Quantcast 2009 Houston Astros: Houston Astros vs. Colorado Rockies Series recap
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Houston Astros vs. Colorado Rockies

SERIES WRAP-UP

 

When the Astros arrived in Denver, they came in fresh off of a three game sweep of the San Diego Padres, their first series sweep of the season. They were winners of seven of their last nine games and were hoping to continue their winning ways while trying to claw themselves out of the NL Central cellar and climb back into contention within the division. Apparently the off day on Monday proved to be the Astros undoing as they ran into a hot young pitcher in the first game of the set. That pitcher, Ubaldo Jimenez, fresh off his best outing of the season where he dominated the San Francisco Giants allowing one run on five hits through seven plus innings, baffled the Astros lineup and held Houston’s veteran lineup to one rune through seven innings. Felipe Paulino, who replaced Russ Ortiz in the rotation, was not quite as sharp as he surrendered seven runs through four innings of work. The Rockies would go on to win the first game 12-1. Paulino had been extremely effective as a starter in his three previous starts, but could not contain a very potent and patient Rockies team.

Houston Astros hats & merchandise What the Astros lacked in offense in the first game of the series, they would recapture in the second game, scoring 13 runs on 24 hits, en route to a 13-11 victory. The 24 hits were one shy of tying a team record of 25 hits in a nine inning game, achieved only twice in team history. The 13 runs would be a new season high for the Astros, as well, and would surpass the previous season high of 12 runs, set Sunday against the Padres. During the game every Astros player had at least two hits, including starting pitcher, Mike Hampton. This feat was also another first for the Astros. Of the 24 hits collected by the Astros in the game, Lance Berkman collected four, raising his batting average to .214. It was a positive sign for Astros fans as Berkman has been buried in a season long slump. Hampton was not sharp, but he did not have to be, as the Astros quickly jumped out to a five run lead and never looked back. For Astros fans, the performance in this game and in the game on Sunday, against the Padres, was a welcomed sight.

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On Thursday afternoon, the Astros continued the hit parade against Rockies pitching and would quickly jump out to a four run lead through three innings. Astros starter, Wandy Rodriguez, continued to assert himself as a viable number 2 in the starting rotation, and he would sparkle again today, collecting 11 strike outs and no walks through seven strong innings of work. Before the season began, there were questions surrounding the durability and viability of naming Rodriguez the number 2 starter in the rotation, and he continues to prove his doubters wrong with every strong outing. Rodriguez ran his homerless streak to 85 1/3 innings, and has now gone 15 games, dating back to the end of last season, without surrendering a home run while dropping his ERA to 1.90 on the season. The Astros captured their second series win in a row with today’s 5-3 victory, another first for the Astros.

The Astros depart the Mile High City on a high note, and head off to the not-so “Friendly Confines” of Wrigley Field to face the Chicago Cubs for a three game set. The Cubs swept Houston in a two game series last week in Houston, the only black mark on what can be described as an extremely positive ten game stretch, which has seen the Astros post a 7-3 record during that span. The Astros will catch a break in that series, as they will not have to face Carlos Zambrano or Ted Lilly. If the Astros continue their winning ways and can captures their third series in a row, the Astros will be able to even their mark at .500 for the season.

 

By: Jordan Fleck
MLBcenter.com Houston Astros correspondent


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