What a way to start off May!!! After losing 4 of the last 5 to end the month of April, the Astros have started off May with a bang by sweeping the 3rd place Milwaukee Brewers out of Minute Maid Park and bringing their record back to .500 at 16 and 16.
Sampson was bad again and only made it through 3 1/3 innings before being pulled with the Astros down 3-2 with 2 runners on and having already thrown 88 pitches. Sampson just can't seem to stay consistent. He's had a couple of good games this season, but more times than not, he goes less than 5 innings and gives up a lot of runs. He's made 6 starts this season and has only reached the 6th inning in 2 of them. That's just not good enough for a major league pitcher. I'm not really sure who we can use to replace him, but he's making Woody Williams look like a good option for the 5th starters spot... Cooper better start looking for other options and shorten the leash on Sampson... I don't know what his problem is so far this season, but I didn't expect him to be this bad. I've been told I have been overly negative about the Astros this season, so I'll end my negative talk with that and get on to some more positive news.
Obviously Pence is the game hero after hitting the 2 run walk off shot to end the game in the 12th inning... but the player of the game has to go to Lance Berkman. Pence was 1 for 6(and made his 1 hit really count) and struck out 3 times on the night, lowering his batting average to .254... Berkman on the other hand went 4 for 5 whith a home run, 2 doubles and 4 RBI's while scoring twice and walking once. So Berkman gets my player of the game award(I doubt he'll place it on his mantle though).
The 2nd player of the game has to go to the Astros collective bullpen of Geary, Wright, Brocail, Valverde and Byrdak who went 7 full innings of 1 hit, scoreless ball. It's nice to see the bullpen step in and pick up the trash after Sampson had such a terrible outing. Byrdak earned the win by pitching a scoreless 12th, but not without any stress as he did walk 3 batters in the inning. I guess the old saying "no harm, no foul" would come into play here.
The Astros have tomorrow off as they wait for the 14-18 Nationals to come to town.
I wanted to say thanks to clack, bwhite2323, lnewcomer, TexSkins, Joe in Birmingham, entropic soul, jsams, Triple347, BTastros, Danyah, exit53, backstop8, Shamus, and beeleever for keeping the game thread alive. Without you guys/gals, this place wouldn't be the same.