I am sitting at Minute Maid Park watching game two of the Astros’ series against the now NL Central leaders- the Pittsburgh Pirates. As usual, my mother is sitting next to me and we have been discussing the best way to entertain ourselves here whilst the Astros continue their massive losing streak. So here’s what we’re up to tonight:
1st Inning: since Minute Maid Park has wifi, you can be productive. My mom just downloaded the Skype app to her iPhone and I gave her a little lesson on it. She’s all set for her trip to Barcelona later this Fall. Oh, and they’re playing baseball. There’s no score yet.
2nd Inning: Start reading the backs of people’s tshirts. Tonight’s favorite within my view was worn by Tracey Viehe…pretty nice thought if you’re sitting near an obnoxious Pirates fan.
Carlos Lee just scored so now we’re all getting our hopes up and trying to decide which inning it will be when the Astros implode and blow it. Will it be lack of offense? Bad defense? Bullpen? So many options.
3rd Inning: Do you ever pay attention to the ads on the ribbon boards? Sometimes you just have to wonder about PR people and what they’re thinking. “Do you smell gas in your house?” Um…no. Things just perked up as Michael Bourn singled, but then was caught stealing at 2nd. Angel Sanchez walked and Jeff Keppinger decided tonight was a nice night for home run number 3 to put the Astros up 3-0.
4th Inning: I’ve resorted to rehashing with our neighbors (they sit behind me and have the same game package) how MMP catered to the Red Sox fans while they were in town. This team can’t build a new fan base without respecting the team and what they represent- no matter how poorly they’re playing this season. I hope the Astros organization learned from the fan outrage over that one. The game’s still 3-0 with the Astros leading. Could this possibly be the start of the second-half-of-the-season comeback? I won’t hold my breath, but a girl can dream…
5th Inning: The wave has now made four rotations around Minute Maid Park. Can someone stop the insanity? What is the point of the wave? And can someone make my father stop participating in it? Crap. Neil Walker just hit a dinger over the right field wall. It’s 3-1, Houston. I blame the wave for that Pirates homer.
6th and 7th Inning: I’m sitting here with Patti Smith of Fox Sports Houston- I’m the fan of the game! I have no real clue what happened during that inning other than chatting with Patti, who is incredibly nice, and her assistant (not sure what her title really is), Reagan, who is the one responsible for thinking that because my jet lagged self is at this game I was worthy of being on tv. Thanks, Reagan! The Pirates keep hitting ball over the outfield walls. It’s 4-3 Pirates.
8th Inning: Now that the Pirates have the lead, the conversation around my seat has moved on to the trade deadline and who will be trade bait. I’m betting that Bourne, Keppinger, Wandy are all names being tossed around. And yep, I intentionally left Hunter off the list. Again…a girl can dream…please, Ed Wade, at least leave us Hunter.
(On a different note- the Sony Dance Cam just came by, there are a lot of kids that sit behind me. I dared my Dad to join the kids on camera doing the Air Guitar and I’d buy his beer the rest of the season. Silly Dad…he turned me down!)
Things are getting good again. Hunter walked. Lee was out but moved Hunter to 2nd. With Wallace pinch hitting, Hunter stole 3rd. With a single, Brett Wallace gave Pence just enough time to hustle home with a slide to tie it up at 4. There’s only one out. Let’s go ‘Stros!
Quintero singles to send Brian Bogusevic (pinch running for Wallace) home. The Astros take the lead 5-4 with 2 outs. Michael Bourn just made this 8th inning even more exciting with a single to left center moving Q to second and keeping hope alive at MMP, but a groundout by Angel Sanchez closed the inning. Tonight, small ball is the Astros’ friend as they lead 6-4.
9th Inning: We don’t often do this during the 9th because it’s not necessary, but I’m just praying during the top of the ninth. Taking down the very hot Pittsburgh Pirates and breaking a parade of losses would be big tonight….and with Mark Melancon on the mound- the Astros pull it out- 6-4. The Astros get their first save since June 8th. Well done, boys!
Terri Schlather (AGirlintheSouth) is the Senior Houston Astros Writer for Aerys Sports. You can read her Astros blog at www.talesfromthejuicebox.com, email her at email@example.com, or follow her on twitter @agirlinthesouth.