Down the stretch they come

One of the time honored cliches in baseball is the standard: "It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon." Well, it’s time to find out who has the best kick in the race for the Wild Card. The schedule breaks in the Astros’ favor with four in Pittsburgh and three in Chicago before a two game set in St. Louis toClemens_2 end the road portion of the 05 schedule. The trifecta of Clemens,Pettitte and Oswalt will pitch 9 maybe 10 of the final 13 games. With Morgan Ensberg on the verge of returning ,things are looking up. It won’t be easy but the Astros are in position to control their own destiny.

After droppping the first two to the Fish to open the just-completed homestand, the Astros rallied to win 5 in a row. The first two games of the series with the Pirates presents two interesting pitching match-ups. Clemens and Pettitte for the Astros have won 511 games between them. Their opposite numbers Ian Snell and Tom Gorzelanny have not yet won a big league game. Snell will be making his fourth start and Gorzelanny is scheduled to make his major league debut. Having said that, we know anything is possible, but Phil Garner has to like his chances to extend the Astros’ lead in the Wild Card in the city where he helped win a World Series in 1979.

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