Phil Garner, during a recent interview for our Spanish-language program magazine, Cronicas de los Astros, told us the young reliever had left it behind, saying "Everyone else is not letting it go, because everyone asks me for it!"
Certainly, last night was a proper occasion to remember it, because Lidge faced the redbirds for the first time this season, and with a two-run advantage for the ‘Stros, the closer lived yet another situation filled with suspense, giving up a run; however, Houston prevailed and beat St. Louis with a minimal difference of 5-4.
The Astros did just enough: they scored early in the game, with a two-run double by Lance Berkman and a sacrifice fly by Jason Lane.
Roy Oswalt didn’t allow the game to get out of his hands, despite the three homers he gave up: to Scott Spezio in the third, Albert Pujols in the seventh and Hector Luna in the eighth. Oswalt struck out 5 and allowed 4 hits in total.
Willy Taveras increased the advantage in the sixth with an RBI triple. The Dominican outfielder had a stellar evening, going 3-for-4 with one driven in. Taveras was brought home with a two-baser by Berkman, who went 3-for-5 and 3 batted in, becoming the NL leader in that category, above Pujols.
So Lidge got the ball, granting a double from John Rodriguez, who reached third with a sacrifice fly by Pujols; and scored with single by Jim Edmonds, representing the tying run himself. Tension increased when Edmonds stole second, and Lidge hit Juan Encarnacion with a pitch. In the end, the Astros closer took control of the situation, striking out Spezio and a grounder to first by pinch-hitter Aaron Miles.
The Astros did enough to get the win, nothing more and nothing less; and certainly the early runs proved to be valuable. We hope that Lidge, with this save, leaves his postseason troubles behind him, if he hasn’t done it so. And that also goes for the many who still talk about him being "Pujolsed". This tale is already old and worn off.