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Big Puma Strikes Again, Astros Lose 7-4

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"It feels a little different here, with the new ownership and all." -- Lance Berkman

Don't let that pregame quote fool you, Lance Berkman still loves hitting at Minute Maid. His two-run homer in the first inning proved to be crucial in tonight's frustrating loss.

After surrendering Berkman's home run in the first, Brett Myers was able to rely on his curveball to fool the St. Louis hitters for a couple innings. He was commanding his pitches well, and it was turning out to be a close game. That is, until Jake Westbrook came to the plate. The Cardinals starting pitcher hit a bases-clearing double in the fourth to drive in three runs, and St. Louis had a 5-2 lead. Why does it seem like other pitchers always hit well against us?

Albert Pujols tacked on a solo shot in the eighth, and he has now homered in four straight games. Look out. When Matt Holliday comes back from the DL, this lineup is going to be downright scary as the middle of their order is beginning to really heat up.

It's always disheartening when the opposing starting pitcher drives in runs, but tonight was especially difficult. We loaded the bases against Westbrook in the third inning with two outs, but Jeff Keppinger softly flew out to center and ended the threat.

Oh yeah, we also left the bases loaded in the sixth inning. And the eighth inning. Yuck.

Hunter Pence extended his hitting streak to 18 games with a couple singles, and it was nice to see Carlos Lee's home run in the first inning. The offense, as a whole, was unable to string together any sustained rallies, and the lack of clutch hitting really cost us. You can't honestly expect to win when you leave that many runners in scoring position.

"Yeah we left some guys on base tonight again, but we are happy that the opportunities are presenting themselves... We got all the confidence in the world that the hits are gonna come."

That's an interesting outlook from Brad Mills after the game. I don't know what to think anymore.