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Matchup/Game Thread at Angels, 9:05 CDT

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Chris Sampson John Lackey
6 - 5, 3.29 10 - 4, 2.53

Now that we are all feeling really positive about our experience as Astrofans, now comes the hard part.

Tonight's starter John Lackey is second in the American League in starter's ERA, and the Angels for whom he pitches are as well.

With the Astros traditionally struggling on the West Coast, the fear (and maybe the reality) is that our momentum may not last.

But I do have good news. First off, the Astros are actually a slightly better-hitting team on the road! Incredible, I know, but it turns out we're averaging 8.14 hits and 3.92 runs per game on the road, and only 7.63 and 3.71 at home.

Put that in your Biggio-pipe and smoke it.

The other good thing is that the Astros own the all-time series vs. the Angels.

OK, it's only three games, a set played between June 18th and June 20th of 2004. But still.

The host Astros won on the 18th and 20th, with the opener being a shutout for the good guys, some of whom are unfortunately no longer good if you know what I mean.

The other good vibes tonight come from our starting pitcher, Chris Sampson.

Who don't love Chris Sampson? There were serious doubts about whether he'd make the team, and now he leads the club in starter's ERA, and is a very close second on the team in WHIP to a guy (JJ) who's pitched less than half his innings.

Since Chris is so great and all, perhaps some of you reading tonight might be interested in a tiny contest, a little smidgen of a contest, nothing at all, really.

I recently found out about some promotional minor league All-Star cards that were produced last year by Hyundai. After researching, and learning that Sampson and old Astros farmhand Charlton Jimerson had cards in the set, I went over to eBay to buy them. Turns out the only guy selling any was selling them in lots.

So now I got some extra cards of each. With too much clutter from the cardboard already, I thought I might find a good home for 'em. And what better way than with a contest?

They're not the Honus Wagner T-206, but I'd be very glad to send you the two cards if you want 'em and if you can come closest to:

  • Chris's Game Score tonight,
  • His number of groundball outs, and
  • His strikeouts

I'll take submissions here in this Game Thread through the end of the first. G'luck, I hope somebody bothers to try. :-)