So much for Roger not getting any run support. Biggio leads off with a HR to give Roger an early lead, albeit a small one. Berkman doubles the lead with another solo HR in the first, a damn fine start. Both HRs were into or damn close to the Crawford Boxes. Way to eye the short porch, fellas. Preston K Wilson IV strikes out, as expected, to end the first.
Roger gives up a dinger to Jacque "Sucques" Jones to cut the lead in half. Roger needs to be careful, he should know that he likely won't be seeing much more run support than he's got now.
Ensberg & Ausmus raised their OBP by walking to open the bottom of the 2nd. Only to be followed up by Everett popping out, Clemens sacrificing the runners up a base, and Biggio flying out to left. Through 2 innings, 3 hits, 3 HR.
Preston K ran into the scoreboard of the Crawford boxes going back for a Juan Pierre double. Running backwards, he hit the wall earlier than he was expecting. Looks like that hurt a little, yet he wasn't charged for the error. DAMN, Everett made a heck of a play behind 2nd base on a chopper up the middle to get Roger out of the inning. That's why he needs to be out there. That would have been a run with the speedy Pierre on 2nd. With 2 outs, Pierre was running on contact and would have easily scored. Way to go Chris, I mean, Adam Everett! Now, just learn to slap singles and we'll be great friends...
1-2-3 for Willy, Lamb and Berkman in the bottom of the 3rd. Cubs 2B, 3B and SS each got to handle a ground ball that inning. Way to get everyone involved.
Jacque walqued in the 4th, and then stole 2nd. Barrett walked and Jacque scored to tie the game on a Pagan single. Ausmus made a mighty fine play on a weak grounder by Cedeno to end the inning. Well, at least the Cubs aren't ahead, but offense, c'mon offense. Can they score more runs? Apparently 2 won't be enough tonight.
Yahoo's live box score shows Clemens at 92 pitches already through 4 innings. So far Roger's thrown more pitches for strikes (55) than Marmol has thrown total (49). Boy, I hope that's wrong. If it is not, that's a bad sign.
Preston K gets a double to open the bottom of 4, and Ensberg walks again. This is what I want to see, folks on base. Cause some tension, make Marmol pitch. Granted, he'll be pitching to Ausmus, Everett and Clemens next. And almost on cue, Ausmus grounds into a double play. Everett is intentionally walked to get to Clemens. Clemens had a pretty good at bat, talking pitches and working the count full before walking. Good eye, Roger! Biggio up with bases loaded, lines out to 3rd. Five base runners this inning and no runs to show for it. Good, go Astros!
Ok, so after Marmol's 4th inning, he's up to 76 pitches. But Roger will go above 100 pitches in the 5th and likely won't be back after that. Top 5, Pierre triples on a fly ball to center that Willy T dove at. Damn, Willy got close to that one, the ball bounced off his wrist as he dove. Walker fouled out and Derek Lee walked. Then Clemens was visited by bench coach Cecil Cooper, instead of the usual visit by pitching coach, Jim Hickey. I can't hear the games at work, so don't know if anythings up with that. Regardless, it worked. Armpit Ramirez grounds out to end the inning.
So out of that inning ok, but is anyone else doubting that the Astros will score this inning and
hold that lead so that Clemens gets his first win of the season? He's up to 115 pitches and I would be surprised to see him back in the 6th. This is his last chance for the win. At least he won't get his 3rd loss if he exits the game.
Willy T flies out. Lamb doubles to the gap in left-center. Berkman, the only true offensive threat the Astros have, is intentionally walked to set up the double play. Haha, Preston K doubles in Lamb and moves Berkman to 3rd. Ensberg walks for the 3rd time today to load the bases. That's all for Marmol. Time for a pitching change. Ausmus grounds out to score Berkman. Astros up 4-2! Everett Ks to end the inning. Maybe Clemens will get his 1st win after all. It's up to the bullpen now.
Yup, no more Roger. Springer comes in for the top of the 6th. I'm a little worried about the bullpen holding a 2-run lead through the 4 remaining innings. But Springer gets the Cubs to go 1-2-3. Bottom 6, Biggio singles, Willy T was beaned. Dusty brings in another pitcher, Will Ohman. Berkman knocks a 3-run HR. OH MAN, how's that for some offense? Astros up 7-2. Roger, get ready for a win!