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Second Season: Round 3: The Series: Game 3

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So I hear there is some sort of controversy over the roof situation in Texas. I think it's nothing more than MLB and ESPN trying to make news. Selig will cave and let the Astros have their way. I doesn't really matter. Update [2005-10-25 18:20:26 by The Cheat]: Bruce Levine reports that the roof will be open.

But that's not what the Astros or their fans will let you think. I can understand the fans perspective. They feel that the one thing they can do is make noise, and the roof being closed enhances that noise. I actually saw this quote from a fan on the internet.

Players usually decide the outcome [of the game]. This time, Bud Selig did.
(No link to preserve the guilty party's anonymity.) Um, last time I checked game time was at 7 or so. But yeah, I'm sure the game's been decided by Bud already.

The players, who actually can effect the outcome of the game, have also expressed their ire. I saw Brad Ausmus spouting off on Sports Center last night. Sounds like a player already defeated to me.

Sports Center had some accompanying stats about the Astros record with the roof open and closed, but they also mentioned that the roof has been closed for every game since May-something-or-other. Now correlation does not prove causation, but you can't convince the Astros of that. The Astros poor record with the roof open has almost everything to do with them playing poorly at the beginning of the season sans Berkman. Berkman returned from the DL on May 6th (Astros were 11-16 before his return) and batted just .179 win an OPS of .560 up to May 24 (Astros were 15-30 up to that point) -- Since that day, Berkman has hit .308/.426/.558, and the Astros have gone 74-43. Seems to me that it's Lance Berkman, not the silly roof, that makes the Astros tick.

* * * * *

As for the actual game itself. Advantage Astros. Oh yeah, they've got the best of this pitching matchup by a lot. Because of this, and the Sox 2-0 series lead, this is a must-win for the Stros. If the Sox are able to steal tonight's game, Series Over. -- The Sox were able to take the Lackey game which I thought favored the Angels heavily, and they beat Clemens, which I also thought was advantage Stros, so it's not out of the question that they can take this game.

ESPN has a cool feature: complete pitching charts from both Garland and Oswalt's last start. (links are PDFs)

Jon Garland (18-10, 3.50) vs. Roy Oswalt (20-12, 2.94)