As Chris Burke looks on jealously, we appear to have had a very healthy game of one-upmanship playing in the right two-thirds of our outfield the last two nights.
First, in a bid for more playing time in right, Jason Lane hits a decisive and towering three-run homer last night. Then just to show Lane he's got some job security, Luke Scott homers and hits a huge three-run double tonight.
Nonplussed, Jason hits a very nice pinch-hit insurance homer in the ninth, just to keep the pressure on.
Last night I wrote that Lane's power surge to begin the season might end up affecting Luke more than it did Burke.
Tonight, I'm gonna reconsider that. As we saw in the Spring of '05 and in the second-half of last year, Luke on a tear is like a wild boar: he knocks down everything in his path. And maybe tonight sets him out on a two-week tear. Or maybe not, but I'd wanna keep him in the starting lineup for a while just to make sure.
The organization has so much invested in Chris Burke, money and reputation and even history with his 18th-inning gamewinner, and the leash will be very long. And he actually helped himself tonight with two hits.
Maybe what happens is the status quo: Burke and Luke keep starting and Lane keeps coming off the bench.
Hunter Pence in center? Fuhgeddaboutit. Jason Lane's got four major league home runs this year, and he can't even break in.
The eighth inning sticks out, but note also that last column. The Astros played errorless baseball, while scoring three runs as a direct result of Cincinnati miscues.