Bud Norris (1-0, 4.26) v.s. Randy Wolf (0-2, 8.80)
The Astros offense continued to score runs in bunches, but pitching once again let the 'Stros down as they fell to the Brewers by a 9-6 count tonight. The Brewers pull even at 9-9 on the year, while the Astros fall well below .500 at 6-12.
*Bud Norris was on fire through the first four innings, before the wheels fell off. He finished with a line of 5.2 IP / 9 H / 7 ER / 2 BB / 6 K. He took the loss and falls to 1-1 on the year with a 5.84 ERA.
*Bud Norris was seemingly unstoppable at the start of the game. In the third inning he even tied a major league baseball record when he struck out 4 batters in one inning (thanks to a dropped 3rd strike on one of the strikeouts, which allowed the batter to reach base). But then, Bud couldn't keep the ball in the park. He gave up a 2 run homerun to #8 hitter Ishikawa in the 5th, followed by a 2 run bomb to Corey Hart and a 3 run bomb to Rickie Weeks, both in the 6th inning.
*With Norris already down 4-2 and struggling, Mills left him in to try to finish off Weeks, who launched the 3 run homerun to essentially put the game out of reach. Was it a bad call to leave Norris in when he had Rodriguez warming in the bullpen? That's a tough call. I tend to agree with Mills on this one. It's just a shame it didn't work out in the end.
*Brett Myers also gave up a homerun tonight, for a total of 4 taters given up to the Brew Crew in the game.
*Bud Norris gave up 18 HR in 153.2 IP in 2010, 24 HR in 186.0 IP in 2011 and now 5 HR in 24.2 IP so far this season. That works out to one homerun for every 8.5 IP / 7.75 IP / 4.84 IP over the past 3 season consecutively. He's going to have to reverse this alarming trend and start keeping some baseballs in the ballpark if he wants to continue to be successful in the big leagues.
*Chris Johnson got the night off, and Marwin Gonzalez got the start at 3rd. However CJ did come in as a pinch hitter and got 2 AB's in tonight, finishing 2 for 2 with 2 runs and an RBI. He has been a pleasant surprise this year in a turnaround of a season with a decent .294/.314/.368 line so far.
*Jordan Schafer went 1 for 4 tonight and has now reached base safely in the first 18 games of the season. This is the longest streak for an Astro since Gutierrez went 23 straight games back in 1998.
*The only concerning thing about Schafer? Since he stole 5 bags in the first 7 games of the season, he has now only stolen 1 in the past 11. He has been caught stealing twice, but if I'm Mills i'm still giving him the green light.
*Jose Altuve had a great night tonight, with his first homerun of the year in the 2nd to go along with his 4th stolen base of the year. He was moved up to the #6 spot tonight with Marwin Gonzalez dropping to 8th playing for CJ. Altuve went 2 for 4 with a walk, 2 runs, an RBI, the homerun and the stolen base.
*Brian Bogusevic went 0 for 5 and Chris Snyder went 0 for 3. Their season batting average now stand at .185 and .080 respectively. Ouch.
*The Astros 6 runs tonight were driven in by 6 different players. 4 players scored the 6 runs however, including pitcher Kyle Weiland who was used as a pinch runner.
*The Astros left 10 men on base while the Brewers only left 6.
The disaster of a 6th inning. Norris gave up a 2 run homerun and a 3 run homerun in the same inning, effectively burying the Astros chances of winning tonight.
Man of the Match:
Going to give it to Jose Altuve. First homerun of the year, a stolen base and a solid 2 for 4 night with 2 runs scored and a walk.
Goat of the Game:
Bud Norris was fantastic to start the game......but then suddenly started serving up gopher balls and couldn't keep the ball in the park.