Big Inning Propels Astros Past Pirates

HOUSTON - AUGUST 30: Pitcher Henry Sosa #65 of the Houston Astros throws against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first inning at Minute Maid Park on August 30, 2011 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Do you know what's kind of crazy? In about five starts and 29 innings, Henry Sosa has been almost as valuable as Brett Myers has been in 28 starts and 179 innings.

Seriously. After another good start against the Pirates, Sosa should have a WAR around 0.3 while Myers has a WAR of 0.6 for the season. You might not buy WAR for pitchers totally, and the sample size is still pretty small, but there's no question Sosa has been a big stabilizing part of this rotation over the past two weeks. 

But, Sosa's sterling pitching performance was only part of this nice win. The offense exploding for a season-high six runs and seven hits was a very, very nice thing to see for this young team. In particular, The R.B.I. Robot coming through with that hit up the middle (after JUST missing on what could have been a double down the line) and Paredes' double into the corner were big moments from young players.

Of course, this all came against a bad Pirates team. Most of the hits were legitimate, but there were some really unlucky bounces for Pittsburgh, the kind that usually happen to a team struggling mightily (which the Pirates are). It also came against a Pirates bullpen that has been getting hit around a bit. In short, it wasn't the Milwaukee Brewers the good guys were beating up. 

Still, it's always good to see young players performing well under pressure. I'd expect the Astros to have a good shot at a sweep Wednesday. If they score eight runs, they'll also tie a season high in runs scored for a month with 117. 

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