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Preview/Game Thread/Matchup Game # 36 vs. Rockies 7:05 CST

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Jason Jennings Fernando Nieve
2 - 2, 4.70 1 - 1, 5.55

Can't seem to get my thoughts into any sort of cohesion, so maybe the way to go is with the random list:

1. It's nearly impossible to talk about the Rockies this year without mentioning their home/road splits. Its this radical: if they keep it up, 2006 will be remembered not as the year Bonds moved into second place on any list, but rather as the first time in history that te Rockies had ever scored more runs on the road than at home. It's absurd ridiculous freaky wacky. It simply does not compute, and small sample size doesn't really explain it. Baker at Baseball Prospectus breaks the uncanny phenomenon down somewhat over here.

2. The guy pitching tonight for the opposition has been telling reporters that he pitched the best game of his professional life last weekend against Houston. Hopefully the boys won't roll over quite so accomodatingly tonight.

3. Got an inkling about Biggio. If he's effective on a road trip, then you just gotta believe he's gonna bust out explode and make a big mess of himself in the return home. I predict a big homestand for Pigpen. . . . does anyone still call him Pigpen? Think multiple trips to the Crawfish Boxes.

4. The Astros' weak road mojo curdled and died even when pitted against the Rockies' inferior version of the home field advantage last week. If that series was about two resistable forces, this week's series may be more about the two immovable objects: the Rockies are first in road OPS, and the 'Stros are third in the home version thereof:

5. Ever notice how every team we've played so far has a better outfield by whatever statistical measure I happen to be looking at? Houston finishes no better than eleventh in OPS vs. the league from any of the three outfield positions. Batting average is so unsexy, but I think you could make a case that it's the biggest problem our two corner outfielders share. . . .

6. Despite 5), I feel real good (in a very unscientific way, of course) about tonight's game. Maybe it's just giddiness with the road trip over, but I feel that good things are due for Biggio, Lane, Berkman, Wheeler and Wilson, at the very least.