“Tattered” Astros Fall in 11 to End Abysmal Road Trip

Well, hopefully there’s no place like home… Heading back to Minute Maid Park, the Astros are exhausted. They’re humbled. This has been a dismal road trip with lots of "heartbreak losses" (Andy Pettitte’s words), including three extra-inning games (two of which they lost). The offense, namely Morgan Ensberg, Adam Everett and Jason Lane, seemed to enter into some kind of unspoken pact to tank all at the same time (why, WHY, does Mo insist on changing his stance every at bat when he’s slumping? I think he may be the king of overthinking…), the starting pitching was shaky at best, and (hopefully) minor injuries to key players were the order of the day. Lance Berkman struggled with a sore hamstring and then a hyperextended (surgically repaired) right knee, and Roy Oswalt left Monday’s game against the Cardinals (where he was dominant through six) with tightness in his hamstring.

Capt409291410cba4cc5a80cae2eb2a5062bastrToday’s 11-inning loss to the Cardinals was a particularly hard one to swallow for me, as Mike Gallo (who entered the game with it tied 3-3 in the bottom of the 11th) was in trouble from the beginning of his outing, the writing was on the wall (especially after his wild pitch on an intentional walk in Saturday’s 18-inning debacle brought the winning run to third), and the game ended with a walkoff single by So Taguchi while Brad Lidge was just sitting in the bullpen waiting to be called upon. Garner said Lidge would have been brought in had the Astros taken the lead and that the game was Gallo’s to win or lose at that point. Generally, whether or not I agree with Garner, I can at least understand the rationale behind his moves (or lack thereof). Today, however, it was totally incomprehensible to me. By leaving Gallo in, at least by leaving him in after he hit David Eckstein to load the bases, Garner conceded the game. Period.

Closing thought: I’d like to thank Rafael at Space Race for being so dilligent in keeping us informed and updated on the details of the Roger Clemens signing today. It has certainly been a big day for the Houston Astros and Astros fans everywhere.

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10 comments

  1. Thomas

    I could see leaving Gallo in with one runner on, and maybe two.. but that should have been the end of Gallo.. Garner dropped the ball there.. no questions asked.

  2. Lisa

    That’s what I thought too. When I saw him coming in, I kind of cringed, but I figured Qualls was unavailable because of how much he’d been pitching, and I understood trying to reserve Lidge for the save situation should there be one. But once Gallo hits Eckstein, that should have been it. I feel like Garner should have done everything in his power to try and win that game, to finish the trip on a good note, to give them a shot in the arm coming back into Minute Maid Park. Heck, to actually WIN a series on the road. A series win AT Busch Stadium would have been huge. I’m still mad. And glad everyone gets an off-day today (the Astros and myself)!

  3. josh_powling@hotmail.com

    Gallo was left in the game for the simple fact that the pitchers spot was up in the next inning for the Astros.

    Garner puts Lidge in that inning, then he has to pinch hit for him next inning.

    rankly I think Gallo’s exhausted his chances, and we could have easily swept that series if the coin would have fallen the other way.

    3 series homestand at MMP. We’re still at .500. 108 games to go.

    http://astrobrit.tripod.com/baseball

  4. Lisa

    Hey Josh,

    I wasn’t even thinking about that…You’re right for sure. But at that point, I might have even given up the easy out and had Lidge bat for himself, just go up there and take three strikes, not even swing. Braden Looper batted for himself for the Cards… Or even had Qualls come in to face the one batter (Taguchi) even though I know he was technically unavailable (I don’t know the details on his status, though, so of course I can’t say that for sure). Taguchi was going to be the deciding factor at that point anyway, either an out or a game winner (what with the bases loaded)…

    I agree with you that Gallo has exhausted his chances (which is ashame, because he’s such a nice guy and a good teammate) and I have a feeling that he’ll be the odd man out in the ‘pen when Clemens returns. Trever Miller will be the resident left-handed specialist (Gallo is actually doing better against righties than lefties anyway), and Nieve can give us some long relief…

    I’m definitely not giving up on the season or anything. Heck, compared to 2005 we’re in absolutely amazing shape. I just think it would have been a big boost for them to be able to win that last extra-inning game against the division-leading Cardinals and come back home feeling like they had salvaged something. We need to heat it up at Minute Maid… That road trip after this homestand will be brutal otherwise (isn’t it the Rangers and the Tigers and the White Sox or something?).

  5. josh_powling@hotmail.com

    yep White Sox, Tigers and Rangers, which is quite a brutal roadtrip.

    It means we need to bring some form into the trip, by heating up on this homestand.

  6. richard_parkins1988@yahoo.com

    I am absolutely appalled by this nonsensical ******** drivel! You call this journalism, you little loser?
    I have never read such crap in my life… honestly, what a waste my ******* time. And the worse thing is you’re British! Get a life, buddy – pathetic.

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