Why They Lost
More Giant pitching dominance over the Astros lineup. Barry Zito looked like he was actually worth the $Gajillion contract the Giants gave him, allowing three hits and striking out five in 6IP over 90 pitches.
But somehow, the Astros didn't get behind in the count terribly often. 19 of 34 plate appearances resulted in a first-pitch strike. Meaning that in 15 plate appearances, the Astros were out in front of the pitcher.
And the Giants got their three runs in the 6th inning. After Wandy walked the first two batters of the 6th, Huff singled (scoring one), DeRosa FCed, Molina sac'ed in Sandoval, and Uribe singled in DeRosa. Ballgame.
Here's a troubling stat, as well: The Astros were 0x6 with RISP (including 0x3 from Pence and 0x2 from Lee), and this also means that Pence is 0x5 w/RISP over the last two games, while the team is 1x13 w/RISP, and have managed to get two runs in two games. The 3-6 spots in the lineup (Pence, Lee, Feliz, Johnson) were 0x16.
-The bullpen threw 3IP, 1H/0ER, 2K:0BB, and threw 24 of their 32 pitches for strikes. Great debuts from Fulchino, Lyon, and Lindstrom.
-Wandy got three GIDPs, two to end the inning.
Not encouraging things:
-Wandy's walks. Of Wandy's four walks, three were four-pitch walks, and one was a 2-2 count that he finished off with two straight balls. And of the three walks in the 6th inning, Renteria and Sandoval later scored.
Here's why we shouldn't get too bent out of shape: The Astros only made eight groundball outs, compared to 12 flyball outs, and seven strikeouts. So the Astros were able to make some contact, it's just that none of them found a hole. Oh, and the Astros encountered 30 non-contact strikes (19 looking, 11 swinging).
Jeff Keppinger collected two of the hits - including one that should have been a homerun - and also drew the Astros first two walks of the season. I have no idea how the umpires went and looked at the replay and still called it a double. Wandy got a hit, and Quintero got the other one.
Scary moment in the 7th when Manzella got plunked on the top of the hand by a 97mph fastball, but stayed in the game.
Pitch Count Hero: Keppinger (2x2, 2BB) and Quintero (1x4) - 19 pitches in four PAs
Pitch Count Punk: Carlos Lee (0x4, K) and Pedro Feliz (0x4) - 13 pitches in four PAs
Man of the Match: Jeff Keppinger. The Astros left seven on base, and four of them were Keppinger.
Goat of the Game: Hunter Pence, for the second straight game. 0x4, for the second straight game.