Saturday, April 28, 2012

From the Office of the County Clerk - G20: Astros @ Reds

El Escorpion and the Astros roughed up the Reds in the 3rd/4th innings, for a 6-4 win.

Big story (with a big bang) was Carlos Lee leaving in the first inning with a sprained left ankle. X-Rays were negative, but Lee is likely done for the weekend.

Jason Castro led off the 3rd with a single, Wandy bunted him over, and Jordan Schafer struck out looking. With two outs, Jose Altuve (El Escorpion, so named by Appy Astros) tripled to score Castro, and J.D. Martinez singled to knock in Altuve for a 2-0 lead.

In the 4th inning, Jed Lowrie doubled, Bogusevic reached on an error, Chris Johnson doubled to score Lowrie, Castro got an RBI groundout, and Schafer singled in Johnson to make it a 5-0 lead. After Jordan Schafer stole 2nd base, Altuve doubled in Schafer to give the Astros a 6-run lead.

The Reds got one back in the bottom of the 5th, and another in the 6th to close it to 6-2. Cincinnati threatened in the 8th, with Drew Stubbs striking out, but reaching first on Fernando Rodriguez' wild pitch. Stubbs then stole second, and reached third on Castro's throwing error, all with no outs. Frodriguez got Votto to groundout, and struck Brandon Phillips and Ryan Ludwick to strike out swinging to end the threat. Sigh, but the Reds weren't done.

Fernando Abad came in for the bottom of the 9th, and got Scott Rolen to fly out to center, but then gave up 790 feet of homeruns to Jay Bruce and Devin Mesoraco, and was mercifully pulled and replaced by Brett Myers, who finished off the game.

*It's the fourth time in five starts that Wandy has made it 6IP in 2012, and his third straight quality start. It was also the second straight outing where Wandy has thrown 100+ pitches.

*Wandy still hasn't given up a homer in 2012 - his longest streak since 2009, when he went eight straight starts to open the season without giving up the long ball.

*By striking out the side, Frodriguez has struck out five of the last 16 batters he has faced, and now has 9K in 9.2IP. It was the first time he had struck out all three batters in an inning.

*Fernando Abad's nightmare 2012 continues...of the eight batters he has faced in 2012, three of them have taken him deep. The only hits he has allowed have been homers.

*With Jordan Schafer's successful reaching of 1st base, he has now reached base in each of the first 20 games - the longest stretch to open a season since Ricky Gutierrez reached in the first 23 games of the 1998 season (three starts after not reaching base for the first time in 1998, Gutierriez would get the only "hit" off Kerry Wood in his 20K game).

*The Astros scored four of their six runs with two outs, bringing their two-out run total to 37, or 38.9% of their runs. The National League, as a whole, have scored 38.2% of their runs with two outs.

*Jose Altuve was 2x5 and, through four games on this road trip (all of them multi-hit games), he's hitting .556/.579/.944 - a 1.523 OPS.

*After going hitless in 14 plate appearances between April 21-24, J.D. Martinez now has 5 hits in his 13PAs.

*And after Jason Castro opened the season with three hits in his first eight games (29 PAs) for a .120/.214/.160, he has a five game hitting streak, and is hitting .400/.455/.550, with eight hits in 20ABs.

*With the win, the Astros are 2-5 in series opening games.

*The Point At Which An Important Thing Happened in the Game, From Which There Was No Doubt of the Outcome: Obviously the 4th inning, as those four runs gave the Astros the cushion they needed to win the game. But within that inning, Brandon Phillips' error gave the Astros an extra out, and they scored in three of the next four ABs.

*Man of the Match: Jose Altuve!

*Goat of the Game: Fernando Abad - this is likely going to be a short stint with the big league team.

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