Making the most of every opportunity

Captc7ee8d7d0a7d45af9d11a9e717e74a8eastrChris Burke is earning the right to be part of the Astros lineup daily. He has hit safely in nine of his last thirteen games; and last night became the spark behind Houston’s explosive hitting that beat the Chicago Cubs 9-2.

It was a career night for Burke, going 4-for-4, scoring 5 runs and driving in one, with a solo homer off starter Sean Marshall. Lance Berkman was also a main force, going 2-for-4 with 3 RBI.

Since early this season, we knew the Astros had plenty of capable outfielders suited for playing every day. Burke definitely wants to prove he has what it takes to do just that. It’s interesting to see that Burke and Mike Lamb, not precisely marquee players, taking the offensive lead. Phil Garner will have a hard time trying to sit them on the bench anytime soon.

Capta9d9e82305984a7ab5f60c6dc898b1a2astr
And pitching-wise, it was a very good night for Andy Pettitte, who struggled in the beginning but was able to get himself on the right track, in an outing that was quite an improvement over his previous starts. Five hits and an earned run in seven frames. Brad Lidge had some trouble but the damage was small.

There isn’t much to complain about when the bats are swinging the right way, and especially when Pettitte, who’s had a big share of difficulties, has a strong appearance like this one.

11 Comments

Yay, explosive hitting! How about Chris Burke? It’s hard to argue that he should sit and Willy T should play, but my heart aches a little every time Willy comes in to play the ninth with a big lead, or whatever. It must be difficult for Willy to lose his starting job like that… That being said, I love everything about Chris Burke–I love his style and his energy and his toughness. Maybe because he reminds me of Bidge.

How do you feel about Lane in the 3-spot?

Cheers,

Lisa

http://forloveoftheastros.mlblogs.com

Currently I think Berkman/Mo in the 3/4 spots is better than Lane.. If I was coaching, right now I’d have it as
Bidge, Burke, Berkman, Ensberg, Lamb, Lane, Ausmus, Everett and then the Pitcher..

http://strosbro.mlblogs.com

See, now I like Lane batting third. I think it’ll give him something to hit… if Berkman bats behind him. And you forgot Wilson 🙂 Whether we like it or not–he’s in it for the duration, I’m afraid.

For me Lane is not out of the woods, not yet.

Neither is Ensberg, apart from his home run total, his overall production hasn’t been what we saw from him last year (.256 BA

Garner will probably keep tinkering his lineup for a while, moving Lane, Lamb and Burke here or there, if Berkman or Biggio needs a day off.

Wilson shouldn’t be knocked. After a slow start he hit .295 in May and is hitting .326 in June.

It’s not looking good for Willy T. I’m tempted to ship him down to the minors to polish off his fundamentals and bring in one Luke Scott.

http://astrobrit.tripod.com/baseball

Hey Rafael,
Who was the guy who hit the walk off homerun in the Astros 18 inning affair last year? My friend keeps saying it was Chris Burke and I think so too, but I am not sure.

Anyways, I missed the Santana show last night because of a migraine and am very upset. Talk about good pitching!

I saw your responses on MLBlogosphere. I remember Magic Johnson, but not him saying he had AIDs. I think I was two or three when that happened. I don’t remember Johnny Carson at all though I was alive. However, I do remember the Red Sox winning the division in 1995. I was 5. Maybe this year they’ll do it again.

-A

http://catchingredsox.mlblogs.com

Yes it was Chris Burke!

Definitely it was Burke… That game will be imprinted in everyone’s memory for sure…

Arielle, I still have Milo Hamilton calling that homer on mp3.. I can send it to you so you can hear it..

Lisa, what do I think about Lane in the third spot? I told Thomas last night that Lane must be in situations just like that one so he can demonstrate if he’s truly up to the task. I believe that’s what Garner’s going after. So I see it fitting.. he has what it takes and this is the moment in which he has to show he can do the job.

I’m all about trying Lane in the third spot. Although of course I agree with Josh that he still has to prove himself… A couple of good games doesn’t mean he should be in the starting lineup. But I’m all for giving him a chance. The third spot is a pressure spot for sure, but also if he’s in front of Berkman, he’ll get better pitches, I think. I’m with you on this one, Rafael…

And as for Ensberg: Josh, I think we might just have to accept he’s a streaky player. He had a torrid April, a ridiculous April, then a dismal May. We’ll see what he can do… I still think last season was a breakout season for him and that he’ll get it together. At least I hope so.

Read this post and invite everyone to join this will be a fun way to see who everyone would have on their team if they could draft a team.
http://mlblogger.mlblogs.com/my_weblog/2006/06/fantasy_mlb_dra.html

Chad

Lisa: “I’m with you on this one, Rafael…”

As if you’ve never been =) lol

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