Sunday, August 26, 2012

From the Office of the County Clerk: G128 - Astros @ Mets

Lucas Harrell (10-9, 4.04) vs Jeremy Hefner (2-5, 5.11)

Two bad pitches. Two big swings. Two runs scored, and that's how the final chapter ends for the Astros in the NL against their 1962 expansion brethren. Ike Davis singlehandedly sank the Astros, spoiling another sterling effort by Lucas Harrell. Davis stroked a pair of solo homers to beat Houston 2-1, dropping them to 40-88 on the season - two games worse than their 2011 pace to this point. 

*At least Lucas Harrell got off the hook for the loss. In spite of holding the Mets to just two hits over seven innings, he still left trailing because one of those hits was Davis' first home run of the day, and the Astros wouldn't get on the board until the 9th. Harrell's line: 7 IP / 2 H / 1 R / 1 ER / 2 BB / 7 K. Wilton Lopez pitched a scoreless 8th, but then served up the walk-off homer to Davis with one out in the 9th.


*Houston only managed three hits and a walk in the first eight innings against rookie starter Jeremy Hefner, never getting a runner past 2nd base until the 9th.

*Marwin Gonzalez (2 for 4, K) was the lone Astro to reach scoring position before the 9th, on a double in the 6th, then he doubled again in that 9th to drive in Houston's only run.

*Gonzalez started at 2B in place of Jose Altuve, but Altuve singled as a pinch hitter in the 9th, stole 2nd, then scored on Marwin's second double of the day.

*Brett Wallace (1 for 4, 2 K) had the Astros' only hit before the 6th, a 1st-inning single.

*Fernando Martinez (1 for 3, K) and Ben Francisco (1 for 4) also had singles late in the game.

*Chris Snyder (0 for 2) was back behind the plate for Harrell, and his five-game mini hitting streak was snapped, but he did reach base on a walk in the 5th.

Turning Point:

Obviously Ike Davis delivered the crucial blow in the bottom of the 9th, but the game could still be going had things gone just a little bit differently in the top half of the inning. After Altuve's single and Gonzalez' RBI double, Brett Wallace lined to first for the first out. That brought in Bobby Parnell to face Ben Francisco, who punched a 3-2 pitch into left field for a single, and Gonzalez came around third with the go-ahead run. However, Mets left fielder Lucas Duda threw a strike on the fly to home, and catcher Kelly Shoppach did a perfect job of blocking the plate, tagging Gonzalez out to preserve the 1-1 tie. Marwin was immediately ejected for throwing his batting helmet, but replays showed that the call was correct. Tyler Greene followed an IBB to Scott Moore by grounding out to first, ending the rally.

Man of the Match:

Lucas Harrell. If Roger Clemens returns to the Astros in September, at least he'll be able to commiserate with Lucas about a lack of run support and losing games you should have won. 

Goat of the Game:

Wilton Lopez. He was trusted to keep the Astros in the game, but one mistake was one too many this time around.