Lucas Harrell did his usual pitch to contact no Ks thing and, well, when you pitch to contact, your fielders had darn well better field the ball. One of the reasons I’d guess that Bogu was back in RF instead of Fernando Martinez. Anyway, game started off badly with Jose Altuve screwing up a grounder to second which clanked off his glove that let Furcal go to second, and he went to third on another grounder and home on the next, so that’s one unearned run.
Stros came back in the bottom of the first – Jaime Garcia looked BAD. You know that his elbow is supposed to be fine and the MRI is fine. And all I can say is, yeah, surrrrrrrre.
Jose, to make up for his mistake in the top of the first, led off with a double down the LF line. He had one of those games where the good, going 4 fer 5 and scoring 3, made up for the GIDP, CS and E4. Lowrie groundout, Justin Maxwell, starting for Jordan Schafer, who is sick with some kind of flu-like something, struck out. Julio Daniel Martinez singled up the middle and Jose scored to tie it and erase his error. CJ walked (yes, again) then Brett Wallace walked to load the bases. Then Jaime Garcia throws a WP (Cards error #1) and Julio Daniel scores. Then Snyder singled to left to score 2 more, so Lucas has a 3 run lead.
Lucas gives up 2 singles in the top of the second, but no runs. And Jason Maxwell homers off the tracks again with Altuve on base. Second day in a row he’s homered off the tracks. It’s like that guy in the beer commercial – I don’t hit much, but when I do, I prefer to homer over the tracks.
And good thing he did because very next inning, it’s 2 out, and Jed Lowrie can’t get Allen Craig out on an IF single (to be fair, I’m not sure that Adam Everett woulda made that play neither) and then David Freese doubled into the gap. Then Mike Adams, who actually IS the kind of big and fat that Astros fans used to accuse Lance Berkman of being, hit a belt high unmoving sinker down the middle over the wall in deep center, maybe 10′ left of the flagpole. You gotta admire that, you really do – ain’t real too many balls have been hit over the fence in deep center. Even Michael Bourn wouldn’t have been able to get that one back.
And Jaime is gone after 2 innings – and although there wasn’t any announced injury or anything, it had been only 43 pitches, and these days, for reasons I don’t get, starters aren’t pulled when they obviously look bad in early innings unless something is wrong – and there is most definitely SOMEthing wrong with Garcia. And of course these days, teams don’t have long men – just lots of 1 inning/1 out type guys.
Bottom of the inning is ended by Chris Snyder trying to stretch a single to left into a double. Now I know it’s Holliday, who ain’t exactly no Bryce Harper, and that it woulda been a double for Altuve or Lowrie or Schafer, but really, poor ol Chris was out by 20 feet. See what happens when the third base coach always stops you? You get desperate to run SOMEwhere and run into a glove.
4th inning, the backup catcher, Tony Cruz (you wanna have fun, try to remember who has been the backup catcher every year since, say 2001, when Matheny took over the catcher’s gear – I’m always surprised when I see he got 140 AB because it always seems like maybe 20) singles. The reliever Maikel Cleto can’t lay down the bunt – he fouls out and Tony Cruz is caught stealing – no, really. Even Snyder can throw out a catcher. But it didn’t matter because Furcal grounded into what would have been a 4-6-3 DP anyway.
Bogu up, and he homers off the RF foul pole – the ball hits like 1 foot below the top of the pole – free chicken sandwiches for the 6000 people who showed up!!!!! He also hit the balls that he hit that were outs a long LONG way – to the LF and the RF bullpen, but they were caught. Jose Altuve singles, but gets caught stealing – got a very bad jump and he’s easily out.
5th inning – the first 1,2,3 for Lucas. Cleto still pitching. Justin Maxwell barely beats out an IF single, then Julio Daniel walks. CJ Ks, then Cleto is out and lefty Sam Freeman is in to pitch to Brett Wallace, who Ks swinging. Chris Snyder does too. You know, Brett Wallace used to hit lefty pitching as well as righty pitching in the minors before he was first called up. I wonder if he got all screwed up because he was almost always benched against leftys during his time in the majors…
6th inning – Lucas gives up a single, but gets the 3 other groundouts he needs. 97 pitches, 4 runs, 3 earned, 1 K (the pitcher, on a foul bunt), 8 H, no walks. 1 bad pitch = massive homer.
Jose Altuve doubles with 2 out – it looked like a simple single up the middle, but somehow he beat the throw – serious hustle. Awesome. Jed Lowrie, still looking bad, hits a high chopper right in front of home and Freeman, the pitcher rushes to get it and throws it away, when he had Loqwrie by a good 5 feet – Altuve scampers home. And THAT, my friends, was the Cards’ error #2 which led to their eventual loss.
7th – Wesley Wright gets 1,2,3.
In the bottom of the inning, righty Victor Marte pitching – CJ doubles off the LF wall – like 2″ below the yellow line right next to the Crawford Boxes – he thought it was gonna be out, but didn’t stand and admire it too long to get to second in time. Brett Wallace doubles him home with a bloop over the first base bag.
8th – Wilton Lopez gets 1,2,3
Mitchell Boggs in – PH Fernando Martinez reaches on a stupid throwing error by Furcal. Jose GIDP. Jed Lowrie finally gets a hit – beats out an IF single to third – one of those dribblers – but hey, a hit is a hit. Justin Maxwell gets hit by a pitch just above his knee, but Julio Daniel Ks swinging on a ball in the dirt. sigh
9th – David Carpenter sent in to mopup with the score 9-4. You know that Millsie-poo wants a short bench so he can have all the relievers possible, right? You know that the bench is Marwin Gonzalez, Bogu/Fernando Martinez and spare catcher, right? Anyway, Carpenter, who hasn’t looked nearly as good as he did last year, gives up a single up the middle, then a K, then another single up the middle. Two slow guys on first and second. He then throws a mid-plate FB at the knees to lefty CF Adron Chambers who golfs it over to center, to the right of the LF bullpen, and Justin Maxwell got a bad jump and isn’t sure just where the ball is going and it falls for a triple and 2 runs score.
So Millsie-poo has to trot out and delay so the ol WB has time to throw a few fast pitches. And he trots in and has a tough time finding the plate, and when he does, Furcal hits a homer off the RF foul pole (no more free chicken, though – wonder what if ticket holders would get 2 free sandwiches if 2 Astros hit homers off the foul poles) and it’s 9-8. Carlos Beltran pops out to CJ, Holliday walks and Allen Craig grounds out to Lowrie
and it’s barely a W, but hey, a W is better than a L.
Wonder if the Cards are still reeling from the massive ass-kicking they took from the Mets this weekend.
And it’s gonna be Bud Norris vs Adam Wainwright. If Bud looks like he did last 2 outings, we’ll KNOW he’s hurt.