GAME 124 - August 23: Astros 3, Phillies 2
GAME 125 - August 24: Astros 4, Phillies 2 [16 innings]
GAME 126 - August 25: Astros 3, Phillies 1
GAME 127 - August 26: Astros 5, Phillies 1
With a four game series in the City of Brotherly Love, one might have thought that there would have been a pretty good chance of facing our beloved Brother Roy. But when Oswalt pitched seven innings of shutout ball against the Nationals on Sunday, it didn't seem likely that the Astros would see much of the Wiz on the field. Surprise! Oswalt was called in to face his old teammates, but it was not how one might have predicted. With Tuesday night's game droning on into lots of extra innings, Oswalt got a chance for heroics when he was brought in in the fifteenth inning. But it wasn't a mound appearance -- he was swapped in to be the Phillies' left fielder, batting cleanup! It's the kind of odd move that a manager finds himself making when his bench is totally gone and one of his players gets ejected. As luck would have it, Houston pulled ahead in the sixteenth, and it was Roy Oswalt standing at the plate for the Phillies, with two out and two on in the bottom of the inning. A homer would have won it for the Phillies, who are battling for the NL East lead. But he grounded out and his old Astros teammates partied for the second night in a row. Don't you just LOVE this game?
In a bizarre twist, the lowly Astros swept the contending Phillies in four hard-fought close games, all characterized by terrific starting pitching on both sides. Here's how the Astros starters continued to squash the opposition:
Game 1, Monday: Myers gets the win with another 7 innings, 2 runs on 9 hits, a walk, and 9 Ks.
Game 2, Tuesday: Norris threw 6 innings, givoing up 1 run on 5 hits, 3 walks, and 4 Ks. But he was long gone before Fulchino (the 7th Astros pitcher) got the win in the 16th inning.
Game 3, Wednesday: Happ earns a win on 6 1/3 innings of 2-run ball. Mills uses 3 of his exhausted relievers to finish off the 7th, before Lyons throws 2 innings for the save.
Game 4, Thursday: The Astros give Wandy solo runs in each of the first 4 innings, plus another in the 7th for good luck - more than enough for his win on 7 innings, 1 run on 5 hits and 6 Ks.
Kudos to the bullpen too, with special mention of the Astros' new acquisition, Melancon, who threw 3 scoreless innings in relief in the Tuesday marathon.
Nice to have such a great series in Philly, from which some of our current players were acquired (Bourn, Myers, Happ), and some of our other players have landed (Oswalt, Lidge). Not to mention our General Manager, Ed Wade, whose Philly background probably accounts for some of that give and take.