Nice peformance by Brandon Backe tonight: 7 IP, 7 H, 1 BB, 8 K. That walk-to-strikeout ratio is nice to see. Some of you might be wondering why I'm always harping on that ratio - the main idea is that pitchers have surprisingly little control over what happens once their pitch is put into play. Some pitcher have higher hit rates than others, but generally speaking, at the major league level the difference is smaller than almost anyone would guess. What a pitcher DOES have control over is the balls that aren't put in play - walks, strikeouts, and HR's. In other words, 'free outs' like strikeouts are great, 'non-outs' like walks and HR's are bad. The 'possible outs' usually even themselves out over the long haul.
The offense still wasn't great, but did enough to win. Adam Everett drew another walk - based on my previous statement that hits will even out, he might be a decent leadoff hitter yet. Luke Scott had a rough night; he's batting under .200 now, with 1 extra-base hit, but Brad Ausmus had 2 hits and Willy Taveras had a HR (!!!!), a walk, and a SB. Russ Springer got out of a huge jam created by Wheeler and Franco (who CANNOT get righties out - don't even bother bringing him in to turn a switch hitter around - lefties ONLY) by getting Brian Jordan to GIDP to Ensberg to Biggio to Bagwell. Nice job, Springer. Then Lidge comes in and does his thing, striking out two. Woohoo. Brewers next.
Last thing - "Explosions in the Sky" is the best band I've heard in a long time. Check them out.