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Matchup vs. Marlins 7:05 CDT WIN

Anibal Sanchez Wandy Rodriguez
1 - 0, 5.40 0 - 1, 3.86

So facing Wandy tonight is the guy who beat Roger Clemens in the only Clemens start I have ever personally attended. During that game last year at Dolphins Stadium, I was shooting the bull all night with a Houstonian just down the row from me. As Sanchez no-hit the Astros for the first five innings, the Texan kept calling the Marlins starter "Cy Sanchez."

The Texan meant it ironically, as in "look at our anemic hitters, they make this greenhorn look great," but it turns out Sanchez was pretty good the rest of the way after beating Clemens. He no-hit the D-Backs September 6, then finished the year with the best ERA of any NL rookie with over 100 inings pitched.

And all we've got to oppose this guy is Wandy, of course.

But wait! All is not lost. As bad as that team .067 batting average looks vs. the guy (Lamb is the only current Astro who had a hit in that game), Sanchez has been lit up a little bit this year.

The WHIP is at 1.80, and it's more H's than W's, if you know what I mean.

I won't go into the Marlins' numbers vs. Rodriguez, because it gets a little depressing, but suffice it to say: I think we got a shot!

Really. I do.

Today starts a stretch of 14 consecutive games. It appears that Roy volunteered to go on short rest tomorrow, and those griping about the decision will have to find fault with Garner for accepting the request, rather than for dreaming the whole thing up.

Personally, I think that critics like Chip Bailey and (bwhite here, I believe) might be making a mountain out of a molehill. Sure, Oswalt threw a lot of pitches in Philly. But it's also just April. Roy has proved himself a horse in the past, and if the Astros are uncomfortable giving Sampson the start tomorrow, Roy sure beats Matt Albers or Brian Moehler.

Beyond that, Garner has also promised to get Mike Lamb and Mark Loretta starts as the short homestand concludes and the team gets back on the road. It's about time to get Loretta especially some AB's. I'm not surprised that he hasn't yet made a start at second. But what even those of us familiar with the necessities of Biggio might find surprising is how rarely we've seen Loretta as a defensive/offensive replacement for Bidge late in games.

Namely, just once.