If they ever did a remake of Field of Dreams, they should do so with all the Houston Astros hitters out at a corn field.
They would listen intently as Wandy Rodriguez, Roy Oswalt, Brandon Backe, and other Houston hurlers whisper, "If you give us run support, we can win baseball games."
In this era, where it's becoming uncommon for pitchers to toss complete games, Rodriguez did well for himself last night—seven innings pitched, six hits, one earned run (a solo home—his first long ball surrendered since August 2008), one walk, and five strikeouts as Houston stopped the Milwaukee Brewers 6-4.
He now has a microscopic 1.83 ERA. At this rate, Rodriguez should find himself pitching in the All-Star Game and, if things keep going like this, he may even contend for the Cy Young Award.
The game was the Astros' first victory in four tries against Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo.
What made this game interesting was that Michael Bourn led off the first for Houston with a single. Except for one small problem: the lineup card submitted by manager Cecil Cooper had Kaz Matsui leading off. So, the hit was nullified as Matsui was ruled out.
If only the out could've been signaled by the late, flamboyant Ron Luciano.
The game really shouldn't have been that close: reliever Alberto Arias (who wears J.R. Richard's old jersey No. 50), pitched a scoreless eighth but then gave up three runs in the ninth inning before Chris Sampson closed the game out for Houston.
Rodriguez also got his first hit of the season, an RBI single that's raised him up to .050.
Houston was out hit by Milwaukee 9-8, but five of those eight hits were extra base hits. Lance Berkman doubled and drew two walks (he's now at .228 on the season). Hunter Pence tripled. Miguel Tejada homered. Kaz Matsui, hitting .235 in the lead-off spot, had a double in his only hit.
At 18-20, Houston is still in last place in the National League Central. But if they can keep playing like they did in this game, they'll surely make waves.
Note to Astros owner Drayton McLane: Wandy Rodriguez is no longer a secret. Please do what you can to sign him to a long-term deal that will keep him in an Astros uniform indefinitely.