Not sure why Roy the ACE hasn’t shown up yet this month except for an inning here and there, but he insists that he feels fine (and of course he also did last April when he was giving up home runs left and right – hahahaha…) He needed a lot of pitches to get through each inning and after 4 innings, had thrown 79 pitches, as opposed to Wolf’s 54. (You DO notice that Astros hitters don’t believe in making a pitcher work a little, hunh) He did get 1,2,3 innings in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th, gave up 2 singles, got 2 Ks with 22 pitches in the 5th, and then in the 6th, all heck broke loose.
Not sure if Roy got his little self feeling a leeeetle too comfortable with the 2 run lead thanks to Hunter Pence’s 2 run homer just to the right of the Conoco pump window (and that is a LONG home run, folks) but…
Manny led off the inning – he’d gotten a good look at Roy – the slider, the FB, the curve which wasn’t working very well and then hammered a waist high inner third FB juuust OVER the Citgo sign and out of the park. Having seen both home runs, I am here to tell you that it was incredibly longer and harder hit than the infamous Uncle Albert offn Lidge homer. Then, very next hitter, Roy left another FB in the middle of the plate and Ethier got himself a CBox cheapie – juuuust over the yellow line. Loney grounded out (homeboy has a LOT of fans here in Dodger Blue – well, and of course all the lovesick female Astros fans missin our Bradley-poo) and then walked Russell Martin on 5 straight balls. He struck out Kemp on the same pitches which were called balls to Loney (yes I did check with Gameday because I was confused) and then threw an inside high-ish FB to Casey Blake who hit it juuuuuuust inside the LF foul pole all the way to the Union Station Building facade (never seen a ball hit there before.)
And there are the Astros, down 4-2.
But THIS time, they don’t give up. In the bottom of the inning, Berkman walks, Carlos singles and Jason Michaels, who has finally decided to stop completely sucking, doubled them in, tying the score and getting Roy off the hook for another L.
Chris Sampson pitched a 1,2,3 7th, but in the 8th, gave up a single and a double down the LF line that Clank bobbled long enough to let Ethier score. In the bottom of the 8th, Lance, hitting lefty, took an outside FB over the tracks, tying the score.
Man, that is THREE homers that left the building tonight. Might could the balls be a little bit lively this year?
Then, Pence hit a GR double over the RF fence. Blum went up to PH and Joe Torre quite reasonably told Martin to IBB him and pitch to Pudge, which was a VERY reasonable strategy, Heck, I would have done the same, seeing as how Pudge is reduced to just hitting ground balls and striking out and he has been hitting .195 vs RHP AND was hitting .083 with RISP and hadn’t gotten even a single with RISP and 2 outs.
So, Belisario, the Dodgers pitcher, while throwing an intentional pitch, throws one wide of Martin and Pence hustles into third. Then after Blum goes to first, Pudge hits the very first pitch right back up the middle and Pence trots in.
Hawkins gets it done in the 9th (Valverde is hurting BIG time after last night, but isn’t going on the DL – at least, not yet) getting a nice 1,2,3 inning with a little help from Lance.
Tomorrow it is the mighty Wand Man vs Clay Billingsley, and it sure nuff would be nice to see him pull his usual Box magic and help the Astros sweep the Dodgers. I am gonna head to the ballpark wearing my Wandy t-shirt, taking my Bradley Awesomeness Bobblehead and gonna head down to the dugouts and try to get a Wandy autograph and then head over to the Other side with the other umpteen thousand females to tell Bradley we love him, miss him, adore him, hope he manages our team REAL soon.