Astros Show Proof Of Life In Loss To Pirates

HOUSTON - JULY 17: Humberto Quintero #55 of the Houston Astros receives a high five from third base coach Dave Clark after hitting a home run in the eleventh inning against the PIttsburgh Pirates at Minute Maid Park on July 17, 2011 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

I don't ask for much from the major league team I follow closely. Just that, from time to time (even in a lost season), they show signs of life. They play hard, they make things interesting, they keep me from tuning out by the fourth inning.

It's not a big request, but the Astros haven't been honoring it for about the past month. I thought the second half was going to continue in the same way, especially after Houston dropped that opener to the Pirates, but then the fought back for an unexpected win Saturday and really tried to take Sunday's series finale. 

It was enough to keep me interested, even if the game didn't turn out like I had wanted. Hey, at least Q hit a home run, right? Other additions to the plus column:

Chris Johnson showed a spark of life after sitting for so long. He only went 1 for 4, but that lone hit was an RBI double, so...that was nice...Fellow struggling youngster Brett Wallace also had a nice game, going 2 for 3

Jeff Keppinger went crazy, going 3 for 5 with three runs scored and two RBIs, a double and a home run. Oh, and he was batting in the three-spot again. Is this just increasing his trade value or what?

Wandy gave up some crooked numbers, but he also struck out 11. That's impressive, right? Other teams like strikeouts, don't they?

On the negative side...Mark the Shark let me down, down, down. He's showing his rookie side, but he was also throwing in a situation that he wasn't used to. 

So, another loss, another step closer to that No. 1 overall pick. Here come the Washington Nationals...

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