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Game Hero, 31 - 40

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Hunter Pence
  • 3 for 5, 2 RBI, 2 runs, walk
  • 6th homer of the year, 17th double
  • Leads NL Rookies in OPS by nearly 100 points

OK, Pence, sure, why not?

He reached base as many times as anyone else, had more total bases than anyone else, had a higher WPA at Fangraphs than anyone else, and was for good portions of the game, the only plus defender in the field.

But I gotta say, I loved the move by Garner to play Palmeiro, not that I would have said anything like that before the game. But OP's 4 for 5 night with a run and a ribbie kind of tells you that Phil's move paid off, and did so in spades. It reminds me of down the stretch 2004, the type of hunch/platoon-type move that paid off for Garner time and time again as that club made its incredible run.

I wouldn't dare to suggest that this club is about to get anywhere near as hot as that one did, but I have to say the similarity, at least tonight, was there.

A sustained hot streak of 46 games is probably more of a pipe dream than anything else, but you know, in certain ways, this team over the last week is already as hot as that one ever was.

You probably noticed that the club had a season-high 17 hits tonight, to go with its nine runs. This marks the fourth straight game that the club has scored nine runs or more, and the seventh straight game it's had ten or more hits. Both streaks rank up there with the best the team has ever done.

[Update: One streak lives, the other dies with yet another excruciating loss to Anaheim]
Most Consecutive Games With 10+ Hits, All-Time
StreakStart Streak End Games W L Opponents
6/13/2007 ? 8 4 4 A's, Mariners, Angels
8/26/2004 9/3/2004 8 7 1 Cubs Reds Pirates
9/1/1986 9/9/1986 8 7 1 Cubs Cards Reds
8/29/1980 9/6/1980 8 4 4 Cubs, Pirates, Cards
5/31/1962 6/6/1962 7 4 3 Cubs, Pirates, Braves
 
Most Consecutive Games, Scoring 9+ Runs, All-Time
StreakStart Streak End Games W L Opponents
6/16/2007 6/19/07 4 3 1 Mariners, Angels
6/27/1998 7/1/1998 4 4 0 Indians, White Sox
5/2/1973 5/6/1973 4 4 0 Phillies, Mets

Hopefully we pound out another dozen or so hits vs. Carlos Santana tomorrow, and we'll tie that 2004 club in the consecutive games with ten hits thing, while the '04 NL runners-up never did manage to string four games of nine-plus runs together.

At the same time, let us not fail to notice that we've given up ten hits or more in six of our last eight games, and that it sounds like the defense played Tuesday bordered on the suicidal.

And the bullpen has some issues, you may have heard.

But negativity is for another time, another day. Tonight we celebrate Hunter Pence, and the unstoppable Houston offense!