Houston Astros Lose Fingernails, Defeat Washington Nationals

Richard ZowieCorrespondent IJuly 11, 2009

CHICAGO - MAY 16: Michael Bourn #21 of the Houston Astros swings the bat against the Chicago Cubs on May 16, 2009 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Astros 5-4. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The venerable Milo Hamilton used to describe close games and plays with one amusing line. Back when Mitch "Wild Thing" Williams had his brief stint in 1994 as the Houston Astros closer and (too often) threw gasoline on fires, Mr. Hamilton would declare, "Williams would make coffee nervous!"

Last night, the Astros certainly did make coffee nervous. I can imagine Astros' wives won't need fingernail polish for the next few months since they chewed off all their fingernails.

Pity Roy Oswalt. Giving up five hits and three runs in six innings while striking out six, and departing with numb fingers and the lead, he had a no decision when reliever Chris Sampson gave up two runs and blew the save.

Be that as it may, Houston rallied to win 6-5 on a bases-loaded, two-out single by Geoff Blum.

Michael Bourn went two for five in the leadoff spot, hitting a home run, driving in three runs and throwing out two runners at the plate—including a ninth-inning throw that kept the game tied.

Flashing a strong arm and a potent bat, Michael Bourn hit a homer, drove in three and threw out two runners at home, the second assist keeping the game tied in the ninth.

Courtesy of last night's win and their three-game winning streak, the Astros are now 43-43 on the season.

.500. Aaaaah.

Houston's now in third place in the National League Central and is only four games out of first place behind the St. Louis Cardinals...

In other news, the Astros claimed catcher Chris Coste off waivers from the Philadelphia Phillies. Coste can also play infield positions besides catching. He may even do pretty good impersonations of Pudge Rodriguez, and I imagine he may even do a decent Roy O Mississippi drawl.

Coste, a career minor leaguer before making it to the majors at 33, has a lifetime batting average of .282 and 23 homers. May not seem like much, but when you consider he has 703 career at-bats and bats right-handed in a new home that's friendly towards right-handed hitters, that could work well for him...

...It appears, for now, the Cecil Cooper/Russ Ortiz feud seems to be dying down. I hope so, since Ortiz is a starter Houston needs very much to be successful. Ortiz says he and "Coop" spoke, cleared things up and are moving on. Cooper said things were said in the heat of the moment.

We'll see.