Why They Lost
Because there is no offense of which to speak. 1-4 in the lineup was 1x16. 5-8 was 6x13, with Quintero getting the lone RBI in the 9th to score Hunter Pence.
Poor Felipe Paulino. When he doesn't pitch well, he really doesn't pitch well. But even when he does pitch well, like tonight in which his only blemish was a 2-run homer to Ryan Braun, he gets nothing. If you wanted to see Roy go apoplectic, let him start the season 0-7. In his last two starts, Paulino has allowed 9H/4ER, 8:8BB in 12IP. If you take out the disaster at San Francisco on May 14, Paulino has thrown 25IP, 10H/9ER, 27K:12BB in May starts.
So Sampson then comes in, and completely nuts it. Here's his 7th inning:
Gomez: Groundout to pitcher
Braun: Bunt single to 3rd
Fielder: Single to center
McGehee: RBI single to left
At this point, Sampson has allowed three runs, and when Alcides Escobar hits a ground-rule double, it brings in Prince Fielder, and that run is charged to Sampson. However, eight of the last thirteen batters Sampson has faced got a hit. Seven of them have scored.
Go ahead and add Randy Wolf to the list of pitchers who had their highest Game Score of the season against the Astros. His 7IP, 4H/0ER day was good enough for a 70, and we're talking about a pitcher who, in his previous two starts (including one against the Pirates), allowed 17H/12ER in 11.1IP, 5K:7BB. Oh no, that won't hold up. Not against the Astros, who had just scored six runs against David Price and the Rays.
The Astros had their chances. Oh yes, they had their chances. Like in the 2nd inning, down 2-0. Pence on second, Feliz on first, Casey McGehee snagged a Quintero shot down the line and got Pence on the force at 3rd (this was actually a Top Play). Manzella walked to load the bases, and Paulino struck out swinging.
But starting with Paulino, Randy Wolf got 15 of the next 16 batters. In the 7th, with two outs, Quintero singled to center, Manzella singled to left, and Jason Michaels struck out looking to end the inning, swinging the bat once in four pitches.
In the 9th, Pence doubled to lead off the inning, and Quintero doubled him home. Manzella strukes out, Blum grounds out. Game over.
So the Astros got seven hits all night, four of them from Quintero and Manzella (two each).
Pitch Count Hero: Pence (1x3, BB) - 20 pitches in four PAs
Pitch Count Punk: Keppinger (1x4) - 12 pitches in four PAs.
Team Pitches/Plate Appearance: 3.94 (142 pitches in 36PAs)
Man of the Match: Felipe Paulino. Dude, it's just not all your fault.
Goat of the Game: There are plenty of candidates on the offense - Carlos Lee and his donut, for instance. But this is going to Chris Sampson. Four hits and one out is not a good ratio.