And no, I have no idea when the Astros last defeated Smoltz, but it was 1998 or earlier as the Yahoo game logs only go back to ’99. And the Astros have never defeated the guy in the postseason. EVER.
Sometimes, things just don’t turn out the way you think they will. Bud Norris didn’t have great control of the strike zone and seemed to overthrow at least half of the fastballs he threw. But his slider slid enough that he managed to get himself out of trouble.
He threw 6 innings, gave up 6 singles (2 of them infield hits) and 2 walks, went to 3-2 counts 5 times, went to 3-0 once, stranded men on first and second in the first 3 innings, but turned his luck around when Smoltz bunt grounded into a 3-6-4 DP in the 4th (Lance was absolutely NAILS on defense tonight.) He got a quick 1,2,3 out on Schumaker, Rasmus and Uncle in the 5th and got a 1,2,3 out in the 6th when DeRosa GIDP 6-4-3 in the 6th.
Smoltz seemed to have better stuff – gave up 2 doubles, 3 singles, no walks and 5 K, and, in fact, for the first couple of innings, I had the uneasy feeling that the Astros were going to get no-hit, but Kaz Matsui, his nemesis (he’s 13/25, can you believe it???) doubled to left, then Bud Norris laid a bunt single just barely fair inside the 3B line and it was men on first and third, 1 out. Bourn took Smoltz to a 3-2 count, but then struck out swinging on a pitch waaaay inside (he’s doing too much of that, too) and then Miggy, who had a great night, drove Kaz home.
Bud held onto that 1 run lead, too. That boy is gonna be all right. He seems to have gotten a second wind after sitting out for a start a few weeks back.
The Astros tacked on a second run when Miggy doubled, went to 3rd on a Berkman flyout and then came home on Carlos’s sac-fly. Carlos was swinging at all KINDS of crap out of the zone and fouling it off and actually hit the ball on the only pitch he saw in the zone.
Pence and Bourn were the only ones who went to 3-2 counts and they each did so twice.
In fact, Bourn worked a walk against a lefty in the second of those 3-2 counts and the came around to score on a single from Carlos again. He’s smellin that 100th RBI, I can tell. He’s had so many opportunities that he’s wasted this year – he should have driven in at least 150.
But I digress.
Fulchino struck out the side in the 7th (one of Fast Eddie’s good pickups, along with Byrdak and Hawkins, who didn’t allow a run in the 8th) and then Valverde got 1,2,3 out after a leadoff walk.
We have a blessed day off, then HOPEFULLY Clark will play some of the young guys against the Reds as he can’t make the excuse that we have to throw only Old Guys against any team in contention.
We’ll see Moehler on Friday, Paulino on Saturday and Wandy to finish out the season on Sunday.
I heard that Wandy was so out of kilter in his last start because his pitching day routine was significantly disrupted by the team conference about firing Cooper. Hopefully, he’ll be back where he belongs for Fan Appreciation Day. I’d sure like to see a few Wandy shirts besides mine out there.
They don’t sell them in the Shed and Wandy is the best pitcher on the team. If only he LOOKED like Bradley Awesomeness, they’d have to build another Shed…