Reds 7, Astros 5.
This was a troubling loss. Roy Oswalt wasn't sharp early; he said he felt like he was throwing a 'cue ball' most of the game, and we were down 2-0 early. Oswalt singled in a run in the 2nd to make it 2-1, and then the Astros had runners on 2nd and 3rd with 0 outs and Kent, Berkman, and Hidalgo due up. Foul out. Foul out. Fly out. 0 runs. Then Mike Lamb booted an inning-ending double play ball, Jacob Cruz followed with a double, and we were down 4-1. We get a run back after an error: 4-2. Then Raul Chavez doubles in two guys to tie it 4-4, and we pinch hit with...Orlando Palmeiro. Strikeout looking. Biggio doubles to right to take the lead 5-4, and everything looks great. Harville gets two outs, then walks a guy to bring up the only dangerous hitter on their team, Adam Dunn. Jimy (correctly) brings in Lidge, who strikes him out. In the next inning Lidge strikes out the first two batters he faces, bringing up Jacob Cruz. Walk. This brings up Javier Valentin, 3rd catcher for the Reds. He CRUSHES a 1-1 fastball down the middle of the plate. Home run. 6-5, Reds. Dotel gives up a solo shot to make it 7-5, and although Everett gets on bases leading off the 9th, Bagwell, Kent and Berkman all hit long fly ball outs to end the game.
Main annoyance: In a close game, neither Lane or Ensberg get any at-bats. Instead, Vizcaino and Palmeiro both go 0-for-1. Also, you've gotta get some runs with 2nd and 3rd and 0 out. Finally, Mike Lamb is not good in the field. He's a great pinch hitter, but should NOT start over Morgan Ensberg. Oh well...we'll get them next time.
Up next: 3 game series against Pittsburgh, starting today, with:
Andy Pettitte vs. Josh Fogg. I want to see the offense, especially Kent, Hidalgo, and Ensberg, get going. We're going at home against crummy Fogg.