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Game Thread/Matchup Game # 37 vs. Rockies 6:05 CST

Aaron Cook Roy Oswalt
3 - 3, 3.51 5 - 2, 3.62

Been a strange week, and not just because of the horrible road trip. I have to admit: the period since May 8, and Roy's abysmal last start, has also been a little odd for me, because it has been the first time all year during which I hadn't thought that Roy Oswalt was the frontrunner for the NL Cy Young Award.

He hasn't dropped off the short list, but like I suggested with my tongue only slightly in cheek the other night, forget the League, Roy may not even have the best numbers on his own team.

I just look for Mr. Oswalt to take a step up tonight. If he has to get mean to do it, well, he's done so before. . . .

Roy of course missed last week's series in Colorado, but the numbers prior to twenty-oh-six are worth mentioning. Roy carries a 5 - 0 career record in five games against the Rockies, with a 1.56 ERA to go with it. He faced Colorado once in 2005, throwing 7 inings of shutout ball at Coors to earn the win last June 29.

Oswalt has thrown so well against Colorado that Eli Marrero of all people appears to be the biggest danger coming in. Marrero is 5 for 15 with a double and 3 RBI off Roy, the usual suspect Todd Helton only 3 for 14 with a double and a homer. That homer is the only jack anyone on the Rockies roster has ever hit against Roy.

Aaron Cook took care of the Astros almost by his lonesome last weekend, giving up 2 runs and 6 hits with the one Jason Lane tater. The strategy Houston employed last night against Jennings, where they allowed the Rockies pitcher to think that his dominance over the Astros was continuing, and let him get a little lackadaisical, at which point they pounced, should be an effective one against Cook, as well.

As such, look for Biggio to lead off the game with a strikeout on a ball in the dirt, and in fact, for the first five or six batters to go down meekly.

But don't get distressed; instead, know it simply for part of the Astros' master plan.

Joking aside, what's the deal with Berkman as far as the left hamstring? Beyond this quote found at the official site, I've seen no mention:

I didn't get a chance to get out there and do my pregame warmups like I normally do . . . It just tightened up. I'll see what it feels like tomorrow. Obviously, playing first base, you don't have to sprint a whole lot. I hope to be back there pretty quick.

Given that Berkman has endured something of a slump lately, a precautionary day off might not be a bad idea anyway.

Hopefully nothing more than that will prove itself necessary.

Berkman is 5 for 8 off Cook with 3 walks, but no extra base hits. Lamb is 0 for 1 off the dude.