Houston Astros Flirt with .500 As Mike Hampton Defeats Pirates...Again

Richard ZowieCorrespondent IJuly 7, 2009

KISSIMMEE, FL - MARCH 02:  Pitcher Mike Hampton #11 of the Houston Astros throws during a spring training game against the New York Yankees at Osceola County Stadium on March 2, 2009 in Kissimmee, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

I believe it was the Beach Boys who sang the song "Wouldn't it Be Nice?" Perhaps the song could use a new stanza:

"Wouldn't it be nice if Mike Hampton,

Could pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates ever day?

Then the Houston Astros could get ready,

For a World Series ticker tape parade celebration day."

OK, sports fans, as you can plainly see, my songwriting will never, ever compare with the Beatles, Bob Marley, Billy Joe Shaver, or [fill in the name of the songwriter you love whom I neglected to mention].

Back to the ranch.

Hampton must love pitching against the Pittsburgh Pirates. This is the tenth straight time he has defeated the Pirates. Here's his line from last night's 4-1 win over the Bucs:

"Seven innings pitched, three hits, one earned run, three walks and three strikeouts. He's now 5-5 on the season."

Granted, Hampton didn't get a hit last night, although he did score a run and drew a walk. However, Houston helped him out by scoring two first-inning runs.

Yes, it may have been against the Pirates, who are the N.L. Comedy Central's cellar dwellers, but a win is a win though, right?

Geoff Blum helped out Hampton with a first-inning, two-run triple. Miguel Tejada had two doubles and Lance Berkman went one for two to raise his batting average to .270.