The Astros sit atop the NL Central right now and that is a very nice place to be. This team has never done anything easily and that includes wrestling first place away from the Brewers tonight.
The Astros survived a time-warp–Brad Lidge circa 2006 in the ninth. Even though this wasn’t a save situation for Lidge, thanks to Biggio’s 3rd career grand slam in the top of the ninth, it turned into one as Lidge walked 2 batters and gave up a 3 run blast to Prince Fielder. Chad Qualls saved his bacon to earn his first save of the year.
It’s great that the Astros are getting late inning contributions from different sources though as this is much more reminiscent of the 2004 Astros offense that boasted Bagwell, Beltran and Kent. 5 runs in the 8th inning in back to back nights against the Reds and 4 in the top of the 9th against the Brewers tonight. Maybe it’s a portent of things to come.
Lost in all the 9th inning drama is Matt Albers’ great outing. He went 6 strong innings, giving up only 2 runs. A quality start for Albers is one of the good things to come out of tonight’s game–at least there’s proof now that there’s pitching depth in AAA. Tomorrow will be another nail-biter as Wandy Rodriguez starts. Hopefully the Astros see the "new" Wandy and not the one who has no control and loses composure when he gets behind in the count.