Things were looking grim for Houston this morning ; Roy Oswalt was on the DL. Their 43 year old, $22 million dollar ace had been taken deep by a kid no one had heard of. And worst of all, Milo Hamilton had promised to show up for work today.

Well, what a difference an afternoon makes. 28 year old Chris Sampson, recently promoted from Triple-A Round Rock, was brilliant in first big league starting assignment, walking just one and allowing a mere 3 hits in 7 shutout innings. Brad Ausmus’ solo HR off Sean “Not Quite ‘The Greatest'” Marshall was all the offense the Astros required in their 1-0 defeat of the Cubs.

Speaking of Major League neophytes padding their numbers against inferior opposition, despite allowing solo HR’s to Carl Crawford and Julio Lugo, the Angels’ Jered Weaver ran his record to 3-0 with today’s 6-2 win over the Devil Rays.

Perhaps they’re having some humidor troubles at Coors. For fans of quality pitching, it was like the Bad Old Days this afternoon in Denver, as Colorado clobbered Pittsburgh, 16-9. Yorvit Torrealba (above) hit a 2nd inning grand slam off Oliver Perez, who managed to allow 9 earned runs, 5 hits and 5 walks in just 2 innings of work.

If the god-fearing Rox are feeling a little giddy after today’s result, maybe this will take them down a notch.

The D-Train is more than good enough when he receives some serious run support
, and Dan Uggla is going to give Hanley Ramirez a run for his money in the Marlins’ Rookie Of The Year sweepstakes.

All things consider, this is a fairly measured reaction to watching David Wright and Jose Valetin throw the baseball everywhere but into Carlos Delgado’s mitt.

Hardball Times’ Brian Borawski is less than optimistic about the A’s will moving from Oakland to Freemont, CA in the near future.

The problem is that Fremont is in a financial crisis and wouldn™t be able to provide things like security and police deployment without being compensated by the team. The city is going to be forced to dip into its reserve fund for the first time despite cutting 220 jobs and $25 million in costs. Crime is up in the city, emergency response times are slower and the roads are beginning to deteriorate.

In the meantime, negotiations continue that would secure the tract of land in Fremont for the Oakland Athletics. And without a solid number as to the cost of providing police and security during home games, it™s hard to say whether this will be just a speed bump in the eventual move or if it stops the team™s relocation in its tracks.