For the second straight day at PNC Park in Pittsburgh the Astros and the Pirates battled in the rain. Yesterday, the Pirates came out on top 3-1, but today roles were reversed as the Astros took the game 4-1…in the rain.
After both teams retired batters 1, 2, 3 in the first, the second inning saw Carlos Lee single to right field and then *gasp* steal second base. Really? What has gotten into Carlos these days? Can we bottle it and make him drink it again before next season? That was his fourth steal this year for those keeping count. So then Brian Bogusevic singled to right getting Carlos to third. Next up? My favorite – Jimmy Paredes, who grounded into a force that found Bogie out at second, but allowed Carlos to score. The Astros were on the board.
Clint Barmes would then strike out, followed by Humberto Quintero doubling on a fly ball to center to send Jimmy home to put the Astros up 2-0 halfway through the second. Brett Myers finished the inning striking out.
The Pirates response? Neil Walker singled, but was caught stealing second base. Why haven’t runners learned that when Q is behind the plate, stealing is not wise? Ryan Doumit hit his 8th homer of the year, this one to right center field. to put the Pirates on the board, 2-1. That would be all the run productiont his game would see from the Bucs.
There was hope for another run for Houston in the top of the seventh when Paredes singled, and Barmes singled sending Paredes to 2nd and Q ground into a force out for Barmes but sending Parendes to 3rd. Myers came up next and managed to reach on a fielder’s choice with Paredes attempting the squeeze play and failing. It was painful to watch!
There would be more runs…and they all came in the 9th. Bogie walked, Jimmy doubled, Barmes struck out, Q singled allowing Bogie and Jimmy to both score. 4-1 Astros. Then it was just wait, play good defense and pray. Mark Melancon came in and got the save, his 17th of the season, preserving Myers 4th win.
I liked Brett Myers tonight, and there haven’t been many games I could say that this season. In his 7.2 innings pitched, he allowed 4 hits, 1 earned run (a home run) and threw 6 strikeouts. He threw 92 pitches in those 7.2 innings and 65 of them were strikes. I like that. Maybe missing a start was his key? Or maybe baby Kace is a good luck charm for him? Coming after him in relief was Wesley Wright. I like this kid. I like him a LOT. Tonight it was one batter and he walked him, but still, I think the kid’s got good stuff.
I’m not complaining about tonight’s win at all, although I thought it was a boring game. Boring games can be good sometimes. I think the 9,000+ people at PNC park tonight were just glad it wasn’t a marathon game. I’m sure they were ready to get out of the rain.
So, my standout of the night? Jimmy Paredes. He was 3-4 with 2 runs, and an RBI. He was pretty much half of the offense tonight. There wasn’t a lot of offense from the Astros in this game, but it was just enough to get the W. Along with Paredes, Barmes and Q contributed a great deal as they each were 2-4 at the plate.
The Astros are now 48-94 on the season and still chasing 100 losses with 20 games left to play.
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.