Mike Leake (3-6, 4.25) vs Lucas Harrell (7-7, 4.24)
There are no happy endings in Astroland these days. Tonight's game was pushed to the back burner when news broke that the last 2005 Astro is now a Pirate, but it looked like the night would be at least bittersweet as Houston was headed to victory. Shame on us for hoping. Astros lose, 4-2, and fall within a game of their 2011 pace at 34-64.
*Speaking of 2005 - remember Roger Clemens that season? How he often couldn't buy a win, no matter how well he pitched? Well, Lucas Harrell is your new Roger Clemens (and in Wandy's departure, your staff ace). Lucas' line tonight: 7 IP / 7 H / 1 R / 1 ER / 3 BB / 6 K. Wilton Lopez did his job with a scoreless 8th, but then Francisco Cordero blew it all to hell with a 0.2 IP / 3 H / 3 R / 3 ER / 2 BB / 0 K line. Houston's only remaining Rodriguez then did what "CoCo" couldn't and got the 27th out.
*Justin Maxwell provided all of Houston's scoring against Mike Leake with a 2-run HR in the 4th, his 10th of the season. J-Max went 1 for 4 with a K.
*Jose Altuve had this third multi-hit game in four tries, and now has hits in four straight, going 2 for 4 again tonight.
*Chris Johnson also had his third multi-hit game in the last four, and he's now hit in five straight. CJ was 2 for 4 with a run scored.
*Marwin Gonzalez (1 for 3, BB, K), Ben Francisco (1 for 4, K), and Harrell (1 for 2) had Houston's remaining hits.
Drew Friggin' Stubbs. New closer Cordero came on to lock down the save, and he recorded the first out in short order, but then Zack Cozart singled, bringing Stubbs to the plate. Cordero's 2-0 pitched landed in the Crawford Boxes, and no, Virginia, there is no Santa Claus.
Man of the Match:
Lucas Harrell. At least he got a no decision this time, I guess...
Goat of the Game:
Francisco Cordero. Thanks for helping us miss Brett Myers.