For a while there, you weren't sure which was gonna be the operative paradigm, whether it was gonna be the Lieber Gives Up One Run and Loses model, or the Astros Just Find a Way to Freaking Get the Job Done in July model.
In the end, it was the second one that held, and we can give Garner his props for starting Mike Lamb at all, even though the telling blow came not against the righthanded starter but against a righthanded reliever much much later. We can thank Gary Varsho for disrespecting Lamb enough where he doesn't even bother with the lefty to start the bottom of the ninth inning, and since we're passing out thanks, lets thank Roy Oswalt for being a relentless mother who refuses to give up or give in.
Roy goes to 14 - 8 to tie Chris Carpenter ahead of the fading Dontrelle for most wins in the NL, and he gets that win coz he pitched the ninth, and I guarantee you a lot of frontline pitchers either get themselves removed in that situation, or simply don't fight the manager very hard when the skipper suggests that the ninth might go better in the hands of this reliever or the other. Roy I'm sure stated his case to remain in the game quite forcefully, if Garner was even stupid enough to ask. . . .
This game, much more so than yesterday, makes quite the statement, 'cause now, even if you shut us down, you still can't beat us. The Nats did it Sunday and the Phils did it tonight, and they both lost. And if you don't pitch, we hit five home runs like last night. Again, quite the statement.
We're two back of the free-falling Nationals in the Wild Card race, a game and a half up on the Cubs, who it does not look like will play tonight, and the Mets, who haven't yet completed their game, but may just lose and drop a half game further.
The Astros look to sweep their wild card competition with the stingiest pitcher in baseball on the mound tomorrow.
Sounds good to me.