Seldom do games turn so suddenly. Just as I was getting worried that the Astros were getting punked by Jeff Suppan. In those early innings, Suppan was wiggling out of jam after jam with Houston not getting any runs on the board. That's exactly what would happen with the Astros early this season as the offense completely lacked any firepower.
This time? Hunter Pence, Brett Wallace and Jason Castro did their best to touch Soup up when it counted. Pence's three-run homer showed that he's not going to be cursed by the TCB POW award and that his recent hot streak is in no way ending.
The funny thing is this game didn't fit the pattern of the past few weeks. Nelson Figueroa did an okay job, but he only lasted five innings and only managed one strikeout while walking three. He also gave up a two-run home run to Matt Holliday that gave the Cards an early lead.
Luckily, the bullpen was about as solid as we could expect. Brandon Lyon, Fernando Abad, Mark Melancon and Matt Lindstrom struck out five over the final 3 2/3 innings. It was a great return for Lindstrom as he was just activated from the disabled list this afternoon.
Castro also deserves mention for going 2 for 4, giving him seven hits and three doubles in the past week. In fact, Castro now has three multi-hit games in the past week and has brought his average up from .186 to .208. It's not what we expected from him, but it's a good sign for the young backstop.
The Astros have now won nine of their last 11 games and are just nine games below .500 with a weekend series at Arizona up next. Bring it on.