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Matchup/Game Thread Game # 62 vs. Braves

No me llame Sammy The stars were bright, Fernando
Jorge Sosa Fernando Nieve
1 - 7, 5.07 1 - 3, 5.19

Might be a S-s-s-lugfest tonight, and has anybody seen that great Braves pitching? It appears to have gone missing.

When the supporters of Leo Mazzone plead their case, it looks like Jorge Sosa will be exhibit number two (after Steve Avery, of course). Sosa was OK to lousy for three years in Tampa, sprang to life last year under Mazzone, and has returned to his previous crapilicious form this year, when Mazzone is plying his trade in Baltimore.

It's pretty unmistakable, actually:

Jorge Sosa: Missing His Mazzone
2002 Tampa Bay 2 7 5.53 81 1.43
2003 Tampa Bay 5 12 4.62 98 1.53
2004 Tampa Bay 4 7 5.53 81 1.55
2005 Atlanta 13 3 2.55 172 1.38
2006 Atlanta 1 7 5.07 --- 1.45

Great big fucking spike last year, huh?

Anyway, this will be Sosa's first regular season start against the Astros, although he did start Game Three of the 2005 NLDS in Houston, which he lost, despite giving the Bravos a Quality Start. You may recall that Sosa left after exactly six trailing by one, at which point Reitsma, Foster and Devine immediately hacked up a fourspot.

Michael Lamb homered and walked in three plate appearances against Sosa in that game, and Biggio doubled twice. Ensberg and Taveras each pitched in with a double off Sosa as well.

Lamb has a single and two walks against Sosa in the regular season without having been retired. And get this: in addition to the playoff double off the Braves starter, Willy T also has a regular season homer off Sosa.

And that was when Sosa could look to the bench for guidance from the rockin'est pitching coach around.

I do, I do, I do expect a slugfest. Nieve pitched well last time, which of course means he's due to fall on his face, and if ESPN says it, it must be true: the Astros are streaking.