Why They Lost
Because the offense is terrible. Terrible. I don't know how this happened (well, maybe I do), but it's amazing that nine guys - guys who were once productive offensive members of the MLB society - all can not hit at the same time. Felipe Paulino was excellent, but the Astros have scored 20 runs in their last 12 games (1-11). Doesn't matter how well you throw, if nobody can hit.
|Paulino||7||5/1 (2 total)||11:0||115-75 (65.2%)||25/16|
Let's make this clear: Paulino is the 5th starter by calendar only. Bud Norris has been the biggest liability of the rotation. If you had to re-order the rotation, how would it look? Because, right now, I'd go with: Roy, Myers, Paulino, Wandy, Norris. It was really good to see Paulino step up and throw a high-quality start, his first no-walk start since June 27, 2009 against Detroit. June 27 was also his previous career-high in strikeouts, with nine. Tonight he had 11.
Having watched most of this game - thanks to a Girls Night Out (not me, smartass. My wife) - I was struck by Paulino's first-pitch strikes. He consistently threw 96mph, but he threw a first-pitch strike to 17 of 25 batters not swinging at the first pitch. I need to check this, but I think his 41 non-contact strikes are a season-high for the Astros.
Just shameful. All of it. In two games against the Padres, the Astros are 6x58 (.103), with one extra-base hit - last night. No extra-base hits tonight. And thus, only two ABs w/RISP. Blum got the pinch-hit...uh, hit. Can you believe that Blum is actually hitting .333 on the season?
I do wish that Carlos Lee had waited to retire until after the game, because it looks like he gave up in the 9th. Here's the situation in the 9th: Bourn will get fined, because he was safe on an infield single, but 1B umpire Alfonso Marquez called him out, so he bumped him. This will, obviously, result in a fine or suspension, which means that the Astros will score zero runs, instead of our customary one every game. Michaels, pinch-hitting for Keppinger, grounded out to the pitcher for the second out. Berkman walked, which brought up Carlos Lee, who struck out looking to end the game as the winning run.
Pitch Count Hero: Berkman (0x3, BB) - 20 pitches in four PAs
Pitch Count Punk: Keppinger (1x2, BB) and Matsui (0x3) - 12 pitches in three PAs
Man of the Match: This isn't even a question. Felipe Paulino. 11Ks on the night, five baserunners in seven innings.
Goat of the Game: Carlos Lee. 0x4, and a chance to be a hero. When he struck out looking, he made all Astros fans say, "Yeah. I saw that coming."