One of the reason baseball is such a great game is that luck tends to even out. Over 162 games, every lucky bounce by the other team gets canceled out by an equally lucky bounce by the good guys. There are some exceptions, as individual players will sometimes have incredibly good luck over an entire season or a team will play much better or worse than its record indicates.
Football isn't like that. Basketball isn't. Baseball has a unique place in the karmic world. Thus, after seeing Houston pitchers victimized time and time again with errors extending innings, the Astros benefitted from timely errors and timelier hitting on Wednesday night.
Brendan Ryan's throwing error in the hole during the fourth inning put Pedro Feliz on second. The scorer ruled the play was a hit and an error on Ryan, which is important, since it gave Feliz his 1,000 hit. Feliz went on to be thrown out at third, but Jeff Keppinger cleaned up a two-out, bases loaded situation with a double down the third base line. Keppinger drove in three runs, making up for his own costly error from the first inning.
Starter Wandy Rodriguez (2-4) bounced back nicely, though he ran into trouble in the sixth inning that turned a one-run outing into a five runs (four earned). Rodriguez lasted six innings, striking out three and walking two. His relief also looked good, as Chris Sampson, Wilton Lopez and Matt Lindstrom pitched well down the stretch. LIndstrom picked up a save after Lopez gave up consecutive two-out singles in the ninth. Lindstrom gave up a single to right field, scoring the Cardinals' sixth run, but then got a lineout to Pence to end the game.
Six runs seems like a lot for the offensively inept Astros to recover from, but with a two-run home run from Lance Berkman that bounced of the foul pole and a host of sacrifice flies gave the Astros plenty of ammo behind Kepp's double. Carlos Lee, Hunter Pence and Berkman all had RBIs, which means this game is more indicative of the blueprint GM Ed Wade made this offseason.
It also means the Astros have clinched a series victory over the Cardinals with the Mayor of St. Louis, Bud Norris, starting Thursday in a day game. Let's savor this game. This kind of offensive explosion doesn't happen very often.