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Matchup/Game Thread Game # 48 at Nationals

Andy Pettitte Tony Armas, Jr.
3 - 5, 5.03 4 - 2, 3.08
Considering that the team recently lost a game 14 - 3, and earlier on lost a game to the Marlins 11 - 2, it may seem a little incongruous to say that last night's loss was the most painful of the season.

But such may be the case. After Lidge had four successful outings, and with the story that Joe McEwing had made Lidge aware he was tipping his slider, you thought that Brad's problems were behind him.

They're not.

After taking a series from a good Rangers club, and winning the opener of the Nationals series, you thought that the struggles which manifested themselves most glaringly in that absymal San Francisco series were behind the team.

They're not.

After seeing Burke come back from the DL, and Garner field a lineup with Ausmus in the two-hole and Wilson in the seven-slot, you thought that Garner had realized that some serious changes needed to made permanent with the everyday lineup.

He hasn't.

And after Pettitte threw that marvelous three-hit shutout at the Dodgers, you thought that Andy had turned the corner.

He hadn't.

Funny thing about Pettitte: most people who are serious about their baseball--whether they were Astro fans or not--understood that the numbers Pettitte posted in 2005 were in the 90th percentile for him, that, while of course remaining a solid starting pitcher in the NL, he wasn't as good as the results he got last year. And even Astro fans were OK with that. A slight fallback was to be expected.

Despite that, Pettitte has still managed to disappoint.

The season's still not yet one-third over. Andy, and Phil, and Jason, and Wheels, and everyone else, get to take another crack at it today.

I just hope it's not the same old same old. . . . that gets depressing when you thought they'd turned over a new leaf.


Soriano is 4 for 10 off Andy with two doubles and two homers, but after that, no-one Andy is likely to face today has had much success against him. Clayton is 7 for 20 with a double and a walk. Soriano has a 1.023 OPS off lefties in general, and Jackson has a 1.383. Zimmerman--fresh off his first major league triple, mind you--has a .944.

Berkman (3 for his last 21, you'll note) is ridiculous off Armas, 6 for 9 with a triple and two homers, while batting in six. And I'm dismayed to see that Preston is 6 for 19 with a triple and a homer, while Burke is 0 for 3. Craig Biggio is 1 for 15 with a double. Jason Lane? 0 for 5, and Morgan's 0 for 7.

Go get 'em. . . .