does just that. Pujols, 11 fer 32 lifetime vs Roy is up. Roy can’t locate slider or FB and Pujols sends the 2-0 just over the wall of the Crawford boxes, about 350 ft and just like that, they’re up 2-0. Rolen doubles. Edmonds GO, Rolen to third. Renteria draws a 3-2 BB. Mabry singles, scoring Rolen, then Molina mercifully GO to end the inning.
Already down 3-0. That doesn’t bother me as much as the fact that Roy isn’t spotting his FB and the curve ain’t. 32 pitches already. I don’t remember him EVER looking this horrible in the first.
We’re up. Jason Marquis pitching. We’ve seen him 3 times this year – he’s 1 -1, and in his ND, faced Roy to a 1 -1 draw in 7 IP for both, and by the way, Miceli (remember him) lost the game in extra innings. Anyway, fortunately for us, Marquis seems to be having trouble with the strike zone, too. Biggio grounds out, Marquis pitched so carefully to Beltran that he walked. Bagwell, one fer St. Louis, doubles Beltran home. We B Jammin!! Berkman walks, But Kent Ks and Ensberg hits a looong fly ball to deep center, a good 400′, where balls go to die in Edmonds’ glove, and Ensberg strands 2.
ASTROS 1 CARDS 3
2nd inning – Roy back. Curve seems to be curving, but he’s STILL having trouble locating that FB, but 15 pitches later, he has 3 outs. Maybe he’ll hafta squeak by on borderline stuff. Marquis back. Viz flies out first pitch, Chavez GO on 2-1 and Roy GO on the 3-1. Gotta work the count, boys.
3rd inning – Omigawd it’s Barry, er I mean Pujols again. Hopefully Roy’s gotten command of his pitches. Nope. Pujols walks. Better walk than HR, I say. Rolen hits soft looper to left that Biggio traps (sorry to say, but Jason Lane would’ve had it) Pujols goes to third and he comes home on Edmonds’ sac fly. Renteria FO and Mabry GO. Biggio pops out after a 10 pitch AB. Then B eltran singles. B agwell singles. B erkman doubles them home. We B comin Back. Thunderous screaming, but Kent pops out on 1 pitch and Ensberg Ks, stranding Berkman.
ASTROS 3 CARDS 4
4th inning – Roy starts off well – Matheny FO on 2 pitches, Marquis singles to right on the next pitch, but for some reason, tries to stretch it into a double and is easily thrown out by Berkman. Ok!! 3 pitches, 2 outs, and it’s Womack, who’s 1 fer 9 against Roy. But unfortunately, Roy can’t get anything over and he walks Womack. Uh-oh. Walker singles. Pujols (grrrrrrrrrrr, can’t ANYBODY get this guy out???!!!) singles Womack home. Rolen FO to Carlos, stranding 2. Pujols is hitting over .600 – I wonder if his name was Barry, if he’d get walked. Marquis back. He gets Viz, Chavez and Roy out on 12 pitches.
ASTROS 3 CARDS 5
5th inning – Roy back. Box is quiet. But 6 pitches later, Edmonds, Renteria and Taguchi (in for Mabry) are out. WOW!! Roy has suddenly got the FB under control and the slider hitting the corners. He hadn’t pitched in 5 days, maybe he just needed to get a little tired out. The crowd, which had been awfully quiet, comes, suddenly, deafeningly alive when Carlos makes a great catch of Taguchi’s FO. Cuz now it B time to come Back.
Biggio leads off again, third time tonight, and this time singles. Suddenly, Marquis starts with the throwing to first, walking around the mound twice between pitches, and it’s obvious that LaRussa has decided that twice thru the lineup is enough and time for the best bullpen in the NL to come in and shut us down. Or try to. Kiko Calero in. Beltran Ks. Bagwell Ks. Berkman at bat when Biggio gets CS to end the inning. Calero looks good, unfortunately.
6th inning – Roy is back and so are his pitches – he looks the way he usually does in the first. Just needed 79 pitches to get loose. Barry Pujols singles, of course – playoff average must be like .700 by now, but Rolen, Edmonds and Renteria go right down – slider slidin and curve curvin. Looks like Roy gonna go a few more innings – 96 pitches and NOW he’s cruising.
Calero back to face Berkman, who was AB when Biggio CS. Berkman homers on the 3-1. Guess he can homer from the left, too, TLR. We B doin it again and we rockin the Box, screaming, hi fiving and waving our Stros towels and “Believe” signs. Kent has already Kd on 3 pitches by the time the screaming starts to die down, then Ensberg FO to the warning track in deep left – poor guy – 2 well hit balls that died. So it’s Viz who hits the first pitch down the left field line for a double and Chavez (BA about .200) who singles him home.
TIE GAME!!!!! YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS!
It’s Roy’s AB, but this is the go ahead run, so Phil sends the lefty Palmeiro up to pinch hit. That’s odd – doesn’t Phil realize that TLR will just pull Calero and send in King and Palmeiro hits .167 off lefties? Why not Lamb, who hits righties and lefties the same (.286?) Of course, putting in King is just what TLR does and Palmeiro’s out. Might as well have left Roy in – he can get an out just as well.
ASTROS 5 CARDS 5
7th inning – Dan Wheeler relieves Roy. He’s had two 1,2,3 innings, but he’s gonna face the meat this time, so how will he do? We’re all holding our breath because Pujols is up. He singles, of course. (well, better than double, triple or HR, right?!) But Wheeler just concentrates and gets Rolen, Edmonds and Renteria out easily. Boy is lookin good!!!!!
Famous Guy sings God Bless America slightly off key and double time. OKKKKKKKKKK.
Take Me Out to the Ball Game
Let’s go and beat the Carrrrrds
Carlos and Lance will hit baseballs out
Lidge will come in and then shut them all down
So it’s root root for the ASTROS
It’s win the pennant or bussssssst
Cuz it’s 1,2 3 strikes they’re out
And left in the dusssssst.
Then the Texas National Anthem:
The stars at night
Are big and Bright
clap clap clap clap
Deep in the hearrrrrrrrrrrrrt of Texas…
King out, Tavarez in. Biggio flies out to lead off. Carlos up. Loud screams – we want him to be REAL sure we like him. He’s due, I say to Husband, and sure nuff, Tavares throws Carlos one too many sliders and #5 lands in the right field bullpen. Screaming, yelling, cheering ourselves hoarse – I think Carlos has to take a curtain call to shut us up – can’t see over all the people, but the noise hasn’t really died down when Tavares, who is even more wild than Roy was, walks Bagwell on 4 pitches. First pitch to Berkman bounces away and Bagwell is at second. Berkman gets himself an IBB so they can pitch to Kent, who ain’t swinging well today, but Tavares hits him with a pitch. Bases loaded!!! OK!! Insurance run time. But Ensberg, (BOY!!! whatchu doin swing at that stuff? man ain’t shown he can even THROW a strike!!) who is really pressing GIDP. That’s 6 LOB for him tonight. Beltran needs to tell him to relax. Is that who I think it is warming up in the bullpen after Carlos went POW, gone???!!!
Yeah, baby, YEAH!!!
ASTROS 6 CARDS 5
8th inning – BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD!!! Now I know some of you might could think, but why not leave Wheeler in, he was doing so well? And after Braaaaaaaaaad threw 41 pitches yesterday? And I say, because this is the PLAYOFFS and we’re playing the Cards, (not the Dbax) we are leading by ONE run and there is NO room for all that “role” bullstuff. 7 pitches and it’s 1,2,3 out. We’re screaming ourself hoarse with each strike and out, waving towels, jumping around . TLR brings in IZZY to prevent a few insurance runs and he gets 3 outs with 5 pitches.
9th inning – Man, am I a nervous wreck. One lousy run. Jason Lane (LF) and Eric Bruntlett (2B) in for defense.
BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD to pound the nail in the coffin. Womack fouls off 4 pitches before he grounds to Bagwell, who barely gets the ball to Brad in time, But he does and it’s 2 outs to go. Walker up and the wily ol coot lays off the sliders and he’s on first after 4 pitches. At least he won’t run. I’m holding my breath. And screaming. Yes. Both. Pujols FO to Lane!! We got him out!!! We got him out!! FINALLY!!! YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS!! And with the Box shaking with the screams, we scream with each of Rolen’s 3 strikes and
We’ve tied the series at 2-2 and I’m absolutely exhausted, hoarse and soaked with sweat. It takes like forever to get down from the stands, thru the crowded hall and down the stairs to the street. People still shouting LETS GO ASTROS all the way down the hall and stairs, streets crowded with cheering people. Cars with horns honking, people waving Astros signs – my favorite – “Carlos for President” and talking excitedly about Brandon Backe gonna nail it down tomorrow. It takes over an hour from the time Brad strikes out Rolen to the time we get home. Thank God for chicken because I’m too tired to cook.
Tomorrow, a Tale of Two Texans, Woody Williams vs Brandon Backe – repeat matchup of Game 1, except that THIS time we gonna win!!!!!