I thought Garner was insane for bringing Woody back out for the eighth, but even at my least charitable, I've got to admit that at least he got away with it.
Woody looked rather spry out there on Sunday, tumbling after bunts, falling to his knees to snare supersonic lineshots, and hauling ass up the line in his effort to beat Cesar Izturis' throw.
Maybe he took a few sips of Grandma's tonic over the break--he doesn't look quite as tired, huh?
Beyond Williams' witchery, gotta say, what a well-played ballgame. You'd have hardly thunk it was two of the worst teams in the NL squaring off, as each team made great defensive play after great defensive play. It's sort of fitting that the Astros won on the one Pirates' letdown defensively: Kata should have been able to field Ausmus' single; in fact, in my mind, that should have been an error, and the run should have been unearned.
The end result was one of your more remarkable victories. Never mind that 12 - 17 record in one run games coming in: the team had been 0 - 13 on the year in games where they scored 1 run, and 0 - 11 in games in which they were held to five hits or fewer.
In compiling the team's 104th 1 - 0 shutout victory all-time, and only their 30th all-time on the road, the Astros also won for only the eleventh time in team history when a) being held to one run, b) being held to less than five hits, and c) being held to no extra base hits.
It was only the second time ever that they had overcome such obstacles to victory on the road, and in fact, was only the fifth time that they had won a 1 - 0 game on the road without any extra base hits, regardless of the hit total.
There had been some speculation onsite that steroids offender Lou Santangelo would be quietly released once he finished serving his suspension. This appears not to have been the case. Hadn't realized it, but Santangelo actually returned back on July 5th.
I'm not sure how I feel about this, but I will note that Santangelo hit his second homer of the season last night in Corpus Christi's 13 - 2 victory over Midland. Ray Sadler was a double shy of the cycle as the Hooks grabbed 17 hits. Corpus has now won six straight games (all over Midland, natch) and they are becoming a factor in the Texas League South Division race.
I've been starving for a farm team to cheer on in a year that has seem most of our affiliates hang out near the bottom of the standings; maybe Corpus, in the second half, is the one I can look to. . . . .
You can listen to tonight's Hooks game for free through MiLB.com's website, and it starts at 6:00 CDT.