Derek Holland (3-2, 3.78) vs Lucas Harrell (2-3, 4.40)
The Astros fell behind 4-0 early, but fought back behind a trio of homeruns to take a 6-5 victory over the Rangers tonight. The Astros improve to 18-22 while the Rangers fall to 25-16.
*Lucas Harrell was....Lucas Harrellish tonight. He wasn't fantastic but he was actually pretty darn good - and he was much better than his line showed thanks to some shoddy defense behind him. His line: 5.2 IP / 5 H / 4 R / 1 ER / 3 BB / 6 K. He picked up the win thanks to some rare run support tonight. Abad, Lopez, Wright & Lyon each saw game action, as did Brett Myers who picked up his 10th save on the year.
*the game wasn't a complete victory unfortunately. Jordan Schafer hurt his ankle when he collided with Justin Maxwell. Schafer had to leave the game. Luckily x-rays on his ankle came back negative, but he is expected to miss game action.
*Justin Maxwell had a huge night at the plate - see the 'Man of the Match' below.
*The 3 homeruns the Astros hit tonight were a season high for the team. Snyder, Lee and Maxwell each went deep.
*Brad Mills must read Astros County! Not only did he take my advice and put in Chris Snyder (who responded with a 1 for 3 game and a homerun), but he also moved JD Martinez down to the 7 hole, where he went 1 for 3 with a double and a walk. Ok, maybe I shouldn't take credit...but nonetheless I was glad to see Mills make these 2 moves.
*Despite JD's better game, he still struck out twice. This is something JD will need to work on.
*The Astros scored 6 runs on 7 hits, with 4 walks and 9 strikeouts tonight. I hate to be picky since the offense finally had a bit of a surge, but the Astros are still striking out far too much as a team. We need to start putting some of these balls into play where at least we have a chance of something good happening.
*Overall a very nice night for the Astros in an exciting game. They go for the series win tomorrow. With Schafer likely out, we will have to see what Mills does with the lineup. If Schafer misses any length of time, this could be a nice opportunity to give Maxwell some every day playing time and see how he responds. It's tough to judge a guy based on only pinch hits and very irregular starts, as it is very tough to get into a groove as a hitter.
Going with the Justin Maxwell homerun here. The Astros were still down 4-3, when Maxwell came up and put the Astros ahead 5-4. It was a big swing after the Astros had trailed 4-0 at one point and it seemed like a huge hole to dig out of.
Man of the Match:
Justin Maxwell. 1 for 2, 2 walks, a HUGE 2 run homerun, 2 runs scored and a stolen base. A huge day for Maxwell.
Goat of the Game:
Jordan Schafer. 0 for 1 with a strikeout, and wasn't even paying attention to an already diving Justin Maxwell in the outfield on the play he was injured on. If Maxwell already has a bead on it and is diving, you have to get back there to back him up to at least hold Murphy to a double. Obviously it's tough to say without being on the field and hearing if either player called it, but it sure looked like Maxwell had dibs on the ball and Schafer simply kept running right into him.