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Matchup/Game Thread at Pirates 6:05 CDT

Woody Williams Paul Maholm
0 - 2, 6.55 0 - 2, 6.19

I was only awake and paying attention for parts of last night's game, but even so, I can definitively say, so much for the Astros having the pitching advantage last night.

Eaton settled down after a rough start, while Sampson found himself removed after the bad start wouldn't end.

The game--the parts that I saw anyway--reminded me of Sampson's nightmare start vs. the Nationals in Spring Training.

Worse yet, Sampson in the overall might be starting to remind me of Taylor Buchholz, for his ability to mix in truly terrible starts surrounded by evidence of brilliance.

I know it's two very different things. The repertoire that Taylor and Chris bring couldn't be more different. But how do you come in 2 - 0, 1.20 and then give up 14 hits and seven runs in a mere 4 innings?

Yeah, I know.

That's what happens when your sinker don't sink.

I've been ragging on Woody Williams pretty good, but I guess here's a real good chance for him to get into my good graces. I go t a feeling we're going to need a solidly pitched game to get the W in Pittsburgh tonight. Not a no-hitter or anything, but something on the order of six over three.

I'd focus on the fact that Berkman is coming off consecutive games with extra bases for the first time this season, or that Maholm has posted a positively Williamsesque ERA of his own, but unfortunately Maholm is also a lefty, and I figure that inconvenient fact will interrupt Berkman's nascent lefthanded-batting momentum. And besides, Houston is 1 - 4 against southpaws so far.

Do believe that Morgan gets to continue his hitting streak after his pinch-hit walk last night. If he does collect a hit tonight, it will tie his career best streak.

Chris Burke fell off the wagon last night. After a five-game stretch in which he reached base eleven times with a pair of extra base hits, he was 0 for 4 last night with two k's and without a walk. We're still waiting on that first homer of the year from Burke.

But when it happens, I can promise, the moment will be electric.