Nationals put up 7 spot in eighth inning, come from behind to fell Astros 8-4

When I was a little kid and one of my favorite teams (Astros, Rockets, Packers) would lose a game, I wouldn't read the article the next day in the paper that detailed the defeat. I would glaze over it and move on to something that wouldn't evoke the painful memories of the day prior. So, I guess my writing a post game recap of an Astros loss shows I'm growing up! Ok, this was a meaningless game in September and I know in my heart that the team should lose a couple games like this down the stretch to even things out in terms of the law of averages.

The three runs the Astros managed to score all crossed home plate in the first inning, two of which on a Jason Michaels home run. The rest of the night was fairly uneventful until the seventh inning when starter JA Happ exited after six shutout innings of work. Mark Melancon allowed a run to bring the Nationals within two runs. A bevy of eighth inning relief pitchers: Tim Byrdak, Felipe Paulino and Matt Lindstrom, gave up runs left and right, ending Houston's modest two game winning streak.

Perhaps the most important development tonight was the exit of Hunter Pence in the first inning with a hip flexor injury. I'm not entirely sure what a hip flexor is, but I'm vaguely aware of the functions of the human hip. As such, I would imagine that Pence may be sidelined if he plans on running or exerting himself whatsoever in the near future. Two outfielders go down in one week? Boo.

On the bright side, Chris Johnson collected three hits, falling a triple short of the cycle. His ninth inning home run only added to the intrigue that will surround the off season debate on whether Johnson is playing above his head, and by how much.

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