There's probably a lot we can talk about, with Melancon's first collapse, Wandy's uncharacteristically strong road start and Clint Barmes' good defense and hitting, but I want to touch on another issue in this recap. After all, it's the Astros fourth loss in the last five games. There's only so many ways to say they are a bad team, right?
No, what I realized as I thought about this one was the timing. Both teams struggled to hit the ball well in this one, and I wonder if what we're seeing is the way baseball schedules worked before amphetamines became so popular (meaning: the 1940's). The Astros were playing their fifth game in five days and were playing at noon two days after they finished up a home series against the Mets and flew to Atlanta. That's an awfully short turnaround before they lost an hour and had to wake up early for a day game.
10 years ago, the players had those "greenies" to help pick them up in those situations. Now, I'm sure they're downing Red Bulls or Monster drinks or whatever the kids do these days. But, are we seeing a trend in baseball where these scheduling changes will affect the game like this? Was this just a well-pitched game on both side, or did the timing of the game play into it just as much?
It's a semi-important question as we head into the rest of the season. Because of MLB's insistence that the World Series not be played in November, there will be fewer off-days down the stretch. We could see a lot more of these 2-1, 3-2 games simply because hitters will wear down over the long haul. I happen to like old-fashioned pitchers duels, but when we're discussing whether or not this is a "pitchers era," the lack of amphetamines has to be taken into account.