Sunday, August 5, 2012

From the Office of the County Clerk: G109 - Astros @ Braves


Bud Norris (5-8, 5.02) vs Kris Medlen (2-1, 2.43)

For 5 1/2 innings, the Astros were looking good. The score was tied at 1, but Houston had outhit Atlanta 6-3, and Bud Norris looked sharper than converted reliever Kris Medlen. But in an all-too-familiar story, the wheels came off for the Astros late, and the Braves came away with a 6-1 win. The Astros bid farewell to Chipper Jones and long-time NL rival Atlanta by losing the season series, 4 games to 2, and dropping to 36-73 overall.

*Bud had been sharp in his last two starts, and he looked just as sharp today until the 6th. Unfortunately then he ran into big trouble, so his final 6 IP / 7 H / 4 R / 4 ER / 3 BB / 7 K line was uglier than it looked through the first five. The bullpen also had trouble limiting the damage, as Xavier Cedeno and Rhiner Cruz each gave up a run in their respective innings.

Observations:

*Justin Maxwell's big game yesterday earned him another start today, and he capitalized again, going 2 for 4 with a double that drove in what was the tying run at the time in the 6th.

*Brett Wallace also had a pair of hits, singling twice to finish 2 for 4.

*Marwin Gonzalez singled ahead of Maxwell's double in the 6th, scoring the Astros' only run. Marwin would end up 1 for 3 with a walk.

*Jose Altuve started a new hitting streak, going 1 for 5 with a single and a steal in the 7th.

Turning Point:

With the score tied 1-1 going to the bottom of the 6th, Bud gave up three singles scattered around two outs to load the bases, but no runs had yet crossed the plate. Weak-hitting shortstop Paul Janish came to bat next (.197 coming into today), so you liked Bud's chances of escaping with the score still tied, but his second pitch was way high and wild, allowing Chipper to score from third with the go-ahead run. Adding insult to insult, Janish then singled up the middle on a 2-2 pitch to drive in two more.

Man of the Match:

Justin Maxwell, again. Two straight strong showings from J-Max starting in center.

Goat of the Game:

Bud Norris. Tough to give it to him after five great innings, but the Janish at bat should have been an out, and it resulted in a three-run deficit instead.

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