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Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Astros: NLCS Game One 

Keys to the Game for Houston:

1) St. Louis is going to score runs. Don't get discouraged if the Cardinals jump out fron early. The Houston bats must scratch out runs everytime they get a chance.

2) Brandon Backe needs to give us at least five good innings. No unnecessary walks or hit batsmen.

3) Defense must play sharp. This offense is powerful enough without giving them gifts.

4-2 Houston, Bottom 4th

You hate to say "what if" when your team has a two-run lead, but that strange botton of the 1st was ripe for it. Berkman loses what should have been an easy liner and Walker ends up on third. Then instead of pitching away from Pujols, Backe challenges him and the ball ends up in the St. Louis bullpen. Then Edmonds quietly grounds out to short. At best the Cardinals should have one run right now. Still, I think it could take up to eight runs to win this thing, and that might be a conservative estimate. The only thing that mattwers is that Houston needs to keep scoring. Every pitch is an adventure when you're facing a lineup that has about as many holes as pre-drilled bowling ball.

A few observations thus far:

- FOX's Thom Brenneman actually says "BIDGE-ee-oh." Good job, Thom.
- Brandon Backe looks like "The Miz" from MTV's Real World.
- I should have bought more than a sixer.

St. Louis 10-4, end 6th

You make mistakes to the best lineup in baseball and it doesn't take long to see a 4-2 lead turn into a 10-4 deficit. Such is baseball.

I'm not giving up on our offense, but damn... that's a lot of ground to make up. Still, as I mentioned in the keys above, you can't get discouraged as an Astros fan. I meant that for this game, but it holds true for the series as well.

Even in St. Louis takes a 2-0 lead in the series -- and that's likely when you look at it with an objective eye -- Houston has Rocket, Roy O and Backe -- who pitched a pretty solid game on three days rest -- taking the mound in Houston. The Stros swept the Redbirds twice this season, and honeslt, even if they can just manage to get it to a Game Six, I feel somewhat optimistic about our chances.

It doesn't look like this was our night, but at the risk of sounding like I'm making excuses, it didn't really have to be.


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