Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Recap - G14, Dodgers at Astros

Someone needs to tell the Astros they don't all have to be exciting. Nice 8-5 win, where bullpen bends yet doesn't break, and Valverde strikes out two with the bases loaded to preserve the win after taking one off the leg. Russ Ortiz really labored in the first inning, throwing 33 pitches, 16 of them for strikes. Obviously with a first inning like that, the pitch count is going to be elevated. Want to know how you throw 116 pitches in five innings (including 33 pitches in the first inning)? Let's let Russ tell us:

1st inning: 33 pitches
2nd inning: 20 pitches
3rd inning: 15 pitches
4th inning: 19 pitches
5th inning: 29 pitches

Of the 23 batters faced:
11 of them got a 1-0 pitch
7 of them worked to 2-0
3 of them worked to 3-0

Nevertheless, a win is a win. Groundballs are a pitcher's best friend, and Ortiz got 11 groundball outs, but the bullpen is going to have to be on standby when Ortiz pitches.

Ortiz: 5IP, 3H, 3ER, 2K:5BB
Wright: 1IP, 1H, 1K
Fulchino: 1IP, 2H, 2ER, 1BB
LaHawk: 1IP, 1H
Valverde: 1IP, 1H, 2K:1BB

Fulchino gave up his first runs as an Astro by granting Manny Ramirez a 2-run trot around the bases, and Valverde's outing was dicey:
Furcal: Safe on an error by JV
Hudson: Infield single
Ramirez: Flied out to right, Furcal to third
Ethier: Walked
Loney: Struck out swinging
Martin: Struck out swinging


I know I have a tendency, when the opposite team puts up three in the first inning, to go ahead and cede the game, but the Astros didn't, and battled back. Tejada, Lee, Pudge and Keppinger all had multi-hit games, while Lance now has a three-game hitting streak. Carlos Lee hit his third homer of the year - and his second in two games. Tejada had the highest batting average on the team, and just one RBI to show for it (think about that for a second. What does it tell you?), and went out and got three RBIs last night.

Man of the Match:
Miguel Tejada. Tripled his season RBI total, and even got a 2-out hit with runners in scoring position.

Goat of the Game:
Tough to say. I want to pick on Valverde, but he didn't allow a run. Ortiz threw a lot of pitches, but buckled down when it could have gotten out of hand. So it goes to Hunter Pence. 0x4 with a strikeout, and didn't get the ball out of the infield.