Brandon Backe, he LIKEY the spotlight – he’s pitched GREAT in both his ESPN games and we’ve won them both.
Jeff Brantley said all night how great Backe pitched – and he said that Backe HAD been working with Clemens (like I’ve been saying ALL year – I KNEW it…)
And Backe was awesome – 7 IP (plus 1 in the 8th) 81 pitches, 7 H, 2 K, 1 BB and 1 ER. PLUS he had a hit, a SB (you GO boy) and a run scored.
Backe started the 8th having thrown only 74 pitches. Macias, the pinch hitter, fouled off 7 straight pitches, took one, then hit a single to right. Phil then pulls Backe (not sure why – guess he’s trying something different) but Dan Wheeler comes in and shuts the door, thank goodness. I was REALLY afraid I was gonna see Franco or someone else…
We had come into the 8th barely leading 2-1 because Maddux had been pitching pretty well, but we did something we hadn’t done since early April – we managed to increase the lead by 3 runs.
Phil, of course, had yet a DIFFERENT lineup tonight, this time with Palmeiro in center (dude is NOT a CF, by the way – he won’t be able to run down any tough FB in the Box) Viz at short and Lamb at first. Remember that great line that Brewer fan gave me about Garner – “he had Loretta in more positions than the Kama Sutra…” and it looks like Phil still a believer. I’m counting the days until I see Backe at some position… I mean besides pitching.
Play of the night (besides Backe stealing, of course) was Biggio beating out an infield single in the 8th because Todd Walker took too long to throw the ball to Derrek Lee – Biggio hit weak ass grounders all night.
Stat of the night – ESPN says that the Astros relievers have allowed 23/52 inherited runners to score – the most in the NL. Yep. This is the first time all year that I remember that a reliever has not allowed Brandon’s inherited runner to score.
Runner-up Stat of the Night – (again from ESPN) the 2-21 road record is the worst since the 88 Zer-Os… I wonder where 3 – 21 is on the record book…
Brad Lidge finished off the game – let’s call him BRAAAD. Brantley said that he told Lidge to throw FB – looks like he took the advice – got 2 GO to SS and a FO to right, but he still wasn’t locating even the FB very well at times – 9 strikes, 6 balls.
More good news – NO fielding screwups (batted balls that shoulda been outs or errors being counted as hits – that sort of thing…)
Better news – we Backe on pace to beat the 62 Mets record…