Ok, the good news is Bud Norris is really starting to show he could become the next great Houston Astros pitcher. Roy Oswalt returns tonight.
The bad news is Houston is ???? on the season and is falling. You don't want to see a grown man cry, so I'll focus on the good.
In his second major league career start, Norris pitched six innings against the Milwaukee Brewers. He yielded three hits (one a home run), two runs, walked five and struck out seven. He's now 2-0 in his young career and has a 1.69 ERA.
If only Brian Moehler, Mike Hampton and other Astros pitchers could pitch that well.
Two nights later, Wandy Rodriguez showed he may get some Cy Young Award consideration as he's now 11-6 with a 2.51 ERA, courtesy of scattering five hits over seven scoreless innings to defeat the Wisconsin Makers of Beer.
Alas, Houston is now 55-57, courtesy of last night's 8[-6 loss to the Florida marlins. Moehler lasted five innings, giving up five hits, four runs and is now 7-8 on the season with a 5.32 ERA.
Tonight, Oswalt returns to the mound. Maybe he can stop the slide. Houston's seven games behind the N.L. Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals.
Having shaky starting pitching makes me think this won't be Houston's year. Look at past World Series winners...many—if not most—had great starting rotations. And as far as relief pitching goes, I submit that it was the Boston Red Sox' shaky bullpen—and not Bill Buckner—that cost them the 1986 World Series.