The Astros collected nine hits. Felipe Paulino looked great at times, striking out the side in the fifth. Michael Bourn and Lance Berkman each had two hits. The bullpen didn't allow a run in 3.1 innings of work. The Marlins only scored in two innings.
Taken in a vacuum, those facts all would lead you to believe that the Astros had a great chance at winning Thursday night's game. It wasn't to be, as Anibal Sanchez and the Marlins ended the four game winning streak which had brought much joy to our fair city.
Sanchez was not especially dominant in giving up nine singles and striking only one batter out, but he didn't walk anybody either and the Astros were never able to put one big swing on the ball and get multiple runners home. Kaz Matsui had perhaps the best shot at doing so in the seventh inning, but his liner was caught by third baseman Jorge Cantu with one out and runners on the corner. Lance Berkman was forced to hit righty and subsequently grounded out to Hanley Ramirez to end the threat.
All in all, it was a good three game series for the Astros, as a series win is a series win. Can't be too disappointed I suppose. Carlos Lee looks terrible at the plate still. Just all sorts of off balance. Unfortunately it's not as if Hunter Pence is hitting much better so our paltry 41 runs scored through 15 games won't improve all that much until these two get it going. With only two players in our lineup (Michael Bourn and Lance Berkman) today who looked on their game, runs were going to be at a premium to begin with. Let's all light a candle for our 4-5 hitters to get going against our next opponent...
Who happen to be the Pittsburgh Pirates, the most beleaguered American professional sports franchise in the past twenty years. 17 consecutive seasons of playing sub-.500 ball gave way to a pretty-ok start, only to see the Brewers march into Heinz Field and treat the Buccos not very well. Getting beat 36-1 over a three game series is obviously terrible, and let's not fool ourselves, Pittsburgh isn't a good team. They're "rebuilding" as much as a team that has never really built anything can rebuild. Coming off a 20-0 shellacking, Pittsburgh will either be dazed and confused tomorrow or motivated like none other to play well. Be on the lookout, Roy.