The kid is all right
Taylor Buchholz has arrived.
In just his second MLB start, he has made quite a splash with a pitching gem carved against the Pittsburgh Pirates this Saturday at Minute Maid Park, with a final score of 3-0.
Buchholz got an immense amount of help from Craig Biggio, who scored all the runs the Astros got in the game: in the first inning, thanks to an RBI single by Morgan Ensberg; in the 5th, with a sacrifice fly from Lance Berkman (19), and finally, getting the RBI for himself with a solo shot , his second homer this season.
It was Pitching 101 being taught by the young hurler: he kept the Bucs with no alternatives: he kept a no-hitter until Jeromy Burnitz led off the Pittsburgh fifth with a single. It would be one of two hits the Pirates got in the whole contest.
Buchholz struck out 5 and ended up with a 1.80 ERA, and earning his first Win in the Majors.
It all ran smoothly until the 9th. With 2 outs, Chris Duffy and Jack Wilson got consecutive singles, putting runners on the corners. The fireworks at Minute Maid were turned on prematurely, but it meant the end of Buchholz’s appearance, crowned with a standing ovation from fans attending. And it also meant a new save opportunity for Brad Lidge.
Lidge, who had his own share of miscues last night, was able to earn his seventh rescue of the year, striking out Jason Bay in a dramatic final at-bat.
The only sour note in tonight’s game was the end of Morgan Ensberg’s streak of 6 consecutive games hitting a home run. However, his single in the 1st represented his 17th run driven in for the tournament.
For all of those who thought the Astros were standing below a cloud of uncertainty because of too many unproven young arms in the rotation, must be interesting to see two straight remarkable pitching appearances from Wandy Rodriguez and Buchholz. They represent a solid beginning that is anything but uncertain.