The right stuff, the wrong stuff

R3702135631 Four games away from a Wild Card berth; and it looks so far away from us.

The Astros haven’t made it any easier for us to see this run for a thing that, until recently, looked so distant. We have seen the best and the worst from the Astros highlighted in this series against the St. Louis Cardinals. The most persistent flaws were there: erratic pitching, most importantly in the final stages of a ballgame. And of course, the scarce hitting was also present.

Taylor Buchholz returned from the Minors, and was literally lit up. Brad Lidge had a new visit from the ghost of Albert Pujols. It looked like a sweep was about to be served.

Then again, the bright spots in this ball club went to the rescue: Roy Oswalt and a consistency that is still amazing us; and Lance Berkman’s power, belting his 40th homer of the season, being this the sixth occasion that an Astros player has reached this plateau (Jeff Bagwell has done it thrice back in 1997, 1999 and 2000; Richard Hidalgo also followed suit in 2000).

Berkman deserves all recognitions (at least locally), in our humble opinion. He has carried the heaviest burden in the roster gracefully. That is the stuff that makes him a leader.

Lance Berkman is a leader, nonetheless. And Roy Oswalt will not lag behind in that category, in the very near future.

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