• Brian L. Barefield

“Friends” Roommates Bielak and Taylor shuts down the Rockies to extend winning streak to five games.

Photo Credit/ Houston Astros

The sitcom “Friends” was a mega-hit on television networks about six individuals who lived in Manhattan, New York who had their personal and professional lives followed on a daily basis. On that show were two roommates that were always up to some sort of shenanigans and they had uncanny ability to make everyone around them feel comfortable.

Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc) and Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry) would always find some special way to make things all better. Joey was the comedian and Chandler was the serious but sarcastic roommate that could switch up at any time.

I can imagine that’s what life must be like in the apartment of Houston Astros pitchers Brandon Bielak and Blake Taylor. If I had to guess I would say that Bielak would play the role of Chandler with the way he seriously approaches every play and Taylor would be Joey as he has the ability to shake off any situation with a smile.

Houston (12-10) benefitted greatly from the two roomies on Monday night as they defeated the Colorado Rockies (13-9) by a score of 2-1 to earn their fifth straight victory and moving them two games over .500 for the first time since August 4th.

“To keep some of those great hitters they have over there off the board was outstanding,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said after the game.

Colorado entered the game with four hitters batting over .300 on the season. That number does not include the league leader Charlie Blackmon’s monstrous .437 average. Although the Rockies had struggled coming into Minute Maid Park getting their first win in four tries against the Texas Rangers, the one thing they never struggled with was hitting the baseball.

That changed on Monday as Bielak (3-0) pitched an outstanding game keeping the Rockies hitters confused for six innings only allowing one hit and one run. Although he struggled with command issues throughout the game, his one mistake that cost him dearly was when Trevor Story took him deep in the top of the third inning.

“I trusted the plan Garneau had for me and trusted the guys behind me,” said Bielak who struggled with some early walks. “It’s fun going out there, having the best defense going out there. It’s been fun going out there and just attacking the hitters and doing my job, honestly.

Houston struck in the bottom of the first inning with a two-run RBI double down the left-field line by shortstop Carlos Correa who is having an outstanding season at the plate. The Rockies countered that with the Story homer two innings later, but that would be all the runs either team would get.

Astros reliever Blake Taylor, who was celebrating his 25th birthday came in and finished the game for his first career save, BUTT not without some theatrics. In the top of the ninth inning Rockies hitter Charlie Blackmon hit a line drive that found its way to Taylor’s backside. The training staff came out to check on him and he was able to complete the inning, but (no pun intended) laughed about it after the game.

Blake Taylor gets his first career save on his 25th birthday/ Photo Credit-Houston Astros

“I had so much adrenaline that I didn’t feel it until after the game,” Taylor said. “But I think it fired me up a little bit. I just wanted to show Dusty that I could get back on the mound and pitch through it.”

Bielak and Taylor, or should I say Chandler and Joey will have a much friendlier conversation this week watching tv in the living room than they had less than a week ago. It was Taylor who blew Bielak’s terrific game against the Giants (the Astros only home loss) last week when he gave up a three-run shot to Hunter Pence to get San Francisco back into the game and eventually win it in extra innings.

“It’s fun living in the same place and talking about the games,” said Bielak. “Just living our dreams. It still seems surreal. But it’s definitely an awesome feeling having that guy by my side.”

Houston will play an early game on Tuesday to finish the homestand before heading out to play the Rockies twice in Colorado.

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