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Matchup/Game Thread? vs. Pirates 7:05 CDT

Tom Gorzellany Woody Williams
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The Astros have not opened the season by getting swept in a three game series at home since 1993, when Terry Mulholland, Curt Schilling, and Danny Jackson led the Phillies to back-to-back-to back road victories over an Astros team that would finish with 85 wins.

Hopefully we're saying the same thing next year this time, hopefully Woody comes up-with the goods, as he did in his last ST tuneup vs. the Royals.

Call me naive, but, excluding Lidge, whom I feel is a special case, I have no issues at all with the bullpen. I have confidence in Dan Wheeler and Chad Qualls and Rick White had a nice debut last night as well, don't you think?

To start freaking out about "THE BULLPEN!" as some are doing is not only a little premature, it confuses the 2006 track records of Qualls and Wheeler with that of Lidge.

We already saw that Dan Wheeler hadn't given up two runs in an inning before last night since the first part of June 2006, and focus this morning seemed to be on the fact that he nearly didn't last night either, since he may have been jobbed on that pitch to Paulino.

Wheeler is simply an elite set up man; I want him out there when it matters.

And Qualls gave up some shots in '06, sure, but he ended 2006 just fine, more than fine, actually.

I expect both Wheeler and Qualls to rebound from these bumps to start 2007.

Jason Lane will get the start again because of Luke's elbow, and it will mark the first time that Houston has gone with, rather than against, the platoon split in right field. Doing it wrong has worked out so well so far, I just hope the mojo we've got going in right isn't ruined.

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A recurring computer problem has called into question my ability to post a game thread tonight. Time will tell, but if I'm not around tonight, it's not 'cause I don't think y'all aren't really swell people . . . .