Astros-Dodgers: Houston Opens Second Half with Shutout of L.A.

Richard ZowieCorrespondent IJuly 17, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 16:  Pitcher Wandy Rodriguez #51 of the Houston Astros pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 16, 2009 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Courtesy of six solid innings last night in a 3-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros' Wandy Rodriguez now has pitched 17 scoreless innings.

Rodriguez, one of five 'Stros pitchers on the night, is now 9-6 on the season after scattering five hits over six scoreless innings. He gave up two walks, struck out six, and lowered his season ERA to 2.81.

I'm guessing he's reverse-tipping his pitches: The Dodgers swung late at fastballs, thinking they'd be slow changeups and swung early on curveballs and changeups, thinking they'd be fastballs.

What made this game interesting was the losing pitcher: Randy Wolf. Yep, the same guy who pitched for Houston last season.

Wolf didn't pitch a horrible game (six innings, five hits, three runs, one walk, and six K's)but with no run support, he probably felt like he was still pitching in Houston last season.

Wolff surrendered a lone home run to Astros catcher Humberto Quintero. It was Q-Berto's first home run of the season. No doubt it was also his way of saying, "Forget prospect Jason Castro! Look at me!"
(I won't be forgetting about Castro. In fact, I'll be blogging about him shortly.)
Lance Berkman left the game with a strained calf, and other than that, one thing that concerns me is Michael Bourn's cooling bat. He went 0-for-4 last night with two strikeouts, which lowered his batting average to .283.
With Roy Oswalt going to the mound tonight, Houston's 45-44 and is tied with the Chicago Cubs for third place in the N.L. Comedy Central, three games behind the St. Louis Cardinals.