Why They Lost
Because Norris is having trouble against everybody (except St. Louis. We know.) I'm not sure what the expectation is for a pitcher who has made 17 total starts. And maybe if I did, this would be a little more explainable. Maybe for a team playing like the Astros are, everything is amplified.
Norris hasn't made it out of the 5th in three of his four starts in May, and this was his shortest outing - by pitch count - of the season. Norris got into real trouble in the 1st when, after two quick outs, he walked Manny, gave up a double to Kemp, a first-pitch single to Loney, and a single to Blake. Four straight batters reach, three runs score. Then it evened out, a sac fly in the 4th (with an OF assist by Pence/Quintero getting Blake at second to end the inning.) His problems started again with the 5th - walking Kuroda (for God's sake), allowing a first-pitch single to Russell Martin, a sac to Xavier Paul, and a two-run single to Manny. All three batters that Norris walked scored.
After the Dodgers going 4x4, batters this season swinging at Norris' first pitch are hitting .765 (13x17).
Another troubling trend is that of Jeff Fulchino. After giving up the homer to Casey Blake, Fulchino has allowed runs in three straight outings.
Thanks to Carlos Lee's homer, the Astros have nine extra-base hits in their last five games. That's not good. But we do need to recognize that the Astros were down 3-0, and came back to tie it up - all thanks to Carlos Lee. Lee hit a homer (his 4th) to left in the 2nd, and then a two-out, two-run single to tie the game. Immediately after, Pence got an infield single to load the bases, and Pedro Feliz grounded into a fielder's choice to end the inning.
Bourn, Keppinger, and Lee had six of the Astros eight hits. Berkman, once again, drew the only walk, and your Astr0-fers are: Berkman (0x3, BB), Feliz (0x4), Matsui (0x4). Matsui's OPS is now .352. There are four players in baseball with higher batting averages than Matsui's OPS.
Pitch Count Hero: Lee (2x4) - 20 pitches in four PAs.
Pitch Count Punk: Feliz and Matsui (both 0x4) - 12 pitches in four PAs.
Man of the Match: Easy. Carlos Lee.
Goat of the Game: So many to choose from, but we're going with Bud Norris, who didn't reward the offense for battling to tie the game up early.