A.J. Burnett (11-3, 3.59) vs Dallas Keuchel (1-2, 4.03)
If you're gonna lose your 10th straight game, I guess it hurts less to lose the game early on, rather than saving the heartbreak and heartache all for the end again. Dallas Keuchel threw BP to the first 8 Pirate hitters, then he pitched a great game after that. But BP pitching in an official game still officially counts, so Houston's 100th game ended the way 65 others had before. Astros lose 5-3, they're 2-23 in their last 25, and 34-66 overall.
*Kid Keuchy couldn't keep the ball in the park early on, surrendering a single, a walk, and three home runs over the first inning plus. He then retired the next 10 straight, ultimately making through the 6th without allowing any more damage, but you knew that Houston's anemic offense would have difficulty overcoming a 5-run deficit. Keuchel's line: 6 IP / 5 H / 5 R / 5 ER / 2 BB / 2 K. EDR, Xavier Cedeno, and Rhiner Cruz held the Pirates to just three singles over the final three shutout innings.
*Houston mustered only two singles and a walk off of A.J. Burnett through the first 7 innings, but Burnett evidently began to tire in the 8th.
*Chris Johnson broke up the shutout with a leadoff homer in the 8th against Burnett, and he'd add a RBI single with two outs in the 9th off of Joel Hanrahan. C.J. finished 2 for 3 with a walk and a K.
*Carlos Corporan had Houston's first hit of the night - a 3rd inning single - then had their second HR in the 8th against Burnett. He ended up 2 for 3 with a K.
*Scott Moore had a 7th inning single and a 9th inning walk, the latter of which led to the Astros' final run. He went 1 for 3 with a K.
*No other Houston hitter ever reached base.
After giving up three runs to the first four batters of the game, Kid Keuchy got the next two hitters to escape the 1st. But then a walk to Rod Barajas and a homer by Clint Barmes starting the 2nd dug the 5-run hole that the Astros would never climb out of.
Man of the Match:
Chris Johnson. Directly responsible for two-thirds of the Astros offense, with a nice clutch hit in the 9th, even if it ultimately was for naught.
Goat of the Game:
It's tough to give it to him, but - Dallas Keuchel. He pitched very well after he settled down, but his rough beginning spelled the Astros' end.