Sunday, May 13, 2012

From the Office of the County Clerk - G34: Astros (15-18) @ Pirates (15-18)

Wandy Rodriguez (3-3, 2.14) vs AJ Burnett (1-2, 6.08)

The Astros carried a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the 9th, but blew the save and eventually lost the game to the Pirates 3-2 in 12 innings to lose the series. The Astros drop to 15-19 and the Pirates improve to 16-18.

*Wandy Rodriguez pitched a gem. It was against a weak offense of course, but he still had a great game and arguably should have been left in to pitch the 9th and finish off the game. His final line was 8.0 IP / 3 H / 1 ER / 1 BB / 7 K. He only threw 94 pitches in his 8 innings of work, 72 of which went for strikes. Brett Myers blew his first save of the year in the 9th. Lopez and Wright also saw work, as did Fernando Rodriguez - who eventually took the loss.

Observations:

*The offense was, obviously, bad....again. And against a pitcher that has had little/no success this year. They only managed the 2 runs on 6 hits, and only walked twice (as opposed to 6 strikeouts).

*The blown save was Myers first of the season in 10 attempts. He still has a very nice 1.42 ERA in a very tough role - and one which he hasn't had to man for many years.

*JD Martinez continued his slump in his return to the lineup, going 0 for 4. He is now hitting a paltry .221 on the year (although he does sport a very nice .341 OBP).

*Carlos Lee and Jason Castro were the two 'stars' of the offense tonight. Both went 2 for 5. Castro drove in a run (CJ drove in the other), and Lee scored both Astros runs.

*Schafer/Lowrie/Martinez batted 1-2-3, and went a combined 0 for 14. Ouch. Tough to score when the top of your order isn't setting things up.

*The Astros offense is terrible as of late and needs to get things turned around. They need to walk more, they need to put the ball in play more, and they simply need to start finding some holes in the defense to get guys on base and cash them in. When they do get opportunities, they simply aren't capitalizing on them like they were at the start of the year. We know our pitching isn't going to be great this year, outside of Wandy and Bud, and the odd start from the 'other' starters, so we need our offense to steal a few games for us.

Turning Point:

The Alvarez sac fly in the 9th which tied up the game for the Pirates. The Pirates offense had been quiet since the first inning. Alvarez tied the game and sent it to extras, where the Astros would eventually lose.

Man of the Match:

Quiet night for the offense. Going to give it to Wandy Rodriguez. He could/should have pitched the 9th and we very well could have been talking about his 3 hit complete game win tonight. As it was, it was a great outing - and he lowered his already stellar ERA to an impressive 1.99 on the year.

Goat of the Game:

Brett Myers - have to give it to him. When you are the closer, sometimes you get to be the hero....and sometimes you have to be the goat. Tonight he blew the lead and cost the Astros a chance at winning a series that in reality they should have won.

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