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Sosa Viciously Taunts Giants, Astros Win 3-1

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Henry Sosa will not wow many people with his performance. He's going to have a relatively low strikeout rate and a variable walk rate. He has proven, however, that he can pitch in the major leagues.

Sure, Sosa gets hit around sometimes against better lineups, but that fits the description of many pitchers in the majors. He might not even be part of a rotation for a contending team, but he can be a useful part now. 

Which is a good description to the rest of the Astros team. Jordan Schafer hit a home run (I know, I was shocked too). Jimmy Paredes is proving to be a competent third baseman. Heck, even Carlos Corporan showed off why he's on the roster, making some very nice throws to gun down would-be base stealers. When you hit below the Mendoza line, you have to be a good defender.

I'm also always surprised to see Wilton Lopez' numbers. It seems like he's been more erratic than he's been, as his ERA is now under 3.00 and he's only got five losses in 57 appearances. I think that's the problem with relievers..their losses get magnified and the successes get diminished because they are so fleeting. 

I mentioned a while back that the Astros are playing the role of litmus test for real contenders. In four games against San Fran so far, I've seen nothing to indicate they could make the playoffs this year. Sure, the pitching is very solid, but the hitters? I'm not ruling anything out, mind you, just saying judging from their play against Houston, I wouldn't expect a repeat.