This Day In Astros History: April 18, 1998

There had to be a lull after the awesomeness that was the 24-inning game. I think I've found a suitable alternative. It's got a walkoff home run and LIMA TIME! In this game, the Astros beat the Montreal Expos 4-3 in the Astrodome for their third straight victory.

Speaking of Jose Lima, I mentioned on Twitter how much I dig The Baseball Project. Both of their albums are very good, but the songs I've been humming to myself for the past couple of days are ones they did for ESPN last summer. It was series of six or seven songs they published on Page 2 over the course of seven weeks. My favorite song? Lima Time. It's catchy with a twinge of melancholy to it. I've listened to it a bunch in the past week, so it's fitting that Lima gets the start here. 

Here, Lima pitched seven innings, allowing eight hits, three runs and a walk while striking out seven, but got the no-decision. The Astros chases Expo's starter Marc Valdez by the fifth inning, largely thanks to five walks, but could only capitalize with three runs off him. Relievers Shayne Bennett and Steve Kline shut the door, leaving Miguel Batista to pitch the ninth.

Batista started out well, getting a fly out from Derek Bell and a foul popup from Jeff Bagwell. The third fly ball in the inning wasn't so nice, as Sean Berry hit a game-winning solo home run down the left field line. Berry hadn't even started the game, entering as a pinch hitter for Billy Spiers, who was 1 for 1 with two walks before exiting. 

Those fly balls were a big part of this one. In Lima's seven innings of work, he gave up 17(!!) fly balls. Knowing what we do now, it had to be obvious that Lima wasn't a great fit for Minute Maid Park. Alas.

Doug Henry and C.J. Nitkowski each pitched a scoreless innning in relief, with Henry picking up his first victory of the season. Derek Bell led the way offensively, going 3 for 4 with three stolen bases, a walk and a run scored. Craig Biggio was also very good, going 2 for 5 with two stolen bases in possibly his most efficient offensive season.

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