Wednesday, August 15, 2012

From the Office of the County Clerk: G118 - Astros @ Cubs


Lucas Harrell (9-8, 3.97) vs Chris Volstad (0-8, 6.94)

The NL Central-leading Cincinnati Reds have a .603 winning percentage this season - that means, basically, the Reds have won three out of every five games they've played this year. Right now, for this moment, at least for the last five days, the Astros can make the same claim. Houston demolished the Cubs by a 10-1 margin, they've officially exceeded in August their win total from all of July, and they improved to 39-79 overall.

*Lucas Harrell became the Astros' first double-digit winner this season, notching his 10th victory on the strength of another very impressive outing. His eight innings today marked his second-longest start of the season, as he finished with a 8 IP / 6 H / 1 R / 1 ER / 2 BB / 7 K line. Rhiner Cruz walked one and struck out one as he pitched a scoreless 9th.

Observations:

*Huge day for the Astros on offense, led by three home runs and 14 hits. Those 14 hits were their most since July 20 in a 13-8 loss at Arizona. The three homers were their most since June 25 in a 8-7 loss to San Diego.

*The 9-run margin of victory made this Houston's second biggest blowout of 2012, trailing only their 12-0 win over the Dodgers way back on April 22.

*Houston's first homer came off the bat of Brett Wallace - a three-run shot to deep center in the 3rd that might not yet have landed. Wally finished 1 for 5.

*The second home run of the night was another titanic three-run shot, this one in the 6th off the bat of Fernando Martinez. It was F-Mart's first homer as an Astro, and he finished 1 for 4.

*Scott Moore had the third home run, a solo shot in the 7th, and he added two doubles to go 3 for 5 with 2 runs scored and 2 RBI.

*Jose Altuve also had a pair of doubles and went 3 for 5, with 1 RBI and 2 runs scored.

*Tyler Greene started again at short and went 2 for 5 with a run scored from the lead-off spot.

*Brian Bogusevic matched Greene's line exactly, going 2 for 5 with a run scored.

*Every Houston starter - including Harrell - had at least one hit, except for Brandon Barnes, who went 0 for 4. But Barnes still had a RBI, reaching on an error by Starlin Castro and scoring on Martinez' HR.

Turning Point:

Leading 1-0 after a pair of doubles in the 1st, that score held for Houston until the top of the 3rd. Harrell started the inning by striking out, but Tyler Greene and Jose Altuve followed with back-to-back singles. That brought up Brett Wallace, who completely destroyed Chris Volstad's 2-2 curveball to stake the Astros to an early 4-0 lead. The Cubs would not get a hit until Volstad singled with two outs in the bottom of the inning, so it was clear that the deficit meant that Chicago was in trouble.

Man of the Match:

Lucas Harrell. The offense was outstanding tonight, but Harrell made sure that not much would be needed.

Goat of the Game:

Everybody contributed tonight. No goat!

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