Saturday, August 18, 2012

From the Office of the County Clerk: G120 - Astros v. Diamondbacks

Wade Miley (12-8, 3.02) vs Dallas Keuchel (1-4, 5.29)

The Astros returned home for their latest Flashback Friday, donning again their old blue & gold uniforms that saw two walk-off wins the previous weekend. They couldn't recapture any of that magic, however, and Chris Johnson's new team got the 3-1 win. Houston loses their 81st game, against 39 wins.

*Dallas Keuchel delivered his third consecutive quality start, but was the all-too-familiar victim of poor run support. It's unsurprising that Keuchel's results have improved as his control has improved; he's thrown better than 64% of his pitches for strikes in those last three starts, after never breaking 60% in any of the preceding five games. Kid Keuchy's line tonight: 6.2 IP / 4 H / 2 R / 2 ER / 2 BB / 3 K. Fernando Rodriguez went 1.1 and allowed a run on back-to-back doubles in the 8th, before Wilton Lopez pitched a perfect 9th.


*It was a night of missed opportunities for the Astros, as they outhit Arizona 11-6 but still only managed one run. Going 2 for 11 with RISP and leaving 11 runners on base will do that for you.

*Marwin Gonzalez had a double for Houston's only extra base hit, going 1 for 3, and he scored their only run.

*Tyler Greene went 1 for 3 and drove in Gonzalez on a sac fly in the 5th.

*Jose Altuve went 2 for 5 for his third straight multi-hit game, raising his average to .306 - the highest it's been since he was at .308 on July 1. He also likely saved two runs on defense with a great diving catch in the 7th.

*Ben Francisco also had a multi-hit game, singling twice to go 2 for 4.

*Dallas Keuchel got his first big league hit on a single in the 2nd. He went 1 for 2.

*Brett Wallace came in on a double switch in the 7th and went 1 for 2, but he started the night on the bench due to Wade Miley's left-handedness. Steve Pearce started at 1B in his place and went 0 for 5 with 2 K as the Astros' cleanup hitter.

Turning Point:

Down 3-1 in the bottom of the 8th, the Astros started the inning with a Justin Maxwell walk and a Ben Francisco single, putting the tying runs on base with no out. Brandon Barnes botched a sacrifice bunt, however, popping the bunt to Chris Johnson in foul ground for the first out. Jason Castro flew out to left and Brian Bogusevic struck out thereafter to end Houston's last, best scoring threat.

Man of the Match:

Dallas Keuchel. If he can keep his control under control like this, that means good things for Houston's future.

Goat of the Game:

Steve Pearce. He left five runners on base by himself; even one hit and this could have been a very different game.