HOUSTON - SEPTEMBER 04: Jerry Hairston Jr. #15 of the Milwaukee Brewers slides safely into second base as second baseman Matt Downs #16 of the Houston Astros handles the wide throw at Minute Maid Park on September 4, 2011 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
I really have my doubts at this point. If we're viewing the Astros as a litmus test for how legitimate a team is at contending, the Brewers have certainly proven again and again that they are playing as well as any team in consistently destroying the Astros.
Is there any section of their team struggling right now? I know Houston isn't the best team to capitalize on stuff like that, but geez. Houston's starting pitchers held up reasonably well, but the Brewers feasted off the Houston bullpen on two separate occasions.
To recap the weekend for those of you who missed it: Henry Sosa pitched well, staked Houston to a 2-0 lead and then the bullpen imploded. Brewers win 8-2. Bud Norris pitched well for four innings, started leaking like a sieve, Brewers win 8-2.
That brings us to Sunday, when Shawn Marcum proved he was at least partially worth Brett Lawrie, throwing a one-hitter through seven innings to pick up his 12th victory. Wandy wasn't nearly that good, but he did strike out eigh tin six innings of work, allowing nine total baserunners.
I expect the Astros will bounce back against Pittsburgh this week, winning at least two of four, but it won't mean much. After all, Pittsburgh isn't a playoff contender.
Oh, in case you missed it, Astros County tells us why these wins and losses really are meaningless...Houston has a very, very small chance of NOT getting the No. 1 overall pick next season. It really doesn't matter if they win or lose at this point, it's just how the rookies and young ones play the game. It could be a brutal month of September on the "Care-O-Meter."