Wandy Rodriguez: Just What the Houston Astros' Doctor Ordered

Richard ZowieCorrespondent IMay 9, 2009

ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 12: Starting pitcher Wandy Rodriguez #51 of the Houston Astros throws against the St. Louis Cardinals on April 12, 2009 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Cardinals beat the Astros 3-0.  (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

So, the Houston Astros' bullpen was in grave need of rest, lest the Astros go further into the grave of last place in the NL Central.

Enter Wandy Rodriguez, who pitched eight scoreless innings, giving up five hits, no walks and seven strikeouts to lower his ERA to 1.80 and raise his record to 3 wins and 2 losses.

Houston's bats are still about as anemic as Lindsay Lohan's figure, but Hunter Pence's based-loaded, two-out, full-count, two-run RBI single in the fifth inning made the difference in Houston's 2-0 win over the San Diego Padres.

Wandy did go 0-3 at the plate to keep his season batting average at .000, but as long as he's producing on the mound, who cares?

Houston should count itself lucky: Padres pitcher Chad Gaudin pitched well enough to win, giving up five hits, two runs, 3 BB's and 5 K's in 7 innings.

Instead, he falls to 0-2 with a season ERA of 4.08. There were some nights in April where his performance would've easily been good enough to earn the victory...

...A few side notes: Isn't it about time to get rid of Tal's Hill? At least once this season, Astros centerfielder Michael Bourn has slipped on that stupid elevated surface while running back to successfully chase down a deep fly ball.

In a recent game against the Padres, the way Bourn fell onto the hill on his left hand worried me that he'd broken it. Yes, the hill's a novelty, but it needs to go before someone gets seriously injured.

And considering how much real estate the speedy Bourn covers out there, losing him is the last thing Houston needs right now. I suggest losing the hill instead and bringing the center field fence from 436 feet to something more reasonable, like 416...

...I'm elated to hear that Astros hitting coach Sean Berry's surgery to remove a cancerous kidney was successful. They say he'll be back at work in about two weeks. Get well soon, Sean, and remember, drink lots of water!


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