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Astros come from behind in ninth, steal game from Braves

I don't recall having seen a better pitched game involving the Astros in quite some time. Tommy Hanson is a filthy, filthy man who is going to be an ace very soon. He made our hitters look like little leaguers and did so with ease. Wandy did his damndest to keep up, and nearly did but he left after the seventh down 1-0.

With Hanson cruising after eight innings, Bobby Cox pulled his young starter and handed the ball to Rafael Soriano to close the game out. After striking out Michael Bourn, Kaz Matsui singled and Lance Berkman followed with a double to off the wall in left field. Carlos Lee was given an intentional free pass, and with the bases loaded Miggy T laced (ok, eeked) the Soriano offering up the middle for a two RBI single.

A comeback 2-1 victory is improbable in and of itself, but especially on a night like this where the Astros couldn't muster much of anything against the opposing starter for eight innings. Kudos to Wandy and the bullpen for keeping it close until our offense woke up against the opponent's closer for the second time in five days.

Sidenote: The night after Tommy Manzella made his ML debut as a pinch runner, Chris Johnson got his feet wet as he took the place of Geoff Blum mid game after Blum was forced to leave the game due to injury. CJ went 0/2 at the plate and made at least one play defensively. After Cecil Cooper was making comments alluding to the fact that our veterans still deserve to get playing time, winning games is still really important, etc. I was less than optimistic that we would get a chance to see any of our youngsters with regularity. As I pointed out on the radio today, the Astros are trying to win games and evaluate talent at the same time. Cecil Cooper on the other hand, needs to win games in order to see 2010. I wonder if there will be a heavy emphasis on playing veterans down the stretch in order to win as many games as possible, thus giving Coop a chance to return next season?