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Matchup/Game Thread Game # 162 at Braves

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Chris Sampson John Smoltz
2 - 0, 2.10 15 - 9, 3.58

Wow, kind of reminds me of 2004, when Brandon Backe took the mound in a must-win game against Colorado on the last day of the season because suspected HGH user Roger Clemens couldn't go. The previously unknown Backe won the biggest game of his life (up to that point, anyway), and the Astros made the playoffs. Maybe we get an effort like that from Sampson today.

Maybe, like Backe, Chris Sampson becomes a hero.

Of course, there are differences. Backe was pitching at home, and Sampson is on the road. Backe knew all he had to do was win. Sampson must get some help from someone named "Carlos Villanueva," and Chris Carpenter will have to do his part, as well.

But the game effort last night from suspected HGH user Andy Pettitte was clutch in the extreme; just the fact that the Astros are alive today after a simply horrible Friday is testament to this team's ability to focus.

They won last night's game, but it could not have been easy.

It wasn't easy.

Good luck to the team, good luck to us as their devoted fans. Hopefully, this isn't the last Matchup/Game Thread of the year, but if it is, thank you to all who've come by during the year, who have supported this site, and who have supported a well-run and I still hope, moral franchise.

Go Astros! Go Brewers!