Remember that old Houston Astros bullpen that led the league in earned runs by about 30?
Yeah, they’re still the same.
Paul Clemens started the game, his first MLB start after an unsuccessful stint in the bullpen. And just like Brett Oberholtzer, who came over with Clemens, he pitched masterfully. Although he had scattered control issues, Clemens threw 6.0 innings, giving up just one earned run on four hits. He also showed some great composure in fairly hairy situations as well, most notably tap-dancing out of a first and third with one out situation.
Enter Erik Bedard.
A two-run lead is never secure, especially for a team such as the Astros. In Houston, it’s almost assumed that that lead will evaporate — and that it did.
Bedard took the hill and after a very convincing seventh, all of Houston exhaled, but only half way. Again, no lead is safe. The veteran lefty got right back to work in the eighth, giving up four singles and a walk to forfeit the hard-earned lead that his team had accumulated.
As stated, blown leads are assumed for the Astros, but that doesn’t make them feel any better when they happen. Any lead is hard-earned from a lineup that has been anything but consistent, and to see those leads consistently blown by the same guys day in and day out can take a toll.
Kevin Chapman never saw the mound, and that is the biggest mystery of the day. Why Bedard takes precedence over the only consistent guy in the bullpen, we will never know.