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Matchup/Game Thread Game # 21 vs. Dodgers 7:05 CST

Odalis Perez Wandy Rodriguez
3 - 0, 4.22 3 - 0, 2.52
My, what an interesting series it's been. Each team has taken the crushing defeat, each team has gotten quality relief from unexpected places, each team has overcome, at least once, their own unclutch offensive ways.

And now, with the starters for each team entering tonight's rubber match at 3 - 0, you can't help but wonder who has the mojo coming in.

Wandy R. 2.52 1.16 2.14 0.36 .664 57
Odalis P. 4.22 1.31 2.00 0.42 .688 50

Biggio is 4 for 11 with a .462 OBP off Perez, with all four hits being doubles. Wilson is 4 for 24 with no walks off Odalis; he does have two doubles and a homer among those four knocks.

But before you call for Burke, you may wish to consider that PW is 3 for 9 in the series. By comparison, Morgan is 0 for 9 since Monday, and Lance is 2 for 9. For himself, Burke is 0 for 2 off Perez and doesn't have a plate appearance this week.

Nomar is 5 for 8 off Wandy.

Kent is 1 for 11 in the series. Nomar is 1 for 9 in the series, with that one very inconvenient hit.

As Mark Twain said, "First get your facts, then you may distort them at your leisure." Let's take a look at the bullpens without actually factoring in the uncomfortable difference in runs allowed, shall we?

Astros 11-1/3 1.59 .875 1 57.6%
Dodgers 8-2/3 1.50 .857 1 56.1%
The low scoring games that go deep into extras often have the most peculiar tug upon us--well, if you win them, anyway. Excruciating to watch as they happen, they quickly attain a gloss that they may never have actually possessed in retrospect.

We edit the stupid mistakes, and the repeated failures, out of our memory, and simply retain that indescribable umbrella of suspense that hangs over every pitch, and the inchoate relief and joy that explodes outward at the moment of assured victory.

In other words, games like last night are often games that you hate while watching, but love having watched.

Here's to a victory tonight totally unlike Tuesday's.

Wandy Power!™