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Matchup/Game Thread Game # 123 at Brewers

Wandy Rodriguez Dave Bush
9 - 6, 5.22 8 - 9, 4.69

If you'd asked me back in early May whether I thought Wandy Rodriguez would reach ten wins before Roy Oswalt, I'd have said sure.

But if you'd asked me last month, as Wandy grumpily served out his exile at the Dell Diamond, I'd have said, "no way."

Right now I'd put the odds at somewhere in the vicinity of 40%.

Despite considering how Rodriguez strung together the wins at the beginning of the season, despite how I am a fan of his (unlike some who come here), the pouting game he played at Round Rock--that and the poor numbers he posted there--has sapped what might otherwise have been anticipation for Wandy's return start.

Hindsight is always 20/20: Wandy might have been a good one to include in the current front page poll, to see whether most are like me, and just don't see Wandy being with the club much beyond this calendar year.

Roy will come back, he'll get his tenth win, he'll finish in the top ten in the league in ERA, and he'll hold court this offseason as the Astros make the obligatory gesture of trying to get a contract done before the free agent year.

In other words, it's business as usual despite the bruised hand.

But you have to wonder about Brandon Backe's future. The official site even said he might return this year, yet for some reason I find myself worrying about next year and the one after that.

Maybe it's because I don't know what "a right ulnar collateral ligament" is, though I'm not so sure it matters. I don't know kinesiology, but I do know that if I bring something home, and it breaks down twice in a short period of time, I've probably got a lemon.

I'd just hate to see Backe's enthusiasm silenced. There are too few by far like him.

Wandy Power, yeah, yeah.