|Roger Clemens||Doug Davis|
|4 - 4, 2.71||9 - 6, 4.97|
Schroeder and Sutton were talking last night about Milwaukee's Wild Card chances, and although I don't have a blog about the Brewers on the side, my immediate response to their words was that they were delusional.
They'd asked rhetorically, "who's to say that the Brewers won't go on an eight-game run, and take command in the Wild Card race?"
Again, I'm not an expert on Milwaukee, but, basically, I'm to say. Houston and Milwaukee are mirror images of each other: where one team's starting lineup has been the problem, the other's starting pitching has been to blame. And for each team, a shaky bullpen that was expected to be better has rubbed salt in the open wounds.
I mean, the fact that these teams are six or seven under after 120 games is proof enough that neither are about to go on any week-and-a-half run. When you've played 3/4 of your season, the results are what you might call an authoritative sample. Neither teams have any flukishness in them whatsoever: each has proved themselves as rock solid, unadulterated, unimpeachable, slightly below average baseball clubs.
I've noticed that most of us around here have yielded to the fact that the Astros are going nowhere this October, and I consider that a good thing, because in recognition of the truth, there is strength.
It's a lesson Sutton and Schroder could learn from.
But still, there are plenty of reasons to watch Astros baseball down the stretch. For one thing, this is really it for Roger Clemens. His last year. There will be no suitors in their pressed suits of clothes waiting in Roger's parlor this winter, and he will be playing none of his coy mind games, leaving them as they go a-courtin' to guess which one he fancies better.
But the greatest pitcher of our lifetimes still has eight starts left, and is even money, or maybe a little better, to notch his 350th win.
I feel pretty confident that I can say if Clemens does reach that milestone, it will never be repeated, barring some kind of freaky rule change.
And shit, there's Willy T's assault on Joe D. OK, assault on Jeff Kent. I thought his streak was toast Friday night, but Willy came through late in the game. And he's withstood an 0 for 8 stretch during the 18-inning heartbreaker, so the fates have kinda tossed their best at Taveras already, and he has survived. Maybe our beloved and frustrating centerfielder DOES have a chance at hitting in 30 consecutive games, who knows?
Craig's 3000th hit certainly won't come until next year, especially as he's been hitting about twice a week lately. But with a little finishing kick, Biggio can tie and surpass not only Al Simmons but Roger Hornsby on the career hits list, and he should definitely take out Honus Wagner on the all-time doubles list, while retaining a shot at Yastrzemski.
We kind of missed Springer's 500th appearance last night 'cause we were so exasperated at Wandy, and even with Lamb slumping, Morgan is unlikely to notch his 100th homer, as he still needs six.
But Roy's next victory will tie him with Bob Knepper for eighth place on the franchise career victory list, and Lance--as the only player having any kind of a season that might be described as "career," still has a chance to break his own personal bests in RBIs and homers.
And maybe, just maybe, he's got a shot at Bagwell's single season RBI mark of 135.
But he'll have to get going for that one.
Like now, like today.
Let's see if he does.