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Matchup/Game Thread Game # 30 at Rockies 7:05 CST

Deadly bat makes up for shortcomings as pitcher, per Mark Simon
Wandy Rodriguez Jason Jennings
4 - 0, 2.61 1 - 2, 5.84

What we know:

1. Phil Garner and Tim Purpura and Jim Hickey are sure that Wandy can make his start and be effective tonight, after Wandy has spent most of the last four or five days on "heavy medication" and without solid food as he battles some kind of infection that has manifested itself in cold sores around the mouth and in the throat.

2. Wandy himself was not so sure either that he could go or do well, the last time he was asked.

3. Garner is starting to realize that in continuing to bat Willy T in the 2 hole, he is putting a serious damper on the team's ability to utilize one of the Roadrunner's greatest talents. Garner has not, however, offered a solution.

4. Lidge will not pitch tonight, but has not lost his closer's job.

5. Lidge is not tipping his pitches; rather, batters are sitting on his fastball, with no intention whatsoever of swinging at his slider. If he can start throwing sliders down in the zone for strikes when he wants to, he will be fine, and start to dominate again as we Houston fans are so used to. If not, I doubt he can be effective again. Although the process has taken longer, it reminds me of Jeff Francouer, who came up and dominated during his first 100 AB's, until the league started realizing that Francouer swings at everything and that there is no reason to throw him a strike. The league has simply realized that Lidge no longer throws the slider for strikes, no matter what the thing may look like coming off Brad's hand. The question now is whether Brad can make an adjustment to the league's adjustment to him. . . . .

Biggio is 5 for 10 with three doubles off Jennings, Munson 3 for 7 with a triple and a homer. Berkman is 1 for 7 with a single and five walks. Lane is 0 for 6 with 4 strikeouts, Lamb 3 for 3 with a triple and 5 RBI. With Lane 1 for 18 in the last five games with only one walk, maybe this would be a good night for Lane to take off, dropping Lamb into left with our best wishes, and Wilson moving to right. . .

Just a thought, anyway.

Jennings pitched against the Astros twice last year, taking a loss June 22 at MMP and a no decison on June 28th at Colorado when Qualls, Franco, and Springer coughed up five runs in the eighth.

Overall, Jennings is 0 - 3 against Houston with a 12.05 ERA and a 1.75 WHIP.

But watch out for that deadly bat . . . .

You will probably not be surprised to hear that Todd Helton has done well against Wandy. Helton is 3 for 5 off the former Sr. Cabreja, with a double, a triple, and three walks. Luis A ("Don't Call Me Gonzo") Gonzalez is 3 for 8, with a pair of doubles. Wandy had two starts against the Rockies last year, posting a 1 - 0 record and a 4.85 ERA while throwing 13 innings and allowing a .302 BAA. But, of course, the pitcher we are throwing tonight is not the Wandy we knew in 2005. . . .

Unless, of course, his battle with the chancres has rendered him so.