Astros 4, Pirates 1
W – Michael William Hampton (5-5, 4.16)
L – Virgil Matthew Vasquez (1-2, 4.50)
SV – Jose Rafael Valverde (7, 3.86)
Attendance – A far sight less than the 26,834 tickets sold for this clash of the titans…
Astros.com Recap (Grodsky?)
Pirates.com Recap (Jenifer Langosch…Do your self a favor and don’t GIS her.)
Before the Game:
In honor of the Pirates coming to town, I made a big plate of haluski and heated up some pierogies. If I could have found Yuengling, that would have been the trifecta. But when faced with the option of Steel City Reserve or Shiner Black, Texas won. Just like in the eventual, inevitable war of secession. And also the game.
Prior to the game, Pirates manager John Russell had a closed door meeting with his team. He reportedly told them, “Here’s my advice to you: Take dead aim on the rich boys. Get them in the crosshairs and take them down. Just remember, they can buy anything but they can’t buy backbone. Don’t let them forget it. Thank you.”
There’s a lot being made of Mike Hampton winning 10 straight decisions against the Pittsburgh Pirates, 4 of them coming this season. It’s sort of being glossed over that prior to the 2009 season he hadn’t faced them since 2004. So Mike Hampton beat the Pirates again? Oh that’s great. I wrote a hit play and directed it, so I’m not sweating it either.
Hampton wasn’t exactly sharp, but he didn’t really have to be to beat the last place Pirates. Hampton allowed only six base runners in his seven innings, nibbled a bunch and took advantage of an alert defense behind him. If only he could figure out how to do that against any team not from Pittsburgh. On the other hand, he’s left-handed, so I assume he’ll be on someone’s 15-day D.L. for several more years, regardless of actual results.
By the way, I’m almost 38. I don’t suffer from any sort of memory imparement that I’m aware of, but do you remember the Pirates being good? Was Omar Moreno on the team then?
At the plate, the Astros got to Virgil Vasquez early, with Geoff Blum doing the damage in the bottom of the first with a 2-out, 2-run triple, plating Lance Berkman and Miguel Tejada . Mostly to show how poorly Garrett Jones tracks baseballs hit, well, anywhere, the play was sent to New York for further review. Or CB Bucknor needed a Dove Bar break. One of those.
Miguel Tejada doubled in the other RBIs in this game in the fifth, scoring Hampton and Michael Bourn.
Outside of the totally necessary replay review in the bottom of the first, the only real drama in the game was in the eight inning, when set-up man LaTroy Hawkins gave Humberto Quintero what amounted to gas face. Quintero approched the mound after Hawkins grimaced after a pitch…
Quintero: Your mind is as warped as your face, LaTroy
Hawkins: Don’t get nasty, brother.
Quintero signaled for Rex Jones’ mustache to come out. Rex came, too. Quintero inquired, “Are you fond of that moustache?”
By this point, someone had jostled Cecil Cooper from his in-game coma, so he trotted out to the mound…
Hawkins: The truth is, neither one of us has the slightest idea where this relationship is going. We can’t predict the future.
Cooper: We don’t have a relationship.
Hawkins: But we’re friends.
Cooper: Yes, and that’s all we’re *going* to be. Well, yes…
Hawkins: That’s all I meant by “relationship.” You want me to grab a dictionary?
After which, a bewildered Cooper returned to his restful slumber and Hawkins closed out the inning.
After the Game:
Oswalt: What’s the secret, Mike?
Hampton: The secret?
Oswalt: Yeah, you seem to have it pretty figured out.
Hampton: The secret, I don’t know… I guess you’ve just gotta find something you love to do and then… do it for the rest of your life. For me, it’s elementary school teachers.
Maholm versus Moehler. Baseball fever. Catch it.