HOUSTON - MAY 21: Bud Norris #20 of the Houston Astros throws against the Chicago Cubs at Minute Maid Park on May 21, 2012 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Allow me to imitate the sounds of the three homeruns hit by the Astros. If you are under 54 inches, have serious heart conditions, or are unhealthy, please do not ride roller coasters or read what I have to say immediately following this paragraph. If you are a daredevil, please go on ahead to §1.00 of this game recaps. If not, please head on down to the more conservative recap parts in §2.00.
§1.00 HOMERUN SOUND BITES
Jason Castro. Lop! Pheewwww... 3-run homer! Chris Johnson. Smack!!! Shhhhhhh... Plop! 3-run absolute BOMB to the Budweiser patio in center field! Jed Lowrie. Beebedy, boobidy, bop. His 7th homerun this year! See §3.00 for the animated .gifs that will tickle your fancies, indeed.
§2.00 CONSERVATIVE & POSITIVE GAME RECAP
Well this was a really good game, with perhaps except the 9th inning when the Astros gave up 4 runs that really shouldn't have scored. How did Bud Norris do? Well, he was facing the Cubs, so the answer to this question is probably "really well". And of course, Bud Norris did really well, pitching 7 shut-out innings with 8 strikeouts, 3 walks, and 5 hits with only one of them being a double. His slider was really working tonight as he pushes his season ERA down to 3.14, with only have given up 1 run in his past 26 innings pitched in all of the month of May. 1 walk to Tony Campana ended up being turned into 2 stolen bases. That Tony Campana is really fast, probably faster than Michael Bourn as he stole those 2 bags in the first inning. But Studly Budlie pitched shutout ball untill he had to leave the game with a high pitch count. If he can ever get another tertiary pitch like his change to improve or maybe a curveball, he could blossom like a cactus in the hot blistering desert. Sharp, pointy, and oh so tempting is the name of the game for ace starting pitchers.
How about that Jason Castro, hitting his 3rd major league homer against the Cubs, first of the year and his second 3-run homer (both came off of Cubs pitching). It's really nice when some offense can be had via the catching position and we got it in a big way with that homer. How many more homers could Castro hit this year? I don't really know, but I will know when the season is over.
Chris Johnson has finally hit a homerun that I actually got to see live, his 5th of the year. He hasn't been too shabby as our 3rd baseman this year, performing well on both offense and defense, even amid all the strikeouts. But the 3-run homer he hit today was just testament to the strength that CJ has. He hit that one all the way to the Budweiser patio in CF. All Campana could do was run and look upward in disbelief as the ball soared over his head.
Finally, the last homer came via a Jed Lowrie solo-shot to RF. Lowrie has shown a lot of moxie batting from the left side of the plate. Now that he's injury free, he's performing quite well, at a level he probably couldn't show to the Red Sox since he was injured. This was a really smart trade by GM Jeff Luhnow. Boston had an injured player they were growing impatient with. Because he was injured, his true talent level wasn't showing through and was thus being undervalued. Because the injuries weren't related, Jeff Luhnow saw that Lowrie was probably going to have an injury-free 2012. This is pretty much true, for the most part and Luhnow ended up getting the better part of the deal. Thank you, Jeff Luhnow. Who knows, he might be the starting SS in the MLB All-Star Game in Kansas City later this year. Wouldn't that be something?
§2.50 NEGATIVE PORTION OF GAME RECAP
The Astros had a swell game up until the top of the 9th inning. Mr. Everything, Enerio del Rosario came out after pitching a scoreless 8th inning. So much for calling up an extra pitcher to give some guys a day off as Fernando Abad came in the game after EDR gave up a run. After Abad gave up a hit that scored an inherited runner, Wilton Lopez came into a game he shouldn't have with a 6-run lead. Lopez allowed 2 inherited runners to score as a ball went to Travis Buck in RF, who was blinded by the lights and couldn't immediately locate the ball. Finally, Lopez ended the madness before it got even further out of hand and the Astros took an 8-4 victory.
§3.00 GIFS AND OTHER MISCELLANEOUS IMAGES
Chris Johnson's homer is not available for your viewing pleasure here. But please, there's plenty of gifs to enjoy above and below this sentence.