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Matchup/Preview/Diary Game # 147 vs. Brewers

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Rick Helling   Roy Oswalt
2 - 0, 2.40    17 - 12, 2.93

Another set with Milwaukee, and this crazy idea I've had that Milwaukee has some kind of hex on Houston had me running for my reference materials. Though you think of how the Brewers plunged the stake into our playoff hearts in 2003, consultation with the historical oracles reveals that the 'Stros had a winning record, and actually went 5 - 3 against Milwaukee in September of 2003. Though to be sure, Wes Obermueller WAS the winning pitcher the day the Astros were eliminated.

Last year, the Astros took 13 of 19 from the Brew Crew, including seven of the last eight. And Pete Munro started the eighth game, so even that one loss has a reasonable explanation.

This decade, the Astros are 51 - 33 against Milwaukee, and they are 69 - 42 versus them all time. At home, the balance swings even more in favor of the 'Stros, as Houston is 38 - 16 when facing the Brewers at the Dome or at M2.

And despite the fact that the Crew put a little bit of a hurting on us last weekend, the 'Stros hold a 7 - 5 season edge coming into tonight.

So fie on any thoughts of a strange Milwaukee voodoo; the record says we've done just fine against the Wisconsin Nine.

And of course, just in terms of today, as I'd noted last week, Oswalt has pitched some of his most skillful games against Milwaukee.

Rick Helling pitched one of HIS greatest games against us last week, and it just about gave me apoplexy, watching the Houston hitters flail uselessly against one who lives so dangerously up in the zone.

I got the prediction right last night, so I'll stretch my luck a bit, and predict that the Astros hitters solve Helling tonight, while Roy just barely gets the quality start. Astros take Game One, though I'll hold off on any prognostication for the series as a whole for right now.

Series preview hopes that we've got enough of a sample size, but notes that even while ignoring those players who've been day to day for a week now, the 'Stros have done some bashing against the Brewers:

OPS vs. Each Other
OPS vs. HOU Brewer Pos Astro OPS vs. MIL
.926 Damian Miller C1 Brad Ausmus .927 x
x .481 Chad Moeller C2 Raul Chavez .091
.708 Lyle Overbay 1B Lance Berkman .956 x
x .927 Rickie Weeks 2B Craig Biggio .849
.714 J.J. Hardy SS Adam Everett .739 x
.686 Russell Branyan 3B Jose Vizcaino .742 x
x 1.289 Chris Magruder OF1 Jason Lane 1.022
.832 Brady Clark OF2 Eric Bruntlett .956 x
x .717 Geoff Jenkins OF3 Orlando Palmeiro .143
x .599 Carlos Lee OF4 Charles Gipson ---
x .932 Billy Hall Util/PH Mike Lamb .885
.000 Rick Helling P1 Roy Oswalt .661 x
.000 Wes Obermueller P2 Brandon Backe ---
.000 Chris Capuano P3 Wandy Rodriguez .250 x