Well it finally happened... the Astros ended their current season long losing streak of 7 games and put up a 10 runs on the board(for the first time this season). Where were these runs earlier in the week?
I'm sure a lot of media attention will be put on Hunter Pence for his call up and the way he seems to have lit a fire in the Astros... So was Pence the reason the Astros came out clicking on all cylinders tonight? Doubtful... but maybe... I know the fans at the game tonight were really excited to see Pence, as was obvious after a bloop single brought out a standing ovation. My thoughts on Pence for my first time to see him? He's fast and plays with energy... I like it! He seemed really fast(not Willy-T fast, but fast) when he scored from 1st on a double by Everett.
Another standing ovation was given when Sampson came off the hill after going 6.1 innings giving up 1 run and striking out 8(career high). It's nice to see Sampson bounce back after having his worst career start last time to the hill. Sampson was noted as saying in his last start his mechanics were off which was causing his sinker not to sink... well it looks like he got his mechanics straightened out tonight, because he was awesome. Tonight's game was one of the best outings of the year by an Astros starter.
The thing that made me the happiest(besides the win and Sampson's outing) was Lance Berkman. 3 for 4 on the night bringing his avg up to .259. I think this is the game that is going to turn around Lance's season. This is exactly the type of game I've been waiting for, for Lance.
Loretta is still doing well, as well. 2 for 4 on the night bringing his batting average up to .375. I just don't see how we can sit him on a regular basis. He definitely deserves to be on the field with his offensive production. He did well last season as a starter and I see no reason why he should be considered a bench player for the Astros. He needs to start some where at least 3-4 times a week.
Lidge was pretty good tonight. 1.2 innings with 3 strike outs and 2 hits(one of which was a stroke of bad luck, hitting the rosin bag which more than likely would have been an out otherwise). His fastball was back up to the 97 range(as apposed to 94 that he has been seen throwing) and his slider was falling off the table again. He looks good! Hopefully he can keep this up and rightfully regain his position as the closer(sometime later this year... not too soon though).
On another note, did anyone see the quote by Lance about Burke being demoted? Here it is if you didn't...
"I think Hunter Pence deserves to play in the big leagues," Berkman said Friday. "He's got a bright future. I think he's very talented, and I don't object to them calling him up to try to spark us. But I think it's unfair to Chris. I think it sends the wrong message to the team that there's something drastic that needs to be fixed. I don't like it. If you're going to put Chris Burke on the bench, I think it's a horrible move."
I think Lance let his emotions get to him... I know him and Burke are really good friends and I think that's what triggered this. It's tough to see your friend have his job taken away from him... even if it possibly was the right move. And the response from Timmy P and Gar?
"I will address my feelings about that to Lance directly," Purpura said.
Asked for his reaction, Garner said, "This will be in-house. Our focus needs to be on winning. Everybody out there has an opinion on this ballclub, but our focus needs to be on winning. Let's do what we can as individuals to produce some wins."
Basically the reaction expected.
I will be going to the game tomorrow as Woody Williams tries for his 1st win of the season against Claudio Vargas. Hopefully the Astros left a little in the tank! I will be taking my camera and should have pictures of my experience some time tomorrow night, or Monday.