Wandy Rodriguez (0-1, 2.38) v.s. Gio Gonzalez (0-0, 3.38)
Wandy Rodriguez pitched a gem but didn't get a bit of run support as the Astros lost to the Nationals by a 1-0 score tonight. The only difference was a misplayed ball in the bottom of the 4th. With 2 out, Jayson Werth doubled. Wandy then looked to have got out of the inning when he got Adam Laroche to pop up to shallow left field. Jed Lowrie and JD Martinez had a miscommunication, however, and the ball fell between them allowing Werth to score. That was the only run that Gio Gonzalez and the Nationals bullpen would need tonight as they hung on to the 1-0 win. The Astros drop to 4-7 while the red hot Nationals improve to 9-3.
*Wandy Rodriguez was great tonight and deserved the win. His line: 7.0 IP / 5 H / 1 ER / 0 BB / 3 K. He took the tough luck loss to drop to 0-2 on the year.
*Jordan Schafer got the night off and Justin Maxwell started in his place. Maxwell went 1 for 4 with a couple of strikeouts. He is an exciting player, as he has some power and speed, but you can see how he hasn't stuck around with any other major league clubs so far. He just isn't patient enough to be a successful big league hitter. Hopefully the coaches can work with him to help develop his patience, as I think his ceiling is very high.
*Schafer did get an at bat when he pinch hit for Chris Snyder tonight. He delivered a single on the first pitch he saw. His OBP for the year is a solid .396 now.
*Coming into tonight the Astros were 5-2 when Jefferson won the President mascot race at Nationals Park. That record will now drop to 5-3 however.
*It was an easy night on our bullpen tonight - and even on Wandy. He only threw 87 pitches in a very efficient outing, while Rhiner Cruz was the only member of the bullpen who saw action. He threw 17 pitches in a scoreless inning of work, striking out one.
*The Astros got 3 more walks tonight and are still doing a much better job of getting on base than they did last year, despite their recent struggles.
*Travis Buck earned another start with his good night at the plate last night, but couldn't deliver tonight - going 0 for 4 with 2 K's.
*Jose Altuve continues to hit the ball hard. With a 1 for 3 night tonight he is now batting .350/.386/.475 on the year. Not going to hit for much power, but he is finding gaps and getting on base like crazy.
The misplayed ball by Lowrie and JD Martinez that allowed the only run of the game to score with 2 outs in the bottom of the 4th. Lowrie looked like he had it but let up at the last second thinking JD was going to take it. It fell between them and cost them a run - the only one the Nationals would need.
Man of the Match:
Wandy Rodriguez pitched a gem and deserved to win. It was great to see him pitch so effectively against a surprisingly potent Nationals offense. Not walking a batter was a big plus as well.
Goat of the Game:
The entire offense. They went 4 for 29 (.138) and left 13 men on base. They walked 3 times as opposed to 9 strikeouts. Maxwell, Lowrie and Altuve were the only starters to collect hits (Lowrie's was a double) while Schafer pitched in with a single off the bench.