This is the first time that I’ve seen Lyles pitch where I thought – this kid looks like he just might could be a ML pitcher. The Rangers are a good hitting club and Jordan more than held his own tonight – threw LOTS of strikes before he tired in the 7th. Yes, he struck out the side in the 7th – and he’s not really a strikeout pitcher, but he really struggled, throwing 25 pitches.
The line says 7 IP, 7 H (2 HR, 1 triple, 4 singles) 2 BB and 6 K. However, it doesn’t say that he came out throwing strikes, threw 17 first pitch strikes to the first 23 hitters. He threw a first pitch FB down the middle to Michael Young, who sent it over the RF fence and later Nelson Cruz hit a mid-calf high curveball over the LF fence. He didn’t go to a 3 ball count until the 5th inning, when he gave up a 3-1 walk to Kinsler.
It helped that the HP ump did an excellent job calling balls and strikes, and Jordan himself, hit the glove more times than not.
Real trouble tonight was that the Astros are playing short 2 players – Pence’s elbow is hurting too much for him to swing and Towles has a pulled hamstring. Not sure exactly why they aren’t on the DL, but I guess that Drayton doesn’t want to pay anything to call up anybody who is actually hitting – meaning someone not on the 40 man.
Reason the Astros lost, in spite of outpitching the Rangers, is that the hitting and scoring was done by Bourn and Bourgeois, who looks as if he got hurt again tonight – he could hardly run his last AB. Bourn hit 2 doubles and a single and ROE – it really SHOULD have been a hit because it was a ball that went to Kinsler and Bourn was already on first by the time Kinsler gloved and dropped it. He stole 2 bases. Bourgeois hit the ball hard twice – the first fly ball would have been off the scoreboard at home and the second was off the wall at the Ballpark. Keppinger drove Bourn in the first and Bourgeois in the 3rd.
I don’t know whether he was instructed to steal second base in the 3rd with 1 out (seriously, really, what the HECK – the guy doesn’t steal bases and can’t run fast) but Clank then hit a single, which would have driven him to 3rd – and yeah Michaels Kd (had another ofer game), but youneverjknow, maybe he would have had a different approach. And this was early in the ballgame before CJ Wilson found his control (yes I watched the game to stare at CJ – he’s SEXY) and shut the Stros down.
Dumb stuff like that.
Also, the fact that Kepp GIDP and grounded out weakly with men on second and third. Also that Clank didn’t drive in any, and basically, no one in the lineup is hitting for power. When Bourn and Bourgeois are your power threats, it’s not good. Wallace has been slumping badly for about a week now – lots of bad swings and strikeouts – needs to get his stance re-adjusted, I think.
Sergio Escalona, who had pitched pretty well, came in to start the 8th to face Josh Hamilton with the Astros leading 4-3 (too many opportunities to drive in runners squandered) and threw him a fastball up and in and it rocketed into the upper decks, tying the score.
Del Rosario pitched 2.1 innings but threw a FB down the middle to Mitch Moreland who hit it out. The Rangers hit 4 homers just tonight. I don’t remember when the Astros last hit a homer or who hit it. And unless you string a bunch of singles together, the small ball approach so dearly loved by announcers/writers who miss The Good Old Days has a tough time beating the slugging approach. Usually, the team that hits the most homers wins and yes I DO remember the game when the Astros hit 5 solo homers off Ted Lilly and the Cubs and still lost.
Tomorrow, we face Colby Lewis, who is licking his chops, hoping to lower his ERA and pick up a W as his team is facing our most homeriffic starter.
Not that I care about the Silver Boot, but it would be nice to not get swept. We get Thursday off – I’m going to review our “prospects” in the minors, see who is doing anything worth noting.
And speaking of worth noting, JD and Brownie noted that 8 years ago, a pitcher named Rodrigo Rosario got his first (and only) ML win against the Rangers in 2003. He spent most of the year at AAA, threw 87 innings over 15 games. He never pitched after 03 – wonder why. I don’t remember him at all. UNlike, say, Wilfredo Rodriguez, who was sent down/punished for pitching to Barry Lamar back in 01 when Larry Dierker didn’t want him to hit his McGwire record breaking homer in Houston. He disappeared from baseball until 04, when he pitched 46 innings for 4 Organizations. I wonder if something happened to him, or if everyone blackballed him for throwing a hittable FB to one of the 3 best hitters ever.