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Matchup/Game Thread(s) Game # 156 at Phillies

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Chris Sampson Randy Wolf
1 - 0, 2.66 4 - 0, 5.47

Great story on the 20th anniversary of Mike Scott's no-hitter over at the official site, and you young whippersnappers, you should all go check it out, if only to see that this "Great Scott" tagline they've attached to Luke ain't the first time the phrase has been used around Houston.

I didn't catch my first Astros game until about three weeks afterwards, and anyway, the no-hitter was a matinee; even if I'd known about it, I would have been at some undergrad class at FIU, or even more likely, at the Rathskellar, chainsmoking and talking punk rock and Charles Bukowski and psychedelics with Peace Frog and Erik and The Fascist . . . .

Shit, sorry about the flashback, there.

Anyway, I only knew about the game in retrospect, but in the early '90's, I videotaped one of those hour-long "Baseball's Greatest Games" things with Steve Garvey all about Scott's gem, basically showed us everyone of Scotty's pitches, and I watched that more than a few times back in the day.

All I've got to say is that Mike Scott's split finger that day was a nasty, nasty thing, a force of nature with which the Giants could not contend. the club got a huge crowd for the matinee, because the Astros could have clinched, and at the end, with the no-hitter and the division title in sight, the crowd was as big a force as Scotty's drop-off-the-table splitter.

Anyway, you should check out the story.

The club switches from Matt Albers to Chris Sampson, and I'm sure that the decision is as much one of intangibels, to try and recapture the phantasmagorical echoes of Sampson's magical June 7 start vs. the Cubs as anything "baseball." As you may have seen, Sampson has thrown 7-1/3 innings in his September callup, and allowed a run, 2 hits and a walk.

Sampson has a major league brain and a minor-league arm. He knows that he must keep the ball down, and that he cannot elevate the ball against major league stars like Utley and Howard and leave himself even the most pitiful prayer.

But on the other hand, if he does keep the ball down, and gets the Phillies frustrated and hackin', he could come close to what he did vs. Chicago, ground ball after groundball to AE.

The Astros are 4 - 5 when a win would take them to .500:

  • June 3 Loss to the Reds at home, 5 - 7
  • June 9 victory over the Braves at home 7 - 2
  • Jun 11 victory over the Braves at home 14 - 4
  • June 24 victory at the White Sox 15 - 10
  • June 27 loss at the Tigers 0 - 4
  • July 4 victory over Cubs at home 7 - 2
  • July 8 loss to the Cardinals at home 6 - 7
  • August 12 loss to the Padres at home 3 - 6
  • September 10 loss at the Brewers 0 - 4

But no soap in their last three tries.

No need to say that a good night tonight will make for a most fascinating road trip. A Houston win and a Cardinals loss are just about required, but it's been more than a couple days since we didn't get both, huh?

Depending on how things are going when the Cards start at 7:05 CST, I may begin interspersing Cards-Padres PBP in with that of our own red-hot 'Stros.

Go Astros!!!! Go Padres!!!