Astros Sweep Rockies
added 6/21/2001 by Darrell Pittman
Astros Shine Bright
Moises Alou went 4-for-4 at the plate with a homer, two RBIs, and three runs scored. Lance Berkman chipped in with his fourth consecutive multi-hit game. The only starting position player to go hitless was Jeff Bagwell.
Wade Miller returned to his beginning-of-season form, scattering four hits allowed and two earned runs over his sparkling seven innings of work, fanning six. Octavio Dotel closed out the game, hurling two no-hit innings, striking out two and walking only one. The two combined to hold slugger Todd Helton hitless (0-for-4), fanning him three times.
The result? A 7-2 victory for the Astros over the Colorado Rockies, and their first-ever home series sweep of the Mounties. Miller picked up the victory, raising his record to 8-3, and Dotel picked up his first save of the 2001 season. Colorado starter Ron Villone picked up the loss, his record dropping to 1-3.
Could it be that the Good Guys are beginning to play up to their tremendous potential, hitting on all cylinders, both on offense and defense? I sure hope so, but needless to say, only time will tell. If we can sweep the tail-spinning Cincinnati Reds in a four-game series starting here Thursday night, or even take three of the four, I'll be a believer. Hopefully, we can aid the Redlegs in their desperate battle against the Pirates for the division cellar.
It will be interesting to see who will get the start for Sunday's game, the one Roy Oswalt will most likely miss because of his arm injury. My bet is on Dotel. Jose Lima is a possible choice, but I'm certain that he's still too far into Larry Dierker's doghouse to be considered, or at least I hope so.
It's All About Alou
Astros fans, we'd better enjoy watching Alou all we can the remainder of this season, because all indications are that he won't be in an Astros uniform next year. Astros Owner Drayton McClane, in a radio interview on the Jim Rome Show Wednesday, said that he would like to see Alou stay with the club, but that talks probably wouldn't begin until season's end. Personally, I think Drayton is merely paying lip service to the idea, and is thus being rather disingenuous. I seriously doubt he's willing to open his wallet to the tune of the $10 million salary that Moises will likely command on the free agent market.
Come to think of it, with all the trade rumors swirling, Moises may not even be wearing the Open Star come season's end. It gives us even more reason to root for the 'Stros, for the club is not as likely to trade him if we're in the thick of a pennant race.
Say it Ain't So, Eusebio!
They say misery loves company, but I don't imagine that Roy Oswalt is amused. The second Astro in as many nights took an early exit from the game and an impromptu trip to the X-ray machine. Tony Eusebio was plunked on his left hand by Rockies reliever Justin Speier in the eighth inning. He immediately came out of the game. Brad Ausmus pinch-ran for him, and took over Tony's backstop duties.
Thankfully, nothing was broken, but it did leave Tough Tony with a very nasty bruise. Suby is listed as day-to-day.
New Friend, Newer Friend
I had originally planned to go the game last night, but I changed my mind since my fiancée Susan had her weekly sewing class, and I just didn't feel like going by myself that time. After work, I went to the hotel bar next door to my office building, where Susan and I often meet in the evening. While waiting for her to arrive, I got to talking baseball with a gentleman there who was in town on business and was staying at the hotel. His name is Joe, a Pennsylvanian-cum-Floridian, and a big Marlins fan. He mentioned that he had only seen Enron Field from the highway, so with a sudden inspiration, I invited him to go with me, and he accepted. Susan drove us there in her convertible, then went on to her class. (Arriving at the game with the top down is the only way to go.) We had a great time, and I was glad his first visit featured such an enjoyable game to watch. He didn't let the fact that neither team was his team spoil his enthusiasm for the game, or stop him from rooting for the 'Stros.
When Susan and I took our trip to Cincinnati a couple of months back, we met a gentleman named Bob and his uncle Cecil, from San Antonio, on the plane trip up there. We talked baseball practically the whole trip, and swapped contact info before parting ways. Well, Bob called us late last week. It turns out he had gotten married in the meantime. He wanted to come down to see one of the Reds -Astros game. So, he and I will be going to the game together Saturday night, while Susan and Bob's new bride, well, do whatever it is that new brides and fiancées do when their men go to baseball games :-)
Public Service Annoucement -- Zoo Day
A lady I work with is a docent with the Houston Zoo. She tells me that the Astros have designated Saturday June 23 as Zoo Day. She and her colleagues will bring several live animals from the zoo to the ballpark, where they will be on display and available for petting, etc., before and during the game. She doesn't know exactly where they will be located, but my guess would be in that area that's inside the ballpark next to Union Station. Ask an usher when you enter the park to find out for sure. It's something you might want to keep your eye out for if you're going to Saturday's game, especially if you bring the kiddies.
She assures me they won't have anything dangerous like tigers or crocodiles :-)
As TxRascal said on the TZ over at AstrosConnection, maybe they'll bring an orangutan who can pitch left-handed!