Dodge This! Astros fall 6-2

When Geoff Blum starts at shortstop, it's going to be a bad game. One of the comments in Monday's Wandy post talked about the defense behind him (I believe it was Joe in Birmingham that brought it up). Certainly, the Astros did him no favors by trotting out Blum and Keppinger up the middle.

The most damaging hit against Wandy came on a two-run double in the first inning. Casey Blake hit a ball down the line, scoring Manny Ramirez and Matt Kemp and pushing the score up to 3-1. Wandy was noticeably upset after the inning ended. Of course, both runs were unearned thanks to errors by both Blum and Kepp. Wandy wasn't bad, allowing four runs in 6 2/3 innings while striking out one and walking two. As I said, only one of the runs was earned.

Wandy's frustration can certainly be felt by the fans watching games too. No one blames him or Roy Oswalt for being snippy about the offense or the defense. Both have let the Astros down this season. Still, it's not a great sign that the team is gaining that divisive feel that was so counterproductive at the end of Cecil Cooper's run. Brad Mills will be really tested behind the scenes until this ship can be turned.

What happened with the offense? It was the same story as always. The Astros saw a new pitcher and were totally shut down by him. Joe Ely struck out eight Astros in seven innings. None of Houston's hitters had extra base hits. Michael Bourn once again scored one of the Astros' only runs. Carlos Lee, Humberto Quintero and Geoff Blum were a combined 0 for 10 with two strikeouts and one GIDP. Not one Astro took a walk. It's like these hitters were put on this earth to frustrate the crap out of me. I'm not even to the point of being morbidly curious to see one of the worst offenses in modern history. Not yet, anyways.

Oh, and did I mention Brandon Lyon also gave up two late runs, turning a relatively close game into one that's basically out of reach? Just when Lyon was winning some subdued respect, I have to go back to feeling ambivalent towards him. 

At least there's a chance for splitting the series Tuesday...


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