Why They Lost
Because Zach Levine at the Chronicle had a chance to grab the "briefly unattended head of Mr. Redlegs spotted near the press box and [make a run to] the Kentucky border with it," but failed to do so. Couple that with a "good feeling" from Deputy Jason and you have a recipe for disaster. At this point the Astros fate was sealed. Utterly craptastic performances from the Astros pitching staff were just logical outcomes from the aforementioned gaffes.
Road Wandy: 3.1 IP, 8 H, 8 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO, 86 pitches (49 strikes)
Chacin: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO, 37 pitches (18 strikes)
Fulchino: 0.1 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 15 pitches (9 strikes)
Byrdak: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO, 17 pitches (8 strikes)
Lopez: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 22 pitches (15 strikes)
Kevin Cash (yes that Kevin Cash): 1.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 10 pitches (8 strikes)
Pence spotted Wandy a 1-run lead with a home run in the top of the first, but after that it was all downhill for the Astros. If you really want to know what happened during the rest of the "game," feel free to read Levine's recap. Personally I have no desire to put you through yet another description of it... Bottom line: the Astros' pitching got pounded. Don't believe me, then take a look at the pitching lines above...
Man of the Match: Hard to believe, but there was one. Kevin Cash (yes backup catcher Kevin Cash) came in to pitch in the bottom of the 8th inning for the Astros. Featuring a 64 - 72 mph knuckleball, he held the Reds to only one run. Cash saved a couple of bullpen arms (or more, considering how the pen had pitched thusfar during the game), and considering that Brian Moehler is not likely to pitch more that 3-4 innings tomorrow, potentially saved a couple of arms from being DustyBaker'ized.
Goat of the Game: So very many to choose from here. Pedro Feliz for his 0-5 performance was a possibility, as were Fulchino and Byrdak (the latter serving up a grand-slam for former Astros farmhand Drew Sutton). Nevertheless, the Goat of the Game goes to Wandy Rodriguez for letting the Reds absolutely hammer him, and for lasting only 3.1 innings knowing full well that the pen was going to be used heavily on Saturday. Mr. Rodriguez, you sir are the Astros County Goat of the Game!