Bud threw batting practive in the first inning – couldn’t locate anything after striking out Furcal on 3 pitches, and the few pitches he threw which were strikes got hit: FB down the middle for a homer, double (FM can’t catch Beltran’s fly ball), single (FM doesn’t have Bogu’s arm, neither), double, single, then a blessed K as Mike Adams swung and missed Ball 2,3 and 4. Then, with 3 runs already in, David Freese got caught too far off 3rd and was picked off – an alert throw to 3rd by Castro. Bud had already thrown 32 pitches.
Wainwright had his lethal curveball out today – you know, the one that Carlos The Jackal Beltran stared at for big strike 3 with 2 out bottom of the 9th, winning runs on base – and he had the Astros absolutely no hit for 4 straight innings. Altuve reached on a 2 base error by that self same Carlos the Jackal – dropped a dead easy fly ball – but Lowrie, who didn’t look good with the bat tonight, stranded him at 3rd.
Someone needs to explain to me why Fernando Martinez is batting in the 3 hole because I do not get this.
Astros are still using a short bench – Jordan Schafer is still sick and for some reason, Millsie-poo is keeping as many relievers as possible.
Anyway, Jason Castro, who had a VERY good night with bat and glove, broke up the nono in the 5th. Bud then singles, and it’s to short right so Castro can’t go past second. Then Altuve singles up the middle and for some reason, Dave Clark, the stop sign, holds up Castro at 3rd. Bases full and Lowrie Ks, then Fernando Martinez (FM, from now on – I’m tired of writing it out) swings and misses badly on 3 straight pitches.
6th inning, CJ triples onto the hill, then Brett Wallace singles him home. The curve ain’t what it was the first 5 innings. Wainwright is getting up over 100 pitches, and this is his first year back from TJ surgery. Justin Maxwell Ks – either he hits balls over the tracks or he strikes out, it seems, Castro singles, Bogu pinch hits and singles Brett home. Altuve singles Castro home, then Lowrie pops out.
Meanwhile, Bud found the zone, found his grips, and except for a solo homer in the 3rd on a slider that didn’t, he had swings and misses galore. After the first inning, I was ready to strangle Millsie-poo for sending an obviously hurt pitcher out, but I guess Bud really is NOT hurt. He threw 96 pitches, 68 strikes and 17 of those were swing n miss.
Justin Maxwell left 2 on in the 7th.
Jason Castro singled to lead off the 8th, then pinch hitter Marwin Gonzalez bunted for a single down the first base line. Adams, the first baseman, picked it up to throw to Descalso, at first, but overthrew the ball, and it went into right near the first base dugout. Castro slowed to stop at second, then seeing the ball go past first, headed for third after hesitating for a second. Now the camera doesn’t show whether or not he was waved home by Clark or whether he overran a stop sign, but he slowed slightly coming around third and was thrown out at home. The ONE time Clarkie-poo actually sends a runner, it ended up being the wrong choice beecause Altuve flew out to deep right and it would have been a sac-fly if Castro had stopped at third.
Anyway, Marwin was pulled after stopping at second because he hurt one of his legs stepping first/tripping over Descalso. Great. Another hurt fielder and no bench left.
Then Happ goes in to pinch run, but after Altuve flies out, he comes out and is replaced by Wesley Wright, don’t ask me why. Lowrie walks, then Fernando Martinez strikes out on 3 pitches. Man, he doesn’t look good at the plate and he doesn’t look particularly good in the field neither.
9th inning, Julio Daniel singles but CJ then GIDP. Wallace walks and Maxwell Ks to end the game. Justin gets himself the sombrero tonight and so does FM.
Lance Lynn, who has been one of the 5 best pitchers in the NL so far, faces J Happ in the rubber game tomorrow. I’m not holding out much hope of beating Lynn, but youneverknow.