I pinched myself and it turns out it wasn’t a dream. the Astros just beat the Phillies! Now, historically, the Astros play really well against the Phillies. Really well- they’re 30-19 versus the Phils since 2004. But this year, I expected nothing, especially this series. Tonight was Hunter Pence’s first game in Minute Maid Park as a Phillie and he’s been on a tear. It was the first time Roy Oswalt would take the mound in Houston as a Phillie. It was the kind of night that I thought we’d see fireworks.
Fireworks, indeed, but from the Astros rather than the Phillies. Granted, the Astros success tonight was in no small part due to blunders by the visiting team, but a W is a W no matter how you put it on the board. And this W put Houston at 50 wins and keeps them 3 shy of the century mark on losses. I’ll take it.
Most impressive tonight? Brett Myers who grabbed his fifth win of the season and his second straight. He pitched a solid 8 innings allowing 6 hits and only 1 earned run while walking 1 and striking out 4. Very nice job, Brett. Perhaps there is something about being a father again that makes Brett pitch this well? Or is it the chance to beat his old team? Either way, I’ll take it. This was the Brett we all love tonight, firing on all cylinders, efficient and effective.
The only production the Phillies were able to get going tonight came in the top of the 2nd. Raul Ibanex doubled to left field and then scored when Pete Orr singled to center. That would be it for them. And with no run support behind him, Roy Oswalt proved you can’t go home as he lasted 7 innings, but allowed 11 hits, 5 earned runs walked 2 and only struck out 2. He’d never pitched that many innings with fewer than 4 strikeouts. It was not his night.
JD Martinez and Humberto Quintero were incredibly productive with three hits on the night while Carlos Lee nailed a 2 run homer into the Crawford Boxes to put the Astros up 4-2. Oh what a night indeed. In the bottom of the 4th we saw Martinez and Bogusevic both score ; on a single from Paredes and a double from Q. Then the Lee homer in the 5th made it 4-2. The final run would come in the 7th when JD Martinez would run home after singling, and then advancing to third on a wild pitch by Oswalt and finally being hit in by Brian Bogusevic.
The bullpen had a quiet evening as only Mark Melancon got a call to hit the field. He would throw 19 pitches in the 9th, 9 for strikes. In fact, he made fans a little jumpy when his batters went walk, fly out, fly out, walk, but a ground out on the 5th batter closed it out in only 2:22 leaving the Astros to win 5-1.
I’m so giddy I can hardly type. All I wanted from this series was one teeny weeny win. One night was all it would take. They get two more chances. Am I foolish if I think they can do it again? I don’t know that lightening can strike twice in Houston this week, but if it could, I’d be delighted. If the bats are as alive tomorrow as they were today, anything is possible.
Oh, by the way, that guy who used to play right field, Hunter Pence? He got a nice partial standing ovation on his first at bat and he gave a way to the crowd. He was 2-4 tonight and the best hitter in the lineup. So there’s that.
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.