In case you've forgotten, this is what winning a series is like. It took some sloppy defense on the part of Washington, and some timely hitting from Michael Bourn and Carlos Lee, but the Astros won their first series since a sweep against St. Louis three weeks ago. In so doing, the Astros reached the twenty win plateau, a mark previously thought unattainable....not really, but it sure as hell seemed like it at times.
Brian Moehler pitched about as well as Brian Moehler probably can, going 5.1 innings while giving up only 2 runs. Our middle relief corps looks like a scrap heap of left overs at this point in time, but Byrdak, Fulchino and Daigle combined with Brandon Lyon to preserve a lead for Moehler. Times were good. The optimism was palpable. Matt Lindstrom retired the first two Nats in the ninth in order and all was right with the world. As it so often goes with the Astros though, things can never be that easy. Matt Morse singled up the middle and scored after Willie Harris' pop up to left went un-caught by a typically slow footed Carlos Lee. Not only did Lee fail to make the play, the ball's spin played tricks with Lee and the ball rolled back towards the corner allowing Morse to score. A Christian Guzman bloop to center field allowed Harris to trot home to give the Nationals a rather undeserved lead heading into the bottom of the ninth.
As if Tuesday's comeback wasn't enough, the Astros decided to treat us again. With one out, MB knocked a line drive double to right center, but Jeff Keppinger failed to score him, leaving it all up to Lance Berkman. Berkman knocked a rapidly falling liner into right field which should have gone for the third out, but instead Christian Guzman completely missed the ball on the fly. Bourn romped around third to score the tying run. Carlos Lee would see to it that Guzman would wear the title of least valuable player from Thursday's game, crushing a Matt Capps pitch for a game winning two run home run.
Tomorrow the Astros will welcome throngs of Chicago transplants, hangers-on and bandwagoners to Minute Maid Park. Then there's the draft next week. For a team with just 20 wins, the next few days are going to be fun.