Tuesday, June 5, 2012

From the Office of the County Clerk - G55: Cardinals @ Astros

Jaime Garcia (3-3, 3.78) vs Lucas Harrell (4-4, 4.71)

The Astros offense caught fire early in the game, and the pitching survived a 9th inning scare to preserve a 9-8 Astros victory over the Cardinals at Minute Maid Park. The Astros scored 4 in the first, 2 in the second and one each in the fourth, sixth and seventh innings, and it was just enough as the Cardinals scored 4 times in the 9th to make the game much closer than it needed to be. The Astros now improve to 24-31.

*Lucas Harrell had himself a pretty nice night in picking up his 5th win of the season. His line: 6.0 IP / 8 H / 4 R (3 ER) / 0 BB / 1 K. All 3 earned runs came off an Adams 3 run homerun in the 3rd inning. Wright and Lopez preserved the lead, Carpenter gave up 3 runs in only 0.1 IP to make it close, and Brett Myers was able to pickup his 14th save despite giving up a 2 run homerun to Furcal in the 9th (only one run was credited to Myers).

Observations:

*The Astros scored their 9 runs on 13 hits and drew 3 walks.

*Every Astros hitter had at least one hit, except for Harrell who struck out 3 times in 3 at bats. All starters besides Lowrie, Snyder and Harrell scored at least one run.

*Despite the offensive outburst, the Astros did strikeout an alarmingly high 11 times.

*Jose Altuve batted leadoff and had a very nice 4 for 5 night at the dish with 3 runs scored. 2 of his hits were doubles.

*Altuve's night could have been even better if not for a caught stealing and an error.

*Justin Maxwell hit a 2 run homerun and Brian Bogusevic hit a solo homerun.

*Maxwell batted 3rd, and with yet another good night is now up to .250/.341/.487 on the year. Not bad for a waiver wire pickup.

*Speaking of which, how many waiver wire pickups end up batting 3rd with their new team in the same season? Very, very few I would guess. This is partially 'credit' to the Astros weak offense, but Maxwell has also capitalized on his opportunities and has earned the right to bat in a spot where he can drive in some runs.

Turning Point:

The bottom of the 1st. The Astros had been giving up first inning runs with scary consistency lately, digging themselves into holes before they even got started. Tonight it was their turn, as they counted 4 runs in their half of the 1st and never looked back.

Man of the Match:

So many huge offense nights that it is hard to pick just one. Justin Maxwell's 2 run homer in the 2nd was huge, as it gave the Astros their 5th and 6th runs, right before the Cardinals picked up their 2nd, 3rd and 4th runs in the top of 3rd. It was the difference between what could have been a tie game, and what ended up being still a decent lead.

Goat of the Game:

David Carpenter was awful in relief, and Brett Myers nearly blew the lead. Give it to Carpenter for almost erasing what seemed like a very comfortable lead in the top of the 9th.

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