With a title like that, you would expect the Astros to have played well. That they did this Friday evening. Behind a sterling effort from PMVP (pitching MVP) Wandy Rodriguez, and a bloop/blast performance from the offense, our Astros took on a streaking Phils team and beat them soundly.
The Astros' ninth shut out victory of the season was spearheaded by Wandy Rodriguez who pounded the strike zone to the tune of 82 strikes thrown compared to a scant 29 balls. That nearly 3:1 ratio is exactly what pitchers with a big lead should do: throw strikes, don't walk hitters and let your defense do the work. Magic Wandy accomplished this task with ease.
His counterpart, Cy Young winner Cliff Lee, was felled by a number of bloop hits early on. Watching the game, I just got the sense that this was not going to be his night. After the dying quails early on, the Astros bats went after bigger game, to the tune of doubles by Wandy Rodriguez and Kaz Matsui, and homers by Hunter Pence and Carlos Lee.
Everyone contributed. Aaron Boone got on base via a HBP in his only AB. Fuzzy feelings all around.
JR Towles is making his way to Houston, and should be in uniform tomorrow night. A real September call up! There's some excitement for the remainder of 2009. Too bad he's not going to be playing much. Somehow, overlooking the mistakes and head scratching decisions of the Astros is easier after a win. That's exactly what Drayton wants to happen, I suppose. Roy O goes tomorrow night, and Bud on Sunday afternoon. Some intriguing pitching matchups to behold if you're in town.