Well, you might could call the homer to Corey Hart a Bad Inning, but really it was one of only 2 really hard hit balls. and he went 7 IP with 5 K – including striking out the side in the 5th, 3 singles, 1 homer, 2 walks, 1 run. And absolutely not ONE inning in which he had even the littlest bit of sudden loss of control. Absolutely teh awesomeness.
And the Crew just beat him UP last month – 3 homers, 7 runs over 5.2 IP.
But today, he just had everything working and the ump didn’t gift him with any close strikes and, in fact, on Ishikawa’s walk, 2 balls were clearly in the strike zone. He threw 117 pitches – really surprised me that Millsie-poo let him go back out for the 7th when he had reached 100 after the 6th – 73 strikes. Still not up to Wandy’s masterpiece the other night though.
Didn’t look like that from the getgo though – took him 21 pitches for 3 outs and a walk, and Randy Wolf need 10 pitches to get 3 outs. Second inning, he needed 19 pitches to get 3 outs and a walk – which should have been a K, twice. But then the Astros were up and the guys who were not even managing 2 runs/games over the past 9 games got into the action.
Caballo singled, then Jed Lowrie doubled off the scoreboard – Braun thought it was going to go closer to the bullpen and misses it, and Carlos chugged home – can’t tell if he ran thru a stop sign or not, but he HUSTLED. Clank no mas. Justin Maxwell, playing RF because a lefty is pitching, singled Lowrie home. CJ then GIDP and Castro grounds out.
Astros 2 Crew zip
3rd inning, Bud gives up 2 singles, no runs. Then the Astros are up and Bud, who disbelieves in the Don Sutton philosophy of taking 3 straight pitches, singles to right. Schafer Ks, Altuve singles, JD – still not hitting well – walks and it is bases loaded one out. And it’s the 08 Caballo up, sniffing those RBIs and he singles home Bud and Altuve. Then Jed Lowrie hits a ball into the RF corner, but Corey Hart drops the ball (so seeing as how it clanks off Hart’s glove, it’s a double and not an error WHY???) JD scores and it’s Carlos at 3rd (and according to Deshaeis, Carlos actually got caught between second and third because he had to wait to see if the ball was going to be caught to go to second – but luckily for him, Rickie Weeks dropped the relay. Maxwell and CJ groundout and it’s
Astros 5 Crew 0
4th inning, Corey Hart leads off. Bud hangs a slider and Corey sends it into the CBoxes and it is goo-bah shutout. Next batter, catcher George Kottaras, hits a bullet headed down the RF line and Carlos makes and excellent dive to catch it and throw to Bud for the out. And from that minute on, Bud shut it DOWN. Gave up one piddly single in the 7th with 2 out, shrugged and got the next guy swinging.
Stros weren’t done. Castro walked, Bud Sac-bunted and Schafer singled up the middle and Castro scored. Altuve walked (and he’s having a BAD month – no doubles, 1 homer, 3 walks, 12 fer 53 – which is, if I’m adding right, a .565 OPS which is bad – and yeah, only CJ and Carlos are not looking bad this month). Then with JD up, the boys pull off a double steal, I love them – so kewl. It’s their 3rd double steal this year. And then JD hits a soft popup to center and for some reason Nyjer Morgan calls off Corey Hart and let’s just say Nyjer has a weaker arm than your supposed garden variety “girl” and his throw doesn’t even reach the pitchers mound and Schafer scores easily. Can’t tell if Clarkie-poo had the stop sign on or not. Then Caballo flies out to the warning track in deep center. No problems though because it’s
Astros 7 Crew 1
5th – Bud mows em down. Vinnie Chulk comes in to replace Wolf. Lowrie is called out on a strike that is outside – and hasn’t been a strike all game. Maxwell is called out on a supposedly swinging 3rd strike in which he hardly got the bat anywhere near the zone and didn’t break his wrist. CJ has a 3-2 count with 3 fouloffs and is called out on ball 4 which is 3″ outside the plate. JEEZ. I’d be more irritated if the Astros weren’t ahead by 6 runs.
6th – Bud goes 1,2,3 and Chulk goes 1,2,3.
7th – Bud goes 1,2, single, 3. Righty Tim Dillard comes in. Altuve lines out to second. JD hits a long fly ball into the RF corner and Corey Hart makes a great sliding catch – to bad – one of the best hit balls JD has had this month. Then Carlos is up, takes a ball outside, Deshaeis says something about how Carlos has been getting his batting average up and is looking for that next home run and you know he hits that next pitch on the wall over the windows over the LF bullpen – in the middle of the girder to the right of the Citgo sign. Very fun call.
8th – Rhiner Cruz in to mopup – gets 1,2,3, including Ryan Braun. Tim Dillard gets Maxwell swinging and CJ flies out to deep center. But he’s pulled because lefty Jason Castro is up? Jeez, he can’t face Jason Castro? losing by 8 runs??? You talk about a ROOGY. So Manny Parra, failed starter, comes in and gets the job done.
9th – Rhiner Cruz back out – walks Aramis Ramirez and Corey Hart on 10 pitches and those pitches were not even CLOSE to the zone. Out he goes and in comes Wesley Wright. First hitter is ex-Stro Edwin Maysonet – and like with Hunter Pence, I’m rooting for the boy, one of many who never stood a chance to succeed with the Astros because it was personal. But he flies out, then Jonathan Lucroy triples to the RF bullpen on a FB right down the middle – it was one of those balls that isn’t that deep but splits the outfielders and hits the grass and rolls all the way to the wall. ARam and Hart score. But he gets the next 2 outs on a few grounders – a comebacker to himself – he looks Lucroy back, then a groundout to Altuve.
Bud even gets a 5 second mention on BBTN, whaddaya know.
Ex-Stro Junior Cruz (remember the psychobilly cadillac year of 08? He could walk and field but he couldn’t hit – we got him when he had zero left – too bad) is now one of the BBTN crew. I’m watching more and more now that there is a lot more Doug Glanville and a lot less Rick Sutcliff.
Tomorrow, it’s J Happ vs Shawn Marcum, RHP
J, believe it or not, has thrown QS in 4 of his 7 starts – 2,3,3,3 ER over 6 IP – and he has a 5.73 ERA, which is like not Quality. He has a 6+ ERA vs the Crew in 6 starts and 1 in relief over 31.2 IP.
Marcum has dominated the Astros – has a 2.52 ERA over 4 GS/25 IP. Actually, his last game earlier this year wasn’t so great – 4R, 3 ER over 5 IP with 8 H, 4 BB, 7 K. Let’s hope the guys remember how much FUN it is to hit. And score runs.
And speaking of Ex-Stros,
Felipe Paulino – remember him, got traded to the Rox last year for Clint Barmes, crapped out, then was picked up by the Royals and has done VERy well? He threw 6 innings of 4 hit no run ball against the Yanks earlier and today, threw 7 innings of 5 hit no run ball against the first place Orioles (yeah it DOES sound odd – this late in the year and they are actually winning by beating AL East teams) and it will be very interesting to see how he continues to do.