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Matchup/Game Thread LA Dodgers at Houston Astros, 8:05 CDT

Chad Billingsley Chris Sampson
6 - 0, 3.56 7 - 6, 4.15

Comings and goings: Berkman back in the lineup, Pence newly out of it. I haven't read anything, but if I had, the words I'm sure I would have seen would have included "precaution," and hot damn, I'm all for that. As we prepare to play game 99, there is little that can happen between now and game 162 that might change the character of this season.

A loss to the Dodgers will be forgotten probably by the middle of August, but if Pence aggravates his injury--well, now you're messing with the future.

So yeah, let's see more of this "precaution" stuff, I'm a big fan. Give Hunter all the time he needs, then a little more for good measure. Make sure this chest irritation thing that Roy's got is nice and healed before he comes back. Hell, I'm not even sure they should be playing Berkman tonight. I mean, what if it's knot healed?

Of course, go Astros, all that, all that, but the fact is, a win tonight is just window dressing. Nice to get it, but the important thing is the players who will be taking another crack at it in 2008 and beyond.