Wednesday, August 8, 2012

From the Office of the County Clerk: G111 - Astros v. Nationals


Ross Detwiler (6-4, 3.02) vs Jordan Lyles (2-8, 5.95)

As the latest of their fan-friendly initiatives in 2012, the Astros have begun extending the end time of their remaining home games to going on midnight CDT. This will help fans adjust to the increased slate of Pacific Time Zone games when Houston moves to the AL West next season. As an added bonus, fans get more than 9 innings of baseball with each ticket purchase! Unfortunately for the 2012 Astros, extra innings mean more losses. At least they didn't make themselves an Internet laughingstock again, but still Houston loses 3-2 in 12, falling to 0-11 in extras and 36-75 overall.

*Jordan Lyles was rock solid last night, limiting the Nationals offense to two runs and three hits over seven innings complete. Both runs scored in the 2nd on a Danny Espinosa home run, but Lyles held Washington well in check after that, finishing with a 7 IP / 3 H / 2 R / 2 ER / 3 BB / 6 K line. The Houston bullpen was good again, with Wesley Wright, Fernando Rodriguez, Wilton Lopez, and Mickey Storey combining for four scoreless innings before Storey finally allowed the winning run to cross in the 12th.

Observations:

*Houston's only two runs likewise came on an early 2-run homer, theirs by Ben Francisco in the 1st. Francisco went 1 for 4 with a walk.

*Jose Altuve walked ahead of Francisco's homer to account for the other run, adding a single later on to go 1 for 4 with a steal.

*Steve Pearce singled twice to go 2 for 4 with a walk.

*Matt Downs (1 for 3) was the only other Astro with a hit, but Scott Moore, Chris Snyder, and Carlos Corporan each added a walk.

*Brandon Barnes started in center field and made his MLB debut, going 0 for 3.

Turning Point:

After Washington scored in the top of the 12th to take the 3-2 lead, Pearce led off the bottom of the inning with a single off Nationals closer Tyler Clippard to give Houston hope. Moore popped up and J.D. Martinez struck out to make it one on with two away, but then Corporan worked a full-count walk to put the tying run in scoring position, and the winning run on base. That brought up Brett Wallace, who drove a 2-2 pitch deep to the wall in left center, but Roger Bernadina made a running, leaping, heartbreaking catch to end the game.

Man of the Match:

Jordan Lyles. This may have been his best game of the year, but as so often has been the story for Houston starters this season, the bats couldn't do enough in support to earn him a much-deserved win.

Goat of the Game:

I don't want to give it to Mickey Storey, who only made one bad pitch - a lead-off double to Michael Morse that turned into the winning run. Storey has pitched well in his brief stint in the big leagues so far, but his one mistake last night cost Houston the game.

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