When we started to realize the Astros possibilities on this West Coast roadtrip, we saw they weren’t so bad. But this start has been good enough, all the better to forget the frustrating Sunday loss against Detroit. Many agree with us that it was the saddest lost this year (which is a lot to say if you ask me).
Well, the best thing Houston could do was giving the ball to Roy Oswalt, the reliable one. It’s true this hasn’t been Roy-O’s best year so far, but he’s always a man who inspires respect around him. He dominated the Padres tonight, pitching a complete game (nothing amazing, he’s an innings-eating hurler), fanning eight and taking his fourth win this year, leveling his record.
An Ivan Rodriguez homer, a Sac-fly by Geoff Blum and a Carlos Lee single drove in the Astros runs, for a team who could beat a weak opponent, offensively speaking. A team which wasn’t able to decipher Oswalt’s delivery.
All of this happened in a day in which the Astros are starting to formalize the end of their relations with Brandon Backe. The Galveston-born pitcher didn’t accept his demotion to the Minor Leagues, so he becomes an unrestricted Free Agent. We hope, and we are sure, he will find a new team very soon. He has the heart for it. He proved it several times here with us.
Mike Hampton is back, so the front office sends Wesley Wright to the Minors, while Cecil Cooper will use a six-man rotation. This is a quite delicate balance, because he now has many pitchers who are doing well. But they also look like a frail house of cards. You don’t dare to take any piece off because it might tumble down.