JA Happ pitched the 3rd Astros complete game this year, a 3-0 shutout of the Cards. Unlike his previous starts, he threw mostly strikes, going to only three 3 ball counts. One walk, 2 singles, 1 GIDP (from Uncle). And that was really all she wrote.
It was a nice quick Roy-O style game – 2 hrs, 1 min, first pitch to last – probably because there was exactly 1 mound conference – the Cards in the 7th. And only 1 pitching change, and that was to start an inning. I LIKEY!!!! It’s true that all the running out to the mound, stepping out, stepping on, stepping off makes games incredibly more boring and I wish the time limits were enforced (yeah, they are ALREADY ML rules, but not enforced…)
Jake Westbrook wasn’t bad – 9 hits, 1 walk, FOUR GIDP (Castro had 2, Clank had 1, Sanchez had 1) and gave up only 3 hard hit balls (only 1 was an out – Manzella’s flyout to the wall at the RF bullpen) and the other 2, both singles, drove in runs. Pence singled and Clank drove him in with a double down the RF line that had some funny bouncing after it hit just inside the line.
CJ broke his ofer 9 with a single in the 7th, then Brett Wallace, who went 3 fer 3 – yeah, he DID, and now he’s hitting about 20 points under his weight!!! drove him in with a double to the LF bullpen wall.
Oh yeah – and we had our all rookie infield tonight – Wallace, Sanchez, Manzella, Johnson, Castro. Manzella made awesome plays all night long, Sanchez made a fabulous catch of Miles’ pop fly into shallow right center, Wallace made a nice DP when he caught Rasmus’ liner and doubled off Yadi Molina in the 8th. Castro called a great game and Happ shook him off once.
Manzella hustled BIG time to beat out a crucial infield single in the 8th. And speaking of hustle, Carlos Lee, yes, CARLOS LEE hustled in the 4th – when Wallace was up, he had second easily stolen, only it was a foul and then on the next pitch, he ran HARD from first to third when Wallace singled. In fact, this August was the first month this year that he hit his usual career numbers – .295/.339/.514/.854. He SAYS he’s worked out his troubles with his swing, seeing the ball, etc. OK, but he’s got to do it for more than 1 month, seeing as how we’re prolly stuck with him for 2 more years, unless Drayton wants to eat more dough.
Tomorrow, it’s the Wand Man vs Chris Carpenter. Root root root for the Wand Man. Especially because I don’t like Carpenter…