Sunday, May 14, 2006

Oooh, aaah all over again

What a lovely day in Minute Maid Park, with the roof closed to shut out the nasty weather outside. A divine day for a divine performance by Andy Pettitte. The man was just ON from the beginning, but even so, his relief at the end of his complete game shut-out (9, 3, 0, 0, 1, 7) was evident even to those of us in the second-level seats. His game score was 87, which is not only the best among the Astros but also tied for best in the National League. Superlative work, sir. You've got to be happy with that one.

The pink bats didn't seem to particularly boost things much, although Berkman got his solo jack with one. The lovely Brad Ausmus used Chris Burke's for his first at-bat, as a courtesy to Burke (Burke is still on the DL). Said Brad: "I think it brings out my eyes."


The defense behind Pettitte was solid once again, with rousing plays at short (if Adam Everett doesn't get a Gold Glove this year I might have to picket Rawlings), and in right and center. Willy T. has really improved his reading of the ball, and Jason Lane has become solid enough in right that I think we fans (or at least I do) take him for granted.

Finally, I was reminded of the special charm of keeping score. Nothing else really allows you to feel the true rhythm of a game or to appreciate the nuances of each play. I was initially somewhat reluctant to drive to Houston yet again, but I'm glad I did. Scoring such a good game with such a phenomenal pitching performance reminded me of the beauty of baseball itself, the allure which first made me a fan.

Oooh, aaah, indeed.


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