Tim Byrdak was given the keys to the City of Cincinnati after serving up his NL Central-clinching pancake/beachball to Jay Bruce. Astros lose 3-2 on a walkoff homer by Jay Bruce.
*The loss is the Astros' 6th in their last seven games. Before this road trip, the Astros had lost seven games from August 29 to September 18.
*That drops the Astros to 4-9 against the Reds, and 1-3 at Great American this season.
*And once again, the Astros had the lead in this game, racking up their 42nd blown lead, and their fourth walk-off loss, of the season.
*Wandy threw a good game yet again, with the bullpen blowing his chance to push his record to 12-12. Final line: 6IP, 4H/2ER, 8K:4BB.
*In his final two starts against the Reds, Wandy allowed 7H/5ER, 18K:10BB - all in 12IP. But the big problem for Wandy - and what prevented him from running deeper in the game - was that 6th inning. Let's look at the pitch count, by inning:
1st: 21 (H, 2BB)
2nd: 9 (2K, HBP)
3rd: 18 (3K)
4th: 18 (2K, BB)
5th: 8 (K)
*The Reds got the bases loaded with 0 outs thanks to two singles and a Scott Rolen walk. A ten-pitch AB went Wandy's way when Jonny Go-Hawk fouled out. Brandon Phillips reached on an infield chopper, scoring Orlando Cabrera for the tying run. Jay Bruce ended the inning on a GIDP.
*Over the 2nd/3rd innings, Wandy struck out four batters in a row (Bruce, Hernandez, Volquez, and Stubbs). He got Bruce on four pitches, Hernandez on three, and Volquez on three - 3Ks, 10 pitches.
*In September, 40 of Wandy's 97 outs have come via strikeout.
*So Wilton Lopez (1IP), Fernando Abad (0.1IP), and Matt Lindstrom (0.2IP) allow two hits and we head to the bottom of the 9th tied at 2-2. Tim Byrdak comes in simply to face Jay Bruce. Bruce had been hitting .260/.337/.487 against lefties, but Byrdak had only allowed lefties to hit .203/.262/.324 with 1HR against him coming into that AB. So of course Jay Bruce took him to the deepest part of the ballpark. On the first pitch.
*Jay Bruce joins Ryan Doumit and Jason Giambi as the only players to hit two homers off Byrdak. Three of the four homers Byrdak allowed this season have come against Cincinnati - Jay Bruce took him deep on April 29. He had never allowed a walk-off homer in 342 games.
*Jason Bourgeois got his 8th straight start, and was 0x4 with a strikeout. He's hitting .200 (7x35) in those starts from the leadoff spot, with three walks.
*It was Brett Wallace who had your lone multi-hit game of the night, going 2x3 with a run scored. It's his second straight two-hit game, and he's 13x52 (.250) in September.
*Both your Astros' RBIs came at the bottom of the order - with Castro knocking in Wallace, and Wandy's sac to 3rd, scoring Angel Sanchez. Both runs came in the top of the 2nd inning.
*From the 3rd to the 9th innings, the Astros were 4x23, 8K:1BB, and the Reds got the final 10 Astros in order to end the game.
*Carlos Lee gave us his fourth 0-fer in his last five games. Since his eight-game hitting streak from Sept 12-20, Lee has three hits in his last 29 plate appearances.
*Chris Johnson committed two more errors, for his team-leading 17th error of the season. Manzella and Sanchez have 14 errors between them.
*Pitch Count Hero: Jeff Keppinger (1x3, BB) and Carlos Lee (0x4) - 21 pitches in four PAs.
*Pitch Count Punk: Jason Bourgeois (0x4) - 12 pitches in four PAs.
*Man of the Match: Wandy.
*Goat of the Game: Carlos Lee.