The rivalry between the National League’s Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves goes back far historically, but Wednesday afternoon’s matchup was one to forget—at least for those cheering for the home team—in the midweek matinee at Minute Maid Park.
I’ll never forget, sadly, the postseason game between Houston and Atlanta in the late 90s when the Astros had the bases loaded—with nobody out—and failed to score a single run (I also sadly remember having to walk outside shortly thereafter in near tears over a damn sporting event).
However, Wednesday’s game was different in many ways—beginning with the fact the Astros are well out of contention in 2010—especially in regards to the appointed leader of the club, Hunter Pence, doing everything possible to give his team a chance to win.
After deadlocking the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the ninth inning off closer Billy Wagner on a sac fly plating Pence, the Houston bullpen blew the opportunity to keep the contest going beyond 10 innings by surrendering six runs in the top of the extra inning frame (including a grand slam blast) before finally succumbing in a Minute Maid sweep at the hands of the Braves.
On a side note, the Astros loss at MMP on Wednesday afternoon could not be nearly as heart-breaking as the Texas Rangers home game loss to the New York Yankees after taking a large lead only to blow it later on.
Thankfully, Thursday (August 12) is an off-day for Houston—giving the young team time to reflect on what could have been after making a very respectable run upon trading two clubhouse icons—before the Astros return to the diamond on Friday night.
Updates on Lance Berkman and Roy Oswalt
Both Berkman and Oswalt are beginning to fair much better with their new teams, as the Wizard picked up his first win since donning a Phillies uniform on Wednesday night in a dominating outing.
Berkman, meanwhile, was a key figure in helping propel the Yankees to a come from behind victory over the Rangers on Wednesday night as the first baseman is finally starting to feel more at ease in pinstripes.
Up Next: Three-Game Home Series vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
The next series for the Astros resumes on Friday evening, August 13, at Minute Maid Park as Houston hosts the Pittsburgh Pirates.
First pitch for Friday night’s game is slated for 7:05 p.m. CST, followed by games on Saturday (6:05 p.m. CST) and Sunday afternoon (1:05 p.m. CST).
Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org