Brad Mills went a bit nutso with his pen last night

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Look, the Astros won the game so it’s all good, but this was a little nuts:  Brad Mills used six pitchers against six consecutive batters across an inning and a third.

Bud Norris started the game and went six and two-thirds innings.  In the seventh, the last batter he faced was Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who singled in two runs. Time to go to the pen, right? Of course it was. But from the end of the seventh inning and on through the eighth, it went like this:

  • Wilton Lopez faced Ruben Tejada and no one else;
  • Wesley Wright faced Daniel Murphy and no one else;
  • Brandon Lyon faced David Wright and no one else;
  • Fernando Abad faced Ike Davis and no one else; and
  • Fernando Rodriguez faced Scott Hairston and no one else.

Only Davis reached. All of the other one-batter relievers retired their men.  And New York was kept scoreless for the entire inning and a third in which those six men pitched.

I bet that if even Tony La Russa was watching that game he’d say “damn.”

Michael Wacha leaves game with a left oblique strain

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Cardinals starter Michael Wacha suffered a strained left oblique muscle during his start this afternoon against the Phillies, causing him to leave in the fourth inning.

Wacha is 8-2 with a 3.20 ERA and a 71/36 K/BB ratio in 84.1 innings across 15 starts this season with St. Louis. To the extent he has to miss some time — and obliques invariably send starters to the disabled list — potential fill-in candidates include John Gant, Daniel Poncedeleon and Dakota Hudson.