Astros 4, Mets 3: The Mills-Collins Clinic in Bullpen Mismanagement

Behold, the only enjoyable view of tonight's game in Houston. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Given the Astros' witness protection lineup, one could have easily foreseen an easy night for R.A. Dickey. However, one might have also forgotten that Bud Norris is a decent pitcher himself, which meant an uneasy night for the Mets' batters early on. Both pitchers were on top of their respective games in the initial frames, keeping the ball on the ground and keeping the batters off guard--Dickey with his knuckler, Norris with his slider.

Dickey held the Astros hitless for the first five innings, but right around the time when everyone began to contemplate jinxes and that sort of thing, Jordan Schafer delivered the Not Tonight, Boss, a soft single over Wright's head. Schafer came around to score on a fielder's choice, then Matt Downs put the Astros up 3-0 with a two-run shot into the Crawford Boxes, a whole 250 feet or so away.

The Mets came right back in the top of the seventh, scoring three runs of their own to tie things up. The last two came in on a bases loaded, two-out single from Kirk Nieuwenhuis when the Astros stuck with a clearly fading Norris for some reason. However, Schafer interfered again with a leadoff infield single in the bottom of the eighth, then stole second and scored on a Jed Lowrie single. Terry Collins stuck with Manny Acosta throughout this inning for some reason--perhaps having seen Brad Mills leave in Norris for so long, maybe he thought he had to?

The Mets went quietly in the ninth against Enormous Piece of Human Garbage Brett Myers. Thus concluded a deflating evening in Choo-Choo Park.

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