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Matchup/Game Thread Game # 122 at Milwaukee

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Brandon Backe Tomo Ohka
3 - 2, 3.93 3 - 3, 4.30

So Brandon Backe tries to keep the mini-winning streak alive tonight as he faces the Brewers and Tomo OK. Brandon's got quite the record against Milwaukee, as he's 2 - 0 with a 2.38 vs. the Brew Crew in four games. Only concern might be that three of those games were in Houston, and that the inning he pitched in relief at Miller Park left with him a career 18.00 ERA there.

Beyond that, Brandon is now comfortably entrenched as the run-supportin'est Astro pitcher on the roster. The 5.65 runs he's received per 9IP doesn't hang with our dear and departed Wandy's 7.12, but is much better than the support anyone else on the staff has received.

Let us hope this trend continues.

Beyond any talk that stems from the Cardinals' signing of P-Dub, in the absence of any playoff hope, and as we anxiously wait out the lull before Russ Springer's 500th career appearance, you gotta say the buzz is on Willy T, for the hit streak he extended to 20 games last night.

Now I don't wanna suggest that some have seen the streak as a little light on substance, and heavy on luck, but I will resubmit saylinara's current nickname for Willy: IO HOAG, for I Only Hit Once A Game.

After last night's two-hit game, we might wanna revise that slightly, and anyway, I prefer "The Tenares Rifle," but it's a good question thereby brought up: how DOES Willy's streak hang with the best runs in team history?

And guess what? While it might be a little light on the extra base hits, Willy's streak actually comes stronger to the hoop than the one belonging to the guy whose record he's trying to break:

Astro Hit Streaks of 20 Games or More
Player Games Dates Hits During Streak Hits per Game Number of One-Hit Games
Willy Taveras* 28 7/27 - 8/25/2006 42 1.50 17
Jeff Kent 25 5/14 - 6/11/2004 33 1.32 18
Tony Eusebio 24 7/9 - 8/28/2000 36 1.50 16
Art Howe 23 5/1 - 5/24/1981 40 1.74 8
Luis Gonzalez 23 5/26 - 6/20/1997 33 1.43 16
Moises Alou 23 6/22 - 7/19/2001 36 1.57 13
Cesar Cedeño 22 8/25 - 9/21/1977 37 1.68 13
Lee May 21 5/30 - 6/22/1973 35 1.67 11
Dickie Thon 21 7/24 - 8/14/1982 28 1.33 14
Lance Berkman 21 6/17 -   7/8/2001 40 1.90 7
Rusty Staub 20 6/30 - 7/21/1967 33 1.65 9
Kevin Bass 20 7/24 - 8/13/1986 30 1.50 13

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*Active

A couple of oddball notes on some of the hot streaks herein presented: Lee May, for example, did not draw a walk during the entire length of his streak, pretty amazing if you think about it. Even Willy--not exactly known for the plate discipline--has walked seven times during his streak, and at one point did so in five straight games.

Cedeño began his streak with nine straight one-hit games, had four straight multi-hit games, skipped a day, then had back-to-back four-hit games.

And Lance's run in 2001, which surely ranks up there with any monthlong period ever enjoyed by any player in team history, was begun with ten multi-hit games in 12 days. During it, Lance hit 12 doubles, nine homers, and even threw in a rare triple.

[Update 8/25] Willy's kept the streak alive, so I've got the table thing covered too.