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Matchup Game # 122 vs. Brewers

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Doug Davis   Ezequiel Astacio
9 - 8, 4.20    2 - 6, 6.66

If his SIX losses overall, and his SIX home runs given up in fifteen August innings, and his SIX walks this month weren't enough to get you suspicious, we have finally been provided with the incontrovertible proof we've required to establish that Ezequiel Astacio is truly and in fact The Pitcher of the Beast. Yes, thats right: Zeke Astacio is Satan's personal hurler in that most eternal of ball games, and his soul, like his hanging slider, is leaving the park. The Devil tells us so--just look at the ERA!

And um, multiply by 100.

No, really, if we were making this up, would you be able to rearrange "Zeke Astacio pitching" into "I zip the Satanic Gecko?"

I think not.
And has Geico been informed about this?

Ok, alright, I'll admit it. The savage loss that Clemens took last night has unhinged us, and we may not be all that rational right now. For example, I've been actually toying with the idea that the 'Stros might have a chance to regain their wild card top spot tonight. Never mind Doug Davis' seven innings of shutout work against us May 27, or the way we've been letting lefties get to us in general again, or even Zeke Astacio's career 18.00 ERA vs. Milwaukee. For that matter, forget that the Astros have lost five of six, or have accumulated a grand total of 15 hits over their last 27 innings.

Yeah, watching Roger cough up a one run lead in the seventh by giving up an astounding FOUR runs has left us two or three face cards shy of a full deck, we admit it.

Though we're doing the best we can. Like, we've been trying to figure out what us Houston fans can do to pass the rest of the season, now that it appears the 'Stros have let their best chance at the playoffs escape them, the way your pet hamster escaped that maxed out Habitrail you had when you were a kid:

  • Count Willy T's base hits He's got 138 and is on pace for 185, but considering he's about as likely to pull off a four-hit game as anyone in the league, he may just get to 200. Which would be worth watching for. 100 runs is much less likely, I think, but that one might just get me believing he's worthy of Rookie of the Year consideration. Did you see Jayson Stark's story on the fastest players in baseball? Jayson doesn't think it's particularly close in the NL, and the AL guy barely counts.
  • Imagine how cool this team would be if it had Carl Crawford Another guy mentioned in Stark's story, is all.
  • Count Roger's all-time wins We're still trying to get him past Tim Keefe at 342, and gosh, shouldn't this have happened already? With 7 starts left and a 1.52 ERA, Roger should pull past Keefe and into eighth place on the All-Time Wins Leaderboard sometime before October 3. Though you never know.
  • Groove with the ebbing and flowing of Roger Clemens' ERA While Damian Miller's at bat last night put Bob Gibson out of reach, and even though the back has got me feeling a little skeptical, it is still possible for Clemens to compile the second best seasonal ERA since 1920. Right now he is infinitessimal subpoints behind Doc Gooden and his crazy wack 1985 season, but figuring a run allowed over seven for seven more starts, and Roger will better the now-nearly forgotten Gooden, 1.47 to 1.53.
  • Count Biggio's doubles, and base hits OK, we've already been doing this. But not only should Craig Biggio notch his 600th double shortly, he could very well move into the top ten all-time in that category before Labor Day. Biggio stands at 597 two-baggers currently; Paul Waner and Paul Molitor are tied for tenth place currently with 605. Meanwhile, while passing George Sisler will only be assayable for 2006, Andre Dawson's spot on the all-time hit list is ripe for the taking, again, sometime before Labor Day, if he gets on it.
  • Use the time you won't be needing to peruse the Wild Card standings to work on your baseball card collection. That's what I'll be doing, for sure.
  • Wait patiently for Luke Scott's September callup.

It's not that the Astros couldn't win tonight.

It's just that I don't think they will.