Friday, April 6, 2012

From the Office of the County Clerk - G1: Rockies @ Astros

The Houston Astros got back to back homeruns from Carlos Lee and Brian Bogusevic in the bottom of the 4th, but it wasn't enough to overcome 4 errors and the Astros dropped their Season and Home Opener to Jeremy Guthrie and the Colorado Rockies 5-3.

*Wandy Rodriguez had a rough start to his night, leaving pitches up in the zone and struggling with his control, but he really settled in after the first couple of innings and turned in a nice outing. His line:

6.1 IP -- 6 H -- 3 R (0 ER) -- 2 BB -- 2 K

Wandy was the first southpaw to get the Opening Day nod for the Astros since Dave Roberts back in 1974.

*Jed Lowrie was placed on the DL prior to the game. Marwin Gonzalez got his first major league start in his place at shortstop.

*I love to hate umpires, but the base umpires made some great calls tonight. There were a couple of bang-bang plays at first tonight and a throw by Castro that looked to have got pinch runner Eric Young at 2nd, but the umpire got it right when it was shown that the tag was missed. In a game that seemed full of close plays, the only full out miss was when Jordan Schafer was clearly picked off at first, but was called safe. At least we got the break!

*I can't be nearly as kind to home plate umpire Gary Cedarstrom, whose strikezone changed about 4 times during the game.

*Chris Johnson had another error on a fairly routine play tonight, and both he and JD Martinez still look lost with the bats. Both are lacking patience and are free swinging up there. JD did get a double tonight but was quiet otherwise.

*Jason Castro had by far the worst play of the game in the top of the 8th. He caught Eric Young stuck between second and third. He only took one step forward and then quickly fired it to second, where it flew into the outfield and allowed Young to score. The bad throw was one thing, but it should be second nature for a catcher at this level to move towards the runner and force his hand - and in the worst case, fire the ball to third so he can't advance a base. This was the worst case scenario x 100.

*I'm not sure why Eric Young found it necessary to taunt Jason Castro and the Astros very deliberately after scoring that run. His baserunning error could have/should have resulted in an out - he just got lucky. Perhaps he will get a pinch hit at bat yet this series and he can take a good old fashioned plunking.

*A very questionable move by Brad Mills in the top of the 9th tonight - with Troy Tulowitzki up to bat, Mills allowed left hander Fernando Abad to stay in the game and face him. Tulowitzki quickly turned on a ball and deposited it over the train tracks in left. A quick look at Tulowitzki's stats versus left handed pitchers last season shows why this was perhaps a bad idea:

.349/.418/.631 -- 1.049 OPS

This compared to a still very good but much more reasonable line of .284/.354/.510 with a .864 OPS versus righties. The difference between a 1 run game and a 2 run game in the bottom of the 9th inning is huge. 

*Fernando Rodriguez took the tough luck loss tonight, pitching pretty effectively, but being the victim of Jason Castro's absent minded play which resulted in the winning run.

Man of the Match
Carlos Lee had an RBI single in the first inning, cashing in Altuve, and added on a monster homerun over the Crawford boxes in the fourth. He finished 2 for 4 with 2 RBI, and did a solid job at first base with a couple of nice picks on low thrown balls.

Goat of the Game
While this could go to the entire defense (errors by Altuve, Johnson, Wandy and Castro), it was ultimately Castro's play which broke the tie and allowed the Rockies to take a late lead that they would never relinquish. 


Anonymous said...

I dont disagree with Castro's error claiming the top spot, but there we so many: Gonzalez poor tag technique on the steal, his lack of focus catching Castro's throw, Altuve not being in position for Wandy's throw and general lack of effort on the play, Altuve's poor technique receiving Martinez' throw on the play at second.

Terribly disappointing in general. A team with suspect talent should be able to execute basic fundamentals. Well, that should be the baseline for every major league club.

Nice write-up, btw. I appreciate the editorial touch added to the basic facts.

CM said...

Thanks! Very good points on the other plays you mentioned. Altuve was caught out of position a few times. Hopefully these are things that we can look back at later in the season and blame on a young team, and not a team lacking effort or proper coaching.