The third of four in Houston's Minute Maid Park as the Astros welcome the Washington Nationals and their left-handed starter Mike Bacsik, and counter with the veteran right-hander Woody Williams on the hill. The two starters faced off in Washington's DC's RFK Stadium this past July with the Nationals, and Dmitri Young in particular, getting the best of Williams in a 4-3 win that Bacsik did not earn a decision in.
Felipe Lopez smacks a double off the wall, 404 feet from home, but tries to take third and gets thrown out on the relay from Hunter Pence to Mark Loretta to Ty Wiggington at third, Wiggington applies the tag for the first out of the first. Woody Williams gives up a single to Nook Logan, who hits in his sixth consecutive at bat. Logan steals second as Ryan Zimmerman swings over a full count fastball for the second out. DY stares at strike three.
Hunter Pence triples to the base of the wall in center, beating out Nook Logan's throw to come in standing at third with one out in the Astros first. Lance Berkman flies to center, allowing Pence to tag and easily score for a 1-0 Astros lead.
Woody Williams walks Brian Schneider to start the third. After Bacsik fails to lay down the sac bunt, Felipe Lopez's one-out single moves Schneider to second. Nook Logan's retired for the first time in six at bats, as he flies out to center, but deep enough that both runners advance. Ryan Zimmerman stares at strike three inside. Woody's got three scoreless. 1-0 Astros.
Ryan Zimmerman dives to his left and jumps up to throw to first, robbing Woody Williams of a leadoff single in the third. Zimmerman can do nothing with the bunt Craig Biggio drops down the third base line. Bacsik gets a line drive to Austin Kearns in right for the second out of the inning, but gives up a triple up Tal's Hill to Lance Berkman that Logan retrieves just as Berkman rounds second, and Biggio scores from first. 2-0 Houston
Woody Williams strikes out Ronnie Belliard for his fifth K and fourth scoreless frame. The Astros take a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth when Ty Wiggington pulls a 1-0 fastball to left, and off the train tracks above the wall above the stands and scoreboard. Bacsik gives up a single to Mark Loretta but gets a double play ball from Brad Ausmus to end the fourth inning of play.
Woody Williams cruises to five scoreless, but gets robbed again in his second at bat of the night, when Felipe Lopez fields and fires to first to beat the pitcher to the bag. Mike Bacsik gives up a one-out single to the pesky Craig Biggio. Nook Logan runs up the ridiculous hill in center to make an amazing catch as he braces himself and tumbles while closing his glove on Lance Berkman's long last out of the fifth.
Woody Willams goes to a full count with DY with two outs in the sixth and gives up a double off the scoreboard in left to the big Nationals first baseman. Woody throws a 3-1 fastball to Austin Kearns, and Kearns turns it around and out to left, high off the wall for a two-run home run. 3-2 Astros. Williams gets Wily Mo Pena looking to hold the lead through the top of the sixth.
Mike Bacsik throws a scoreless sixth to hold the Nationals close. Woody Williams fields a ground out from Ronnie Belliard to start the top of the seventh. Brian Schneider takes a walk in front of Ryan Church, who pinch hits for Bacsik. Woody Williams is done as well, with the Astros right-handed reliever Chad Qualls on to face Church. Church singles through second. Felipe Lopez grounds to Biggio, to Eric Bruntlett covering second, to Berkman at first for an inning-ending double play. Stand up and stretch...
Saul Rivera retires the Astros in order in the bottom of the seventh. Chad Qualls comes back for the eigth. Nook Logan chases strike three in the dirt. Ryan Zimmerman lines a single over second for his first hit of the night. DY chases the same pitch as Logan for the second out. Austin Kearns fights off a few 0-2 pitches from Qualls and works back to a full count, where he fouls off a few more before taking ball four outside. Wily Mo Pena swings over a sinker for strike three to end the top of the eigth.
The Tallest Pitcher in MLB History will work the bottom of the eigth for the Nationals. Jon Rauch gets the middle of the Astros lineup in order to give the Nationals one last chance against Houston closer Brad Lidge. Ronnie Belliard grounds out to third. Brian Schneider strikes out swinging at a 3-2 slider. Pinch hitter Robert Fick grounds out to second. Astros win 3-2.
Nationals now 57-70.