Monday, April 20, 2009

Recap - G13, Reds at Astros

Last year the Reds won three games against the Astros all season long. The Reds won three games this series. The story of the night was, again, the piss-poor bullpen. Let's regard this series so far:

Friday night:
Oswalt leaves up 1-0, Astros lose 2-1

Wandy dominates, Astros win 7-0

Paulino leaves up 1-0, Astros lose 4-2

Hampton leaves up 3-2, Astros lose 4-3

So with a solid, perfect bullpen the Astros sweep a four-game series against a division rival at home and push their record to 7-8. Now they're 4-9 and reeling facing the NL's hottest team in the Dodgers.

Last night Byrdak walked the first batter he faced, and Geary got lit up, taking the loss. Tonight, it was the other way around. Geary gave up an infield single to Taveras and then walked Jerry Hairston. Byrdak came in and got lit up for a 2-run double where Votto ended up on third. A perfect throw from Tejada nailed Hairston at the plate and prevented the 5th run from scoring.

Hampton: 6.1IP, 8H, 3ER, 5K:1BB
Geary: IP, 1H, 1ER 0K:1BB
Byrdak: .2IP, 1H, 1K
LaHawk: 1IP, 1K:1BB
Valverde: 1IP, 1K

Hampton started out a little rough, allowing two runs in the 1st in which he couldn't keep the ball down, and then he settled in. In his start last Wednesday against Pittsburgh, Hampton got ahead of batters, and he pitched brilliantly. In the first inning, three of the five batters he faced got a first-pitch ball. Two of them scored. The rest of the evening, 12 of the 21 batters got first-pitch strikes. None of them scored. Valverde worked a perfect inning, touching 96mph (I'll refrain from mentioning that he got taken to deep right, and a basket catch by Pence saved it from being extra-bases).


Offensively, it was kind of fun - for a while. Berkman and Lee went back-to-back, with Lee narrowly missing a home run in the 2nd inning. Blum was hitting 1x19 off Arroyo coming in, and got three hits. Hunter Pence got two hits, but managed to get squeezed in a quality AB and struck out looking with the bases loaded in the 8th, down 4-3. The Astros had Michaels on 3rd and Tejada on 1st with Berkman up, who popped up to shallow right; Lee walked; and Pence got rung up on a pitch that looked a little low. The Astros got 10 hits, but with Pudge getting a CS, GIDPs from Pudge and Tejada, and Pence looking like Willie Mays-Hayes trying to stretch a single into a double, the Astros are pretty good at taking themselves off the basepaths.

Man of the Match:
Geoff Blum. Went 3x4 and his .341 average is 2nd on the team.

Goat of the Game:
Geoff Geary. Didn't have time to break a sweat before Votto's double (triple) gave him whiplash and got the go-ahead runs across the plate.