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Game Hero 61 - 52

Orlando Palmeiro
  • 3 - 4 3 RBI, 2 doubles
  • First game with two extra base hits
  • Season high for RBI, ties season high for hits
  • If he strikes out in the first, it's probably all over for us
  • Unsung hero: Now hitting .338 overall, and .368 as a pinch-hitter.

Berkman was involved in two HUGE double plays, unleashing a great throw after his catch in left early, and making that diving unassisted DP at first late, but generally, to be awarded game hero, you've usually got to actually notch a base hit. And those are kind of eluding Lance right now.

So I'm going with Palmeiro. Certainly that should seem fair enough: without his first inning double, the game probably ends up 7 or 8 - 1 in favor of the Bad Guys.

Yesterday's was thus at least the second game this year that we would have lost without him. Back on May 9, the Big O drove in both runs in a 2 - 1 road victory over the Marlins.

So it's not a big stretch to say that without Palmeiro, the Astros wouldn't have their wild card lead.

Just as it's not a stretch to claim that Palmeiro is one of the best pinch-hitters in the National League this year.

To have yielded the pitching matchup in two straight games to a contender and have still achieved the split is kind of nice actually, and tonight, the pitching matchup is ours, with Pettitte--even a newly mortal Pettitte in the new month--over Ryan Drese.

Nothing is guaranteed, though: the long-dormant Nationals bats appear to have awakened. I wonder what we did?