El Bufalo rides again!
Except the rest of the team forgot to join him.
See, Carlos Lee going 2 for 4 with a home run and three RBIs is a pretty big deal. This is the same guy who is still batting under .200 for the season. The same guy who has had the worst start to a season in his entire career. That guy finally made something happen. What did the rest of the team do?
No extra base hits. One walk (to Berkman). Seventeen ground balls. Only three line drives. it was a pretty dismal showing, even as two other Astros (Bourn and Keppinger) also had two hits. When all the hits are singles, it's easy for pitchers to work around them.
The problem is that the guys hitting the best over the past week (Berkman, Pence, Oswalt, Paulino) were either not in the game or didn't do anything of note. Which has been exactly the Astros problem this season. When Hunter Pence is red-hot, Lee and Berkman are cold. When Lee gets to heating up, the other two don't show up. If even two of these guys were hot at the same time, how different would the offense look?
The other down side here? Bud Norris couldn't make it through the fifth inning, giving up six runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings. He also struck out three and walked three. That's 10 base runners in 13 outs, which is a terrible ratio if your goal is to win baseball games.
In past games, Norris' problem was his control. Tuesday night, he threw strikes 62 percent of the time. He just forgot to miss the Dodgers' bats. He gave up all five of the line drives the Dodgers hit in the game. He was relieved by Brian Moehler, WIlton Lopez and Jeff Fulchino, who gave up a home run to Casey Blake in the bottom of the eighth inning.
I don't know who you blame for this. The starting pitcher certainly didn't give the team a chance to win, but the offense also didn't score enough runs. They need more than the Mighty Bufalo to win games this season. Unlike 2005, I don't know that 15-30 is going to be the same kind of rallying cry for this team.