Astros update: Games 20-21

Something you don’t see every day: Jose Valverde batting. The TV guys are suggesting that Valverde was instructed clearly not to do anything. Just stand there and get struck out. And that’s exactly what he did.

Now I’m watching as Valverde tries to close this game (there’s no save) with a 4-run lead … and he does. Astros 11, Padres 7 for a 2-game sweep and a 3-game winning streak, raising the record from 6-12 to 9-12. No call for any complaints.

Valverde got a blown save today without allowing a baserunner. Hard to pin much blame on him for that. And he vultured another win in the process. He has 3. Roy Oswalt has 2 to lead the starters.

How about Doug Brocail? Pitched for the cycle in just 4 at-bats, then got an out before Valverde came in. Interesting that Cooper went straight to Brocail after Backe’s strong start, and now Brocail has a meltdown.

Can someone explain to me the deal on Darin Erstad? My theory is that he hypnotizes his managers — starting with “let Erstad pinch-hit” and working his way up to “start Erstad in center field.” The guy’s hitting .190, and that’s pretty close to his talent level.

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