Today, the Cincinnati Reds’ winning streak stopped at six games. Taylor Buchholz gave a welcome birthday present to Manager Phil Garner on his 57th, with yet another remarkable pitching performance that ensured his second win this season, and an Astros win, with a final score of 3-2.
Buchholz did a solid job in 6.1 innings, fanning 2 and granting 6 walks, keeping a shutout until the 6th inning, in which Adam Dunn went yard for the ninth time this year, driving in the only pair of runs the Reds would get in the whole contest.
Houston launched some rockets of their own: Lance Berkman drove in two with a dinger on the first, setting a new franchise record in RBI for the month of April with 29. The previous mark was held by Moises Alou with 28, back in 1998. Three innings later, Jason Lane unloaded a solo shot. Both homers were off starter Elizardo Ramirez.
The most positive note today was that Brad Lidge finally got a save: all outs recorded in the ninth were strikeouts, only adding up more drama to the situation, considering there were men on base. Previously, Chad Qualls had a pretty efficient outing as well.
As Thomas pointed out in his blog, few people thought possible that veteran pitchers such as Roy Oswalt and Andy Pettitte would fall to Cincinnati, and that the only win in the series would be responsibility of a rookie like Buchholz.
The Astros got a 16-8 record for the month of April, and there are several things in store to keep an eye on: they remain a half game back in the NL Central. So the mission now is to get back on first place. Voting for the All-Star game has started, and you know that will keep us talking for a while (I’ll tell you my opinion about that later), and last but not least: starting tomorrow, Tim Purpura can call Roger Clemens and his agents freely.