Cardinals 4, Astros 2
W: Lose (13-2)
L: Norris (5-11)
by Sphinx Drummond
Some games are worse than others and some not as bad.
Going up against Cardinal starter Kyle Lohse, who hasn’t lost since June 15, and countering with “Cardinal Killer” Bud Norris, who hasn’t won since you know when, the Astros appeared ripe to put a halt to Lohse’s six game winning streak. Alas, it wasn’t to be.
Things started off okay with the Astros scoring in the first inning by a solo shot by Bret Wallace. The Cards came back to tie the game in the second but Chris Snyder hit a solo homerun in the third inning to give the Astros their second lead of the game. It was also the first and second time new manager DeFrancesco had seen his team take a lead in a game. The Astros have now scored three runs in 27 innings under DeFrancesco and continue to make stupid plays in the field. Somewhere Brad Mills was overheard saying, “I told you so.”
Hitless over the last 6 innings, the Astros bats dried up after Marwin Gonzalez’ third inning infield single. Assisted by some typical shitty defensive execution, the Cardinals took the lead with two runs in the fifth, and added an insurance run in the eighth to claim a 4-2 victory over the Astros.
Norris, who is now 5-11 and had a 7-3 record with a 2.47 ERA in his 12 previous starts against the Cardinals, has now lost ten consecutive games. He allowed 7 hits over six innings while striking out one and walking another. Among active pitchers with at least 10 starts against the Cardinals, no one has a lower ERA than Bud. Wesley Wright pitched a solid 3 up 3 down seventh inning and retired the only batter he faced in the eighth.
Lohse pitched another fine game, he didn’t walk a batter, threw only 87 pitches and retired the last 14 hitters he faced. With the win, St. Louis now leads in the race for the second NL Wild Card spot. And with the loss the Astros will try to avoid being swept out of St. Louis in the third game of the series when Dallas Keuchel takes on the Jakes’ Jake Westbrook in a businessman’s special, or matinee, or whatever is cool slang for a day game.