I could say that the pitching was all around terrible, but that would be kind of not really all there is to say. Happ, as usual, had trouble finding the strike zone and don’t ask me how on earth he struck out 8 in 5 innings. Well, actually, yes you can – he faced 27 batters over his 5 IP. Walked only 3, went to a 3 ball count 8 times, gave up 9 hits including 1 homer (to BJ Upton who I hear tell wants to swap out the St. Petersburg stadium for the Box – he hit a homer every game.) So Ed Wade, you ever gonna try to explain why you thought this guy was the best trade for Roy Oswalt?
Niemann, unlike Shields and Davis, was terrible and threw almost everything that wasn’t a ball up and the Astros SHOULD have hit 10 runs off just him. in his 3 innings. He was so bad that he was giving up extra base hits to Brett Wallace (who otherwise looked terrible, as usual) and these were legit gappers and hits off the scoreboard and LF bullpen. Clank hit a TRIPLE for goodness sakes.
Only pitcher they threw up there who had good stuff besides Farnsworth the closer was Juan Cruz, who got 2 straight 1,2,3 innings, the second because Jason Bourgeois got caught stealing. He isn’t running well, to be nice about it.
Astros tied the game in the second. Happ gave up 2 more runs immediately and the Astros tied it again. Astros took the lead in the 4th, 7-5, and Happ came on to pitch the 5th (so as he could get the W – never mind how lousy he was pitching) gave up a walk and a double and somehow got 2 Ks then a flyout.
Wilton Lopez comes in and gives up an infield dribbler to 3rd (like a good bunt) then a K then a homer to Longoria juuuust over the yellow line at the Crawford Boxes.
I hear tell that Longoria, who said before the series started that he felt his swing was bad and he was uncomfortable at the plate, is calling Buddy Boy to demand that the remainder of the Rays games all be played vs the Astros at the Box so he can break Ted Williams’ .406 record and Barry Lamar’s 73. Or at least have a legit race with BJ Upton.
Bottom of the 7th, Keppinger hits a homer into the Crawford Boxes, giving the Astros their second lead. So Ed Wade, are you ever gonna get around to explaining why you were so determined to get Keppinger off this team? I mean, just out of curiousity because the media sure as heck ain’t gonna ask, let alone criticize.
Lopez comes out for the 8th, gets an out, gives up a single, then an IF single off his leg. He gets pulled and in comes the Closer, Melancon. Gets a K, loses all semblance of command, gives up a walk, then next hitter throws 2 pitches waaay out of the zone, then gives up a 2 run double to the RF corner. Rays take the lead 9-8.
But that is just Melancon francoing Lopez to tag HIM with the L. He then gives up a 2 RBI single to give the Rays a 3 run lead.
In comes 8th inning guy Joel Peralta (actually, I’m not supposed to call him that because apparently Joe Maddon hasn’t officially NAMED him that even though he’s The Guy when the Rays are ahead in a close game) who gives up a double to CJ, then a homer to PH Downs. Barmes singles, Corporan sac-bunts (in the 4th, he hit a double to the RF bullpen, swear to GOD – had no idea he could hit a ball that far or hard) then Jason Bourgeois, second BAD night in a row, grounds out to Longoria who throws to Kotchman who gets Barmes trying to take 3rd.
Rays lead 11-8. Melancon back out. He gives up a single to Wade Davis – last night’s PITCHER, yes, you heard that right, an American League PITCHER – second hit of the night for a Rays pitcher – Niemann got his first ever major league hit, a ball that went to the RF corner that would have been a double for anyone else, even Brett Wallace. Then a Wild Pitch – and mind, Melancon had been throwing em in the dirt, waaaay outside, waaaaay high all night – then a K, then a single, then a FC.
Gotta tell you about that FC. Downs is at second and Kepp is out. Wade Davis at 3rd, Johnny Damon at first. Zobrist, a good runner is hitting – hits the ball on the IF, Downs gets it, throws home. NOT to first for a 4-3-6 DP – and he had time, too. So instead of inning ovah, it’s Davis out at home, 2 on, 2 out, Evan Longoria up. So Melancon throws him a belt high inside FB and you’ll NEVAH guess what Mr. Home Run Hitter did to that poor ball.
Yeah, I know, not that it mattered at that point. His ERA jumped from 1.98 to 3.19.
Even Millsie-poo knew it was time to pull The Closer and in came Escalona who got the 3rd out.
Not that it mattered.
This game took FOUR freaking hours – uck, I hate these football score games. We were starting bottom of the 4th at the 2 hour mark.
Astros got 14 hits, TWO home runs in one game – yes friends and neighbors, you read that right – TWO home runs in the same GAME, not same week or even same month – and SIX doubles and one triple. In the 36 ABs – not one walk, not real too surprising.
Tomorrow is a day off, then the Rangers ride in, bats eagerly waiting.
Get used to this stuff – it’s gonna keep happening…