I actually had a good feeling about tonight, thinking that Colby Lewis was the opposing pitcher that we needed to get the offense back on track. He had a 4.62 ERA prior to this game, and he had also allowed 19 home runs this year (1st in the AL). Surely we could get something going and salvage a game in this rough series, right?
Well, I was wrong for eight innings. Lewis threw six scoreless innings, and the offense continued to look lost at the plate until Neftali Feliz came to the mound. Trailing 3-1 in the ninth, the offense exploded with four runs against the Rangers closer. Matt Downs ended the longball drought in dramatic fashion with a pinch-hit tiebreaking two-run shot to give the Astros a 5-3 lead, and Mark Melancon closed the door in the bottom half of the inning.
Brett Myers followed up his complete game with a nice pitching performance, and it's too bad he couldn't get a win tonight. He pitched six strong innings, allowing just two earned runs (one came on a wild pitch). Myers' recent success could go a long way in determining his trade value at the deadline, and he could net the Astros a nice prospect if he keeps this up.
This game was eerily similar to the comeback win at Wrigley several weeks ago. We couldn't get anything going for eight innings, but a big ninth inning against a top-flight closer prevailed the Astros to exciting wins. Unfortunately it doesn't get any easier with the Rays coming to Houston on Friday night, but hopefully Pence should be back in the lineup for the weekend series.
I think it could be time for Downs to take over the starting job at third, anyone else agree?