Sunday, April 22, 2012

From the Office of the County Clerk - G16: Dodgers (12-3) @ Astros (5-10)

Chad Billingsley (2-0, 1.33) v.s. Wandy Rodriguez (0-2, 1.96)

The Astros offense found their stride again this afternoon as they clobbered the Dodgers to the tune of a 12-0 final. Wandy Rodriguez was great and finally got the run support that has been lacking for him so far this season. The Astros improve to 6-10 while the Dodgers fall to a (still great) mark of 12-4.

*Wandy Rodriguez got the win with an outstanding line of 7.0 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 3 BB / 6 K. He now moves to 1-2 on the season, and aside from a rough couple of innings in his first start of the year, has been looking great so far this year. If the plan is to trade Wandy by the trade deadline, he is certainly helping boost his own value.

Observations:

*The Astros scored 2 in the first, 4 in the second, 3 in the fourth, 1 in the fifth, and 2 in the eighth for good measure. They didn't let their foot off the gas from the word go and sustained a great offensive performance throughout the game.

*Chad Billingsley of the Dodgers had come into this game with a 1.33 ERA on the year so far. The Astros touched him for 9 runs (5 earned) in only 3.1 innings of work.

*The big score of the day was a Grand Slam by Jordan Schafer in the second inning. It was the first Grand Slam of his career and his second homerun of the year. 

*Carlos Lee also hit a homerun today - into the Crawford boxes in the first inning with Jed Lowrie on. Lowrie reached on one of the Dodgers 3 errors of the day.

*JD Martinez and Wandy were the only starters not to get a hit today. JD went 0 for 5, dropping his season average down to a still very respectable .309. His OBP is a staggering .424 on the year.

*The Astros top 5 in OBP so far for the season are Martinez (.424), Altuve (.381), Schafer (.373), Lowrie (.357) and Bogusevic (.345). 

*The Astros top OBP last season was Michael Bourn at .363. Clint Barmes was 5th at .312.

*If the Astros can continue getting on base at this great clip, good things are going to keep happening with the offense. Consistency is lacking a bit right now, which is to be expected with a young team, but there is a lot to like from the couple of recent offensive explosions we have been treated to.

Turning Point:

The Carlos Lee homerun effectively won the game, thanks to an outstanding performance by Wandy...but the true turning point has to be Schafer's Grand Slam. A team down 2-0 acts much different than a team down 6-0. It put the Dodgers in a huge hole and they didn't even seem to be invested in the game after that point.

Man of the Match:

Jordan Schafer. First career Grand Slam. He finished 1 for 4 with 2 runs and 4 RBI's. He only saw 12 pitches in 4 at bats, so he was certainly aggressive today!

Goat of the Game:

Hate to give it to anyone with today's great ballgame, but JD Martinez did go 0 for 5 with a strikeout, so he's going to have to be the choice. He did manage an RBI though, courtesy of a fielder's choice in the 4th.

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