JA Happ (1-0, 4.50) v.s. Anibal Sanchez (1-0, 2.84)
Heartbreaker. Absolute heartbreaker. The Astros carried a 3-2 lead from the 4th to the 8th inning, increased it to 4-2....and then gave it all away on a 2 run homerun by Hanley Ramirez in the bottom of the 8th to tie up the game. The game remained tied until the bottom of the 11th when the Marlins loaded the bases with 1 out, and Hanley Ramirez hit one off the wall in right center for the walk off win. The Astros fall to 4-5 while the Marlins improve to 4-6.
*JA Happ was very good today and deserved the win - however Wesley Wright and Wilton Lopez couldn't hang onto the lead they were handed (Lopez took the Blown Save) and David Carpenter took the loss in extra innings. Happ's line: 6.0 IP / 5 H / 2 ER / 2 BB / 8 K.
*What a series. All 3 games were decided in the last at-bat, and two games went 11 innings. This Astros could have easily went 3-0, but could have just as easily went 0-3. It would have been nice to have won the series, but the young Astros team did battle and it was a very entertaining series.
*We finally got the see the infamous homerun contraption do its thing today (twice). It is as ugly as it is memorizing. This was the Astros only trip to Miami this year, and with the move to the AL next year, it could be the last time we see said contraption in quite some time.
*What is with strikezones this series. Kerwin Danley was behind the plate today and had a couple of calls that made everyone wonder if he was even awake back there. Both teams were affected again, but JA Happ was really getting squeezed. One particular pitch in the 4th, the 2-1 pitch to Logan Morrison, was clearly right down the pipe according to Fox Track. While the base umpiring has been very good so far this year, the strikezones seem to perhaps have more variance from umpire to umpire than i've ever seen in the past.
*JD Martinez stayed hot with an RBI double in the 3rd to extend his hitting streak to start the season to 9 games. He ended up 2 for 6 on the day.
*Jed Lowrie went 1 for 4 with 2 walks but absolutely crushed one to the warning track in right field again today. In any other park Lowrie might have had 2 homeruns in 2 days this weekend. As it is, I love his approach and think he was an absolute steal from the Red Sox in the Melancon deal.
*JA Happ was very good today. Not only did he strikeout 8 in only 6 innings, but he got himself out of a couple of huge jams with great pitches. In the 5th he gave up a 1 out triple to pitcher Anibal Sanchez and was able to get 2 outs to strand him. Then in the 6th, he had runners on 1st & 2nd with none out and managed to get out of that, thanks to a great double play, without giving up a single run.
*The Astros were 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position. Ouch.
*Bogey's bat finally woke up! He went 2 for 5 with 2 runs from the #5 spot, and made me look like a real jerk for being so hard on him all season. I still think him and CJ need to flip spots in the order though.
*According to FanGraphs.com, the Astros had an 89% chance of winning the game at one point (in the bottom of the 8th). It's unfortunate that 11% chance of a Marlins victory ended up at 100% for them.
The Astros were up 4-2 in the bottom of the 8th and looked to be on cruise control headed to sure victory. Then Hanley Ramirez came up to bat. He hit an absolute bomb off Wilton Lopez to straightaway center with 1 on to tie the game.
Man of the Match:
JA Happ was spectacular tonight. He missed a lot of bats (8 K's) and made some spectacular pitches when needed to get himself out of some jams.
Goat of the Game:
Wilton Lopez gave up a homerun to Hanley Ramirez that might finally be landing by the time I write this recap up. The Astros hadn't given up a run since the bottom of the 4th and appeared headed to sure victory, but Wesley Wright walked the only batter he faced and Lopez gave up the bomb that tied the game and swung the momentum 360 degrees.
Special mention to Jordan Schafer and Carlos Lee who both went 0 for 5. Schafer struck out 3 times, narrowly missing out on the Golden Sombrero.