YES, you read that right!!! The Astros managed THREE, yes, THREE runs (woulda been 4 if Berkman hadn’t gotten hisself thrown out on yet another baserunning booboo) and Paulino went 8 innings giving up only 1 run. He threw 120 pitches, but he really cruised through the 6th, 7th and 8th, needing only 41 pitches – only 1 really well hit ball and that was Fontenot’s drive to the LF bullpen that Bourn ran down all the way from deep center beating Clank to the ball (naturally) and making a superlative catch.
Paulino struck out 7, 6 swinging, and ended up giving up 3 doubles, 2 singles, a walk and an IBB to DLee to load the bases to face Aramis, who popped up to the Astros bullpen – Lance leaned over the railing to catch it.
And speaking of Lance, he’s remembered how to hit – went 3 fer 4 including a double hitting righty off the scoreboard (and yeah, Sori didn’t play it very well) and drove in 2 and FINALLY managed to steal a base – still looks as if he’s not exactly running well.
Bourn went 3 fer 5 with 2 singles, 1 double, stole a base, scored 2 runs and made catches all OVAH the place.
And it really was great to beat Zambrano for the first time in, like forEVAH. He had a lot of trouble with his location, but suddenly he remembered where he was and which team he was facing and he sharpened up. He looks like he’s lost his energy, looks like this is a job, not a game. Don’t know what’s happened to him, but I hardly recognised the guy.
He couldn’t find the plate in the first – gave up a leadoff single to Bourn, got Kepp out on a hitnrun, gave up a RBI single to Lance (who thought he’d go to second on the non-existant throw home to get Bourn – and he thought wrong – let’s put it like that…) then a double to Clank (who would have had another RBI if Berkman had stayed at first) then he walked Sullivan on a 3-1, then Blum on a 3-1 and then with bases loaded, Feliz popped out to shallow right to end it – only 1 lousy run.
Z was on a pitch count, I think, and Lou pulled him in the 5th after Felipe Kd, then Bourn singled and stole second, then Kepp drove him home with a single to center. The Cubs tried to get Michael out, but he was just too darn fast and he slid headfirst across home with a swipe tag, and just barely avoided getting his hand stepped on.
Then Tom Gorzellany came in to relieve. Lance doubled in Kepp, then Carlos was IBB – shows that he MUST be lookin like he’s hitting again, even if he is still batting .216, and then Mills smartly pulled Sullivan, who can barely hit RIGHTYS, and sent in Pence to PH – yeah, I forgot – Sullivan started the night in right – we need them lefty bats. Anyhow, Pence walked on 4 straight, then Blum, batting righty, struck out leaving bases loaded. Then Sweet Lou sent in a rookie reliever named Stevens, and he got Feliz out, leaving bases loaded AGAIN. Feliz DID actually manage to get a hit – but it was off Bobby Howry who is, uh, hittable (ahem – 8.75 ERA, .340 BAA) so Lou brought in Marmol who got Q and Michaels without any difficulty.
Andrew Cashner, RHP, local boy (who Justice says offered to sign with teh Astros for like 175 K – a big hometown discount -the year before he was drafted by the Cubs in the first round for almost 2 mill and was sneered at by Timmy P, Drayton or both) pitched the 7th, and except for giving up a single to Lance, looked VERY good. The boy made it to the ML after spending a little over 1 year in the minors. He has a crisp 97 MPH FB and a very nice breaker. The Cubs I guess are keeping him in the bullpen for a little to break him into the majors – I hope he doesn’t get Joba’d.
Anyhow, Matt Lindstrom was brought in to close, even though Byrdak and Lopez had been warming up, and I held my breath, seeing as how he’d had such poor control his last 4 outings, but he got 3 outs with 8 pitches and only threw 2 balls.
The only problem with winning is there is no real incentive for Drayton/Fast Eddie to get rid of Feliz/Sullivan and bring up minor leaguers.
Tomorrow, it’s Roy-O vs Ryan Dempster
Dempster is 4-10 in 19 GS and 26 in relief vs the Astros with a 4.57 ERA, 1.41 WHIP.
This year, he too has been the victim of lousy run support, so he has a 3-5 record, but he has a 3.72 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and a .213 BAA. We faced him back in April, he gave up 4 hits, 2 BB, 1 R over 7.2 IP and didn’t get a W because his bullpen blew it.