Bad news. And it isn't totally related to the Astros 3-1 loss to the Cardinals at Beck's Stadium last night. Wandy left the game in the 5th inning with a strained right hamstring, meaning that through the last time in the rotation, Brian Moehler was the only one who could make it beyond the fifth innings. Bet you didn't have him in your pool. We'll have more on this later, but after the game Wandy said he didn't think he'd miss a start.
Still, the Astros were yet again dominated by the Cardinals pitching, and while the Astros held the Cardinals to three runs, Matt Holliday again went off, providing two homers in the game. Let's do the thing:
Wandy: 4IP, 3H/1ER, 4K:1BB, 9/16 first-pitch strikes, 18/36 non-contact strikes (14 called:4 swinging)
Fulchino: 3IP, 4H/0ER (1 run), 3K:0BB, 8/13 FPS, 19/34 NCS (8c:11s)
Valverde: 1IP, 2H/1ER, 1K, 1/5 FPS, 6/12 NCS (3c:3s)
Fulchino pitched very well in long relief, not allowing any earned runs, which brings us to the defense. Tejada made an error in the bottom of the 4th that led to the Cardinals having runners on 2nd/3rd with one out. Luckily there was no further damage as Wandy got out of the inning. In the 7th, Fulchino got Rasmus to groundout, allowed a double to Carpenter, and then Q was charged with a PB sending Carpenter to 3rd, and allowing Lugo (/chewing hair) to hit a sac fly with the go-ahead run. Lugo also was able to advance to third on DeRosa's single in the 5th on Hunter Pence's bobble. That put runners on the corners with two out and Pujols up. Nothing further came of it, and that was the inning. But the Astros are killing themselves with mental errors and mistakes. Oh, and Michael Bourn was caught stealing again, and then was ejected; Quintero was thrown out at home. So you know.
Offensively, this was all about Chris Carpenter. He held the Astros to eight hits in a 110-pitch complete game. There were only five at-bats all night long in which the Astros had RISP, and Wandy was the only one to come through with a hit - and that didn't even score a run. Carlos Lee's solo homer in the 4th was all there was going on. Quintero got three hits, then add a Tejada, Blum, and Wandy hit, and you've got yourself a game.
Man of the Match: Jeff Fulchino. 3IP of strong earned-runless relief and 4Ks, including one to Holliday - the only time Holliday didn't reach base all night.
Goat of the Game: Hunter Pence. An error led to a precarious situation, and he was 0x4 with 2Ks, one with Carlos Lee on third base, and ended the inning twice.