Jun 28, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel (60) throws a pitch against the San Diego Padres in the fifth inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE
The Houston Astros almost had a really successful series against the San Diego Padres. But then the 9th inning of Thursday night's game happened and all of that was out the window.
This was supposed to be a feel good post about how well the Astros have played this week against the Padres, and I was going to brag about how the Stros had won five out of their last six games. That angle was ruined on Thursday night, when the Padres managed to score six runs in the ninth inning - an inning that saw two errors and eventually a grand slam for some kid named Alexi Amarista who'd never even hit a big league home run before that moment.
Houston fell 7-3 to San Diego on Thursday, putting the four-game series at an even split, with the Padres winning the first and last games while the Stros took the two games in between.
We were all feeling good about the Stros before the most recent ninth inning debacle, and we most likely still do. But a friend of mind described being an Astros fan as something that can be physically painful while watching that game.
I found the exaggeration to be appropriate, especially since this was happening to Brett Myers and Chris Johnson, two of the teams better players. Myers' pitching and Johnson's error in that last inning proved to be debilitating.
The rest of the series, aside from the 9th on Thursday, was actually pretty damn good.
The Padres needed extra innings to beat the Stros on Monday, then Houston relied on J.D. Martinez, Jed Lowrie and Matt Downs to plate enough runs to beat San Diego on Tuesday and Wednesday. Wandy Rodriguez's performance on Monday was the only one out of these four games that wasn't considered good to exceptional by a starting pitcher.
Keeping it all in perspective, though. This was the San Diego Padres - not a very good team. They especially aren't a team that played well enough in comparison to the Stros to have come out of Minute Maid Park with a split. With the Astros headed to Wrigley Field, let's hope the result by the end of the series resembles what we saw happen on the diamond.