|Roy Oswalt||Kip Wells|
|17 - 12, 2.87||7 - 16, 4.92|
I wouldn't get all happy with that ERA under Mr. Wells' name, as the real number that matters is 1.35.
That's Kip Wells' ERA against Houston this year, calculated over 20 innings. While Wells is personally only 1 - 0 against the Astros this year, the Pirates are 3 - 0 against the Astros in Wells' starts. Twice in those three games, Wells gave up nothing at all over seven, and both Clemens and Pettitte have lost games started by the Pirates righty.
The Astros beat Pittsburgh behind Oswalt August 12, in the midst of his dead arm period. He went seven innings, but gave up ten hits and four runs. Roy walked two and struck out two that day, and Rick White, who was the last pitcher in relief of phenom Zach Duke, took the loss.
Besides that 1.35 another number that comes up this evening is twenty, as in twenty-win season. If Roy is going to become only the second Astro to record back-to-back 20-win seasons*, a victory tonight is essential.
Last number is ten, as in ten is our Magic Number, any combination of wins by the 'Stros and losses by our second place competition will bring the Wild Card to Houston for the second consecutive year. I might guess that going 7 - 4 from here on out should do it. That would obligate the Phillies to go 9 - 2 to force a playoff, and the Marlins to record an even more ridiculous 10 - 1 mark just to get to the one game subsequent to October 2nd.
Off the top of my head, I'd say Roy wins, and so do Brett Myers, and Jae Soo:
*Niekro '79 and '80