Monday, May 7, 2012

From the Office of the County Clerk - G29: Marlins (14-14) @ Astros (13-15)

Carlos Zambrano (0-2, 2.53) v.s. Wandy Rodriguez (3-2, 1.64)

Wandy Rodriguez hadn't given up a single homerun in his first 6 starts of the year, but he gave up 3 tonight in a 4-0 loss to the Marlins. The Astros offense remained stagnant and the Astros dropped their second straight after their 5 game winning streak came to an end. The Astros fall back to 13-16 while the Marlins improve to 15-14.

*Wandy Rodriguez wasn't at his best tonight, giving up his first 3 homeruns of the season and taking the Loss to fall to 3-3 on the year. Brad Mills gave him a chance to finish the game, but he surrendered a homerun and a double in the 9th without recording an out. His line: 8.0 IP / 6 H / 4 ER / 2 BB / 2 K. Brandon Lyon relieved Wandy in the 9th and struck out the side in a scoreless effort.

Observations:

*The Astros only collected 3 hits tonight - all singles, and only 2 by starters (Altuve and Buck). The third was by Brian Bogusevic in a pinch hitting role in the 9th.

*The Astros struck out 9 times tonight and only drew one walk (and the 3 hits). Hard to score when you don't get on base.

*JD Martinez returned to the lineup and batted third....and went 0 for 3 with a strikeout to continue his awful slump. His last hit came on May 1 against the Mets. He is 1 for 18 in May.

*Jordan Schafer went 0 for 3 tonight as well, and was hit in the knee by Zambrano. One thing that did concern me was that Schafer completely let up on a groundball out early in the game. I get that it was routine, but lets see some hustle out there. The entire team really looked like they didn't care tonight, and yesterdays effort was the same thing.

*Perhaps I put too much pressure on Schafer and the Astros. I asked him for a homerun and an Astros win on Twitter today for my birthday. I'm sure the pressure to not let me down was a contributing factor in the loss today.

*A bit of a weird night tonight with some odd plays. There was a strikeout/catcher interference double play called on the Astros (when Altuve stole second but Marlins catcher John Buck hit JD Martinez with his arm, so Altuve was called out anyway)....there was a Carlos Lee at bat where he fouled one ball into the Astros radio booth and broke an Astros logo light, and very nearly took out Jed Lowrie in the on deck circle.....and there was even a bunt attempt by the Marlins Emilio Bonifacio which he laid down but then ran into, causing him to be called out for interference. Very interesting night. 

Turning Point:

Giancarlo Stanton came up to the plate with a runner on in a scoreless game in the top of the 4th and made it 2-0 with one swing of the bat. It was the only runs the Marlins would need.

Man of the Match:

Yuck. The Astros only recorded 3 hits tonight, all singles. Brandon Lyon threw an excellent inning of relief, but i'm going with Travis Buck here. He's earning more playing time the way he has been playing. He finished 1 for 2 with a walk, and very easily could have been 2 for 2 if not for a great diving grab by Gaby Sanchez in the 8th.

Goat of the Game:

The Astros offense. Wandy had held the Marlins to 3 runs through the first 8 innings, which should realistically give them a fighting chance. But Zambrano was just too much for them tonight. Chris Johnson was probably the worst with his 0 for 3 night and 2 K's, but really nobody was very good tonight at the plate (other than Buck).

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