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PinstripePride
04-03-03, 02:34 PM
Astros stage dramatic comeback
Biggest Houston ninth-inning rally in 11 years
By Alyson Footer / MLB.com

http://houston.astros.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/hou/news/hou_gameday_recap.jsp?ymd=20030403&content_id=255289&vkey=recap&fext=.jsp



Craig Biggio drives in the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth. (David J. Phillip/AP)



HOUSTON -- Sometimes, it just doesn't pay to leave early to beat the traffic.
Barely gasping for air and down 7-3, the Houston Astros staged their most dramatic ninth-inning comeback in 11 years when they scored five runs off closer Jose Jimenez to beat the Colorado Rockies, 8-7. Craig Biggio put the finishing touches on an eight-batter effort with a two-run single down the left-field line, plating the tying and winning runs and giving what was left of the crowd of 21,082 at Minute Maid Park their money's worth.

Biggio's hit was the sixth during an inning that began with consecutive singles by Jeff Bagwell, Lance Berkman and Jeff Kent. Richard Hidalgo drove in two runs with a base hit to left, and after Brad Ausmus' bunt attempt erased Kent at third, pinch-hitter Orlando Merced knocked a double down the right field line, bringing the Astros within a run of tying the score and setting the stage for Biggio's heroics.

"When you're down by four in the ninth with a closer out there, you're not expecting to win that," Biggio said. "We were able to give ourselves the opportunity to win, and we'll take it."

"There was a lot of first-pitch, second-pitch swinging," said manager Jimy Williams. "That was a great comeback for us. We hit some balls hard, found some holes and came out with a victory. But certainly, it was a big victory for us."

Perhaps no one was more relieved to contribute to the offensive burst than Hidalgo, whose spectacular throw to the plate in the second inning to nab Ronnie Belliard for the third out was somewhat diminished when he let a Todd Helton single roll under his glove in the fourth frame.

But that misstep was all but forgotten when Hidalgo drove in the first two runs in the ninth that immediately shifted the momentum to the Astros' favor.

"He had a huge hit," Biggio said. "It's all about picking each other up. Just because somebody else miscued it doesn't mean that we can't come back and pick the guy up.

"It's a team and when something bad happens, there you go. You do something good. Doggie [Hidalgo] had a huge hit. He gave us momentum and opportunity."

The game's finale was in stark contrast to the poor showing earlier in the game, beginning with starter Wade Miller's shortest outing since 2001. The right-hander lasted just 3 1/3 innings in his first start of the '03 campaign, allowing five runs on seven hits with three walks and two strikeouts. He threw 79 pitches, including nearly 40 in the second inning alone.

In that frame, he allowed three runs on five consecutive two-out base hits, and although he got through the third virtually unscathed, he stayed in the game only long enough to allow a leadoff double to Chris Stynes and a four-pitch walk to Ronnie Belliard in the in the fourth before Williams replaced him with Pete Munro.

"There were only a few balls they hit hard but I just couldn't find my location," Miller said. "I wasn't sharp at all. I wasn't throwing the ball good. It wasn't coming out of my hand real good."

Miller exited the game prepared to take the blame for what looked like a sure loss.

"We did everything right," he said. "We came back to score two [in the second] and then I go out and give up some more. You can't do that in those situations. You have to go out and make them hit the ball. I didn't do that tonight."

"He's usually more pitch-efficient," Williams said. "Not that he got hit hard, but he just had a lot of high counts -- 3-2 counts, 2-2 counts -- I think that might have hurt him more than anything else in his first start.

"The last batter he faced, he walked him on four pitches and I just felt we had to do something here. It's not going to help him to leave him out there in this particular situation."

After Munro pitched through the fifth frame, allowing two runs -- only one of which was earned -- Ricky Stone, Brad Lidge and Billy Wagner (1-0) combined for some well-timed damage control in the form of four scoreless frames.

"Our relievers came in and did a very good job," Williams said. "They shut them out the last four innings. That needed to come to pass for us to have a chance."

The win ensures that the Astros will win their first series of the 2003 campaign. But with 160 games remaining, the majority of the team took the dramatic win in stride.

"It's only day two, but it just gives you confidence that we're never going to give up and we're never going to concede anything," Biggio said. "With our lineup, we have a lot of confidence."

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The Astros are going to have a great year. They have a very solid team, even though Jeriome Robertson is getting destroyed as I type, with the 'Stros currently down 8-2 in the 5th. Another comeback? :lol:

ACPS
04-03-03, 03:52 PM
Good job, Houston!

SorianoFanHFW
04-03-03, 04:10 PM
Ithought the rockies won today 10-5.

Spiker
04-03-03, 06:12 PM
Originally posted by SorianoFanHFW
Ithought the rockies won today 10-5.

They did, which tells you all you need to know about momentum in baseball. One night you pull off a miracle finish to win and come back twelve hours later and get thumped by the same team you beat the night before.

SorianoFanHFW
04-03-03, 06:18 PM
yeah, baseball is great!

PinstripePride
04-03-03, 07:22 PM
Originally posted by Spiker


They did, which tells you all you need to know about momentum in baseball. One night you pull off a miracle finish to win and come back twelve hours later and get thumped by the same team you beat the night before.


A lot had to do with the pitcher, Jeriome Robertson. He was a come-from-no-where type guy who had a great spring, but no real MLB experience. He was battling Tim Redding for the # 5 spot. Then Shane Reynolds was cut, so him and Redding both made the rotation. I still don't understand why the #3 starter, Brian Moehler, wasn't throwing.

Spiker
04-03-03, 08:05 PM
Originally posted by PinstripePride



A lot had to do with the pitcher, Jeriome Robertson. He was a come-from-no-where type guy who had a great spring, but no real MLB experience. He was battling Tim Redding for the # 5 spot. Then Shane Reynolds was cut, so him and Redding both made the rotation. I still don't understand why the #3 starter, Brian Moehler, wasn't throwing.

Yep, but in general it's precisely because the pitcher is changed every game that there is no such thing as momentum in baseball.

ACPS
04-03-03, 09:34 PM
Ack, after the dramatic comeback, they lose today. Oh well..