Josh Beckett continued his season of excellence, throwing seven shutout innings tonight in Baltimore. He's now 13-4 on the season.
Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis hit solo homers, Victor Martinez drove in a run and got his first hit for the team, and Rocco Baldelli had a run-scoring double. All in all, a good night for the Red Sox.
In other news, the Astros continued to have bad luck with the injury bug. Tonight Wandy Rodriguez was the latest victim, leaving his start after four innings with a strained hamstring. With this injury, the Astros now have no good starters remaining healthy. Bud Norris starts tomorrow, his first in the major leagues.
Also, according to the FS Houston team, Yorman Bazardo has no options and is not on the 40-man roster. This makes it unlikely that he'll be filling in for Wandy, leaving Felipe Paulino the only other fill-in option. This is not good news, as Paulino was particularly bad in his few starts. The team decided between Paulino and Russ Ortiz back in June and picked Ortiz. Now Ortiz is gone and Paulino will likely be heading back into the rotation.
It's unlikely that the addition of Paulino and Norris will reverse the team's current slide. Paulino has not shown himself to be the answer on a consistent basis. He brings the team down, more often than not.
Norris is a rookie, so I'm not expecting much in his first go-round. We've seen pitchers come up recently that haven't done much of anything. Hirsh, Buchholz, Astacio, and Wandy Rodriguez are names that come up. Of that group, only Wandy is still around, because he improved sufficiently to guarantee himself a spot in the rotation (though to be honest, the only reason that is is because they still haven't found a left-handed pitcher with enough talent to replace him).