Lucas Harrell is now the staff ace, which tells you all you need to know about this here staff. He’s given up 1 or no runs in 5 of his last 6 games, but his last win was his CG shutout against the Padres in which he received exactly 1 run of support. He’s also lucky in that he doesn’t have to face McCutchen, who has the day off.
1st – Lucas Harrell gets flyout, K, K. Not bad start for the Astros ace. He has a 1.89 ERA at the Box this year – reminds me of Wandy’s 2008. Or was it 09. Stros up. I remember Pearce from when he was with the Pirates – and I hope he’s better here is all I can say.
Altuve grounds to short. Marwin pops up to left. Julio Daniel is batting 3rd now, and he walks. Scott Moore is hitting cleanup. Sigh. He flies out to center. August is gonna be absolutely horrid, you think July is bad. Luhnow is playing Ed Wade and using all these ML/AAAA rejects to play. We now have exactly ONE major league infielder out there in Jose Altuve. I feel like I’m watching the 62 Mets only worse.
2nd: Garrett Jones pops up to Moore right at the foul fence where the ballboy sits – had to run a long LONG way. McGehee grounds out. Pedro Alvarez singles off the scoreboard, but Mchenry groundsout. Pearce Ks, Bogu grounds out on 3-0, Snyder walks. Mary Jane Schafer walks. Harrell is gonna have to drive in his own runs. But he Ks. NO, this is not an argument for a DH.
3rd: SS Jordy Mercer (backup IF) chops out 1-3. Pitcher Ks, Sterling Marte groundsout to third. Moore is a better fielding 3B than 1B. People always talk as if playing 1B is something any ballplayer can do and do well, easily, without much effort. Um, no.
Harrell better pitch a CG he wants ANY chance of winning. He’s at 38 pitches. Good. If Millsie-poo pulls him after the 8th for the closer because that’s what we do, Harrell has every right to outdo Shawn Chacon on Ed Wade. Altuve walks. We really need to start doing something with these. And Marwin singles off the SS glove on a hit n run and takes second as the SS can’t find the ball. Hey, he’s given a double. Not real too many infield doubles. Julio Daniel hits a sac fly to right, Altuve scores!!! We won’t get shutout!!! Moore walks on 3-2. We HAVE to do some more scoring or Harrell will have to pitch a complete 1-0 game. Pearce up. And he grounds into an easy 5-4-3. Not a good debut. Astros 1 Pirates 0
4th: Marte grounds out to 3rd. Walker walks. “Wild Pitch” – Snyder gives up a LOT of those. Poor Harrell. And sure enough, next pitch is a FB right down the middle Garrett Jones hits into the upper deck which must have gone 460′ if it went an inch. There goes the shutout and the game. It must be pure hell to pitch when you can’t rely on your catcher to catch anything not right down the damm middle and when your hitters suck. McGehee flies out and Alvarez Ks. But really, so what. It’s a little too late to do the right thing now.
Pirates 2 Astros 1
Bogu flies out. Snyder walks. McDonald is throwing a lot of pitches, but like so what. The Pirates pen is really really shutdown. And Schafer hits a 2-0 pitch into the RF lower deck and my GAWD the Astros take the lead again. Which hardly ever happens. My GAWD. Harrell Ks. Altuve hits the ball on a grounder to shallow center and stretches it to a double because Marte, playing CF, doesn’t throw it in well. Amazing how many OF can’t throw accurately. Or hard. Bogusevic really is an exception. Marwin Ks.
Astros 3 Pirates 2
5th: Once more, can Lucas Harrell hold a 1 run lead? McHenry singles up the middle on the 8th pitch. Cmon Lucas, it’s gotta be a CG. Grounder to short but Altuve makes a bad throw which Moore makes a great leaping catch on, and it’s just a FC. McDonald sac bunts. Infield single – chop was so high that by the time it came down, Marte was already on first. Oh jeeez. Stolen base – no throw. Presley up. After the 26th pitch this inning, it’s 3-2 and Harrell is looking nervous. But Alex gets impatient and swings at ball 4 and strands runners on second and third. He’s now at 85 pitches, which means that unless he gets lucky, he can’t get that complete game and that is not good news.
Julio Daniel leads off with a triple to right. Moore singles him home. Lucas has a leeetle Moore breathing room. Pearce doubles over the bag down the LF line. Men on second and third, no outs. CMON Bogu!!!!! but he gets an IBB. Snyder is up with bases loaded. JD just says that Astros are batting .139 with bases loaded. I’m really surprised – didn’t think it was that high. I’m guessing that Pirates manager figures that Snyder is gonna K or GIDP, and whatever, he thinks their bats can come back against our worthless relievers.
But no, he hits a chop in front of home (at least it was in the strike zone) and the Pirates catcher makes a web gem play in front of the plate and manages to get his glove across the plate and Moore is out at home. Schafer hits an infield chopper, run scores and he’s out at first. Harrell is gonna bat for himself. Which figures because there is no way that he’s gonna get pinch hit for with our really horrible bullpen.
Astros 5 Pirates 2
6th: Harrell better pitch lights out for the next 2 innings. Walker hits the ball 400′ but into CF and it’s just a long fly ball to the wall. Garrett Jones grounds into the shift and Altuve gets it in shallow right and barely gets him out. McGehee hits a bloop over Marwin. Alvarez goes to 3-2. COME ON Lucas!!! But no, he walks. Brocail out and the pen is up. Froddy is warming. Ohmigawd. Harrell better get McHenry out NOW or he can kiss this game goo-bah. Harrell is having trouble finding the plate. He’s tired and his stuff isn’t working. WAAAAAYYYY outside 3 times and a gift strike. Another walk and its bases loaded. Not good. 108 pitches. He hasn’t been able to do much for the past 2 innings, and he’s damm lucky he got this far. He’ll be damm lucky to get a win.
And it’s Froddy in to face SS Jordy Mercer. Nope. Andrew McCutchen in to pinch hit. Gee Millsie-poo, didn’t see THAT one coming. I feel sick and I bet Lucas does too. But Froddy gets him to popup to shallow right, Altuve is all over it and Froddy is back to his old ways of stranding runners. I’m afraid to see who will pitch the next 3 innings and unfortuunately, Coco Cordero has been deemed “ready.”
Kevin Correia in to pitch – he’s beated the Astros in both starts this year. He just got put in the bullpen with the Wandy trade. Altuve flies out to center. Marwin singles to right. Julio Daniel grounds out. Man on second, Moore up and hits an RBI single. A little Moore breathing room. Pearce grounds out to short.
Astros 6 Pirates 2
Only a 4 run lead. Man that is gonna be really REALLY tough to hold.
7th: Lucas Harrell must be swallowing zanax by the handfuls. I sure would be. Froddy still in. Josh Harrison (playing short, in for Mercer) hits a double down the LF line. Here we go. Marte pops up. Presley and Walker to get out. Good luck there boy. Presley goes to 3-2, fouls off a bunch, then Froddy paints the outside edge and gets the K. Brocail out. Froddy left in to face Neil Walker. Good luck there boy. Walker drives the first pitch to the RF bullpen and 1 run in. Froddy’s runs are almost all from him starting an inning and letting his own runs score. He hardly lets any other runs score as a fireman.
Astros 6 Pirates 3
Wesley Wright in to face Garrett Jones. Who flies out first pitch.
Correia back out. Bogu Ks, Snyder singles to right, Schafer Ks, Downs up (from double switch with Wesley) and he singles to left, whaddaya know and it’s men on first and 3rd, 2 outs. Altuve goes to 3-2 then walks. Lots of 3-2 counts in this game. You talk about all Jose’s multi-hit games – this is his first multi WALK game. Bases loaded. Must be up to .140 BA with bases loaded now. Marwin up.
AND HE DOUBLES TO THE LF CORNER!!!!! first 2 runs score easily and Altuve scores all the way from first, juuuust getting in under the tag. I noticed Dave Clark waving him around. None of this stop sign stuff with THIS bullpen.
I can’t remember the last time anyone had a 3 run hit. Probably last month, or May or something. Julio Daniel grounds out.
Astros 9 Pirates 3.
8th: Wesley left in to face a righty, McGehee. Imagine that. And he gets a 3 pitch K. Alvarez hits a bloop single to left. Wesley pulled. Coco Cordero coming in to face McHenry. Brocail better have backup ready, it’s only a 6 run lead.
McHenry Ks. Ex-Stro Drew Sutton (traded for Jeff Keppinger) in to PH. He goes to 3-2 and finally Ks. Well, whaddaya know.
Jared Hughes, RHP in. Moore grounds out. PH Ben Francisco hits a double into the LF corner. Bogu back up – cmon there boy, relax and hit. Flyout to the warning track. Snyder flies out.
9th: Chuckie Fick in to mop up. Millsie-poo better have some other guys ready. Josh Harrison singles to left. Marte singles up the middle. Oh (swear word) here we go. Mound conference with Brocail. Xavier Cedeno getting back up. Wilton Lopez might could need to as well. Pressley up. Wild pitch 4 (swear word) feet away from home. Harrison scores, no outs, man on second. Bouncer to first, Downs gets it but FICK WASN’T COVERING and Downs doesn’t get to the base fast. Jeezus keerist. Here we go again. Fick and Downs are both teh sukc and neither one has any business on a ML roster.
Astros 9 Pirates 4
Men on first and third, no outs. In comes Xavier Cedeno. Wilton better be warming up too. Only got 5 runs to work with.
Neil Walker hits a sac fly.
Astros 9 Pirates 5
Garrett Jones up. Groundout to first. Man on second 2 outs. McGehee up. Xavier Cedeno pulled, Wilton Lopez going in to face McGehee. And he strikes him out on 3 pitches.
Astros are now 3 fer July and have snapped that 12 game losing streak.
Off to Milwaukee.