Bud Norris (2-1, 4.58) vs James McDonald (2-1, 2.70)
Bud Norris was terrific and the Astros scored the only run of the game on a double play, allowing the 'Stros to sneak away from game one of their weekend series with the Pirates with a 1-0 win. The Astros improve to 15-17 while the Pirates fall to 14-18.
*Bud Norris had a fantastic game. It was against a weaker offense, but he still showed great control and command in picking up his third win of the year tonight. His line: 6.0 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 8 K. Wesley Wright and Wilton Lopez each pitched a scoreless inning and picked up a hold, and Brett Myers locked down the 9th for his 9th save in 9 chances. He has a 0.77 ERA this year.
*Jose Altuve was finally rewarded for his early season success at the plate with a game batting from the 3 hole tonight. Unfortunately he went 0 for 3, but did draw a walk and still has a very good .373 OBP on the year.
*The Astros struck out 8 times tonight (Schafer x 3, Lowrie, Lee, Maxwell, Norris) and walked only twice (Altuve and Castro).
*The Astros now have only two batters hitting over .300 on the season - and one is a surprise. Altuve at .325 and Chris Johnson at .304. Jed Lowrie dipped just below .300 with his 1 for 4 night tonight and sits at .299.
*The individual OBP, however, are still very good. Of the 8 starters tonight (not going to include Norris), 7 have OBP over .300. The lowest (after tonights game) are Jason Castro at .284, followed by Justin Maxwell at .325. The highest is Jed Lowrie at .382 followed closely by Altuve at .373.
*Lowrie had a double tonight, the only extra base hit of the Astros 4 hits on the night. They have been hitting a lot of singles lately and are going to need to rack up more extra bases again to keep the offense rolling.
*Brad Mills had his first ejection of the year in the 8th inning. He was tossed by none other than the infamous Jim Joyce of blown perfect game fame.
Justin Maxwell grounded into a double play in the top of the 2nd. Brian Bogusevic scored on the play, the only run that would be scored in the entire game.
Man of the Match:
Bud Norris was terrific and was easily the Man of the Match tonight.
Goat of the Game:
Jordan Schafer went 0 for 4 with 3 strikeouts at the top of the order. The leadoff man has to do a better job of putting the ball in play at least.