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Matchup/Game Thread Houston Astros at Pittsburgh Pirates 6:15CDT

Wandy Rodriguez Paul Maholm
6 - 8, 4.33 5 - 12, 4.68

When last seen, tonight's opposing starter was putting the finishing touches on one of the more humiliating losses of the season for the Astros. As if you could forget, back on April 24, in Pittsburgh, Paul Maholm threw a complete game three-hit shutout in which he needed to throw only 99 pitches, and in which no Astro reached second base safely.

It truly sucked, as Maholm--who let us say hasn't been very good in his other starts this year--had dominated us as few lefties in the last ten years have.

Best Games Pitched By A Lefty Vs. The Astros This Century
Pitcher Date Opp. IP H ER BB K Game
Mark Mulder 4/23/2005 at STL 10 5 0 0 5 87
Oliver Perez 9/9/2004 G1 at PIT 8 3 0 1 14 87
Mike Hampton 5/8/2005 at ATL 9 2 0 1 3 85
Paul Maholm 4/24/2007 at PIT 9 3 0 1 4 84
Dave Williams 8/14/2005 PIT 9 5 0 1 7 83

Alysson Footer had that great article the other night about how the Pirates' lefties have been toying with us all season, but it appears to be a kind of historical thing: when dominating games are thrown against us by lefties, the Pirates will be there to have thrown them.

Also in that article, Footer also made mention of what many here at The Boxes have pointed out: namely, that Scott and Lamb have at least this year proven they can hit lefties well, yet Garner continues to sit them vs. southpaws. Mike Lamb was gracious when asked about it, but especially considering that the team has hit better vs. lefties overall, Footer's point pretty clearly was that Garner's lineup-making may have perhaps cost us some victories vs. lefthanders this year.

Let us hope that our own lefthander pitches a shutdown game tonight, one that is immune to any lineup-bungling that may be going on.