Friday, September 7, 2012

From the Office of the County Clerk: G138 - Astros @ Reds


Lucas Harrell (10-9, 3.81) vs Homer Bailey (10-9, 4.09)

While local thunderstorms were busy knocking out our power (temporarily), the Astros were busy putting on a power surge of their own. All of Houston's runs came on two big swings, in innings bookending the game, but it was enough for the Astros' 15th road win of the season, by a 5-3 margin. The club is now 43-95 overall. 

*Lucas Harrell didn't have his best stuff tonight, but he battled out of trouble in the 1st and the 5th (including a super nifty 1-2-5 double play), and still turned in another quality start. William Bradley's line: 6 IP / 7 H / 3 R / 3 ER / 4 BB / 5 K. The bullpen was rock solid after him, with Mickey Storey, Wesley Wright, Hector Ambriz, and Wilton Lopez combining for a 3 IP / 3 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 0 BB / 2 K line. Ambriz got the win, and Lopez picked up his third save.

Observations:

*Jose Altuve got the Astros off on the right foot, singling on the game's first pitch, then stealing his 29th base and eventually scoring. He grounded out in the top of 3rd, but was pulled from the game before the bottom half of the inning with an abdominal strain.

*Justin Maxwell gave Lucas Harrell a two-run lead before he ever took the mound, launching a full-count Homer Bailey fastball over the Reds' bullpen in left center. J-Max finished 1 for 5 with a K.

*Matt Dominguez started the game on the bench with a wrist issue, but he came in at third when Altuve was forced to leave, with Matt Downs sliding over to second. Dominguez's wrist must not be bothering him too badly, because he proceeded to go 2 for 3 thereafter, including a three-run blast against Aroldis Chapman (!) in the 9th that won Houston the game.

*Tyler Greene (1 for 4) swung the bat against Chapman with one out in the 9th and our power went out until after the game was over, but I'm told (captip to Moguls73 on Twitter) that he hit a bloop single.

*J.D. Martinez followed Greene's single (again I'm told) with a pinch-hit bloop single of his own, preceding Dominguez blast.

*Jimmy Paredes (1 for 5, K), Brett Wallace (1 for 4, BB), and Fernando Martinez (1 for 3) had the Astros' other hits.

Turning Point:

The 9th inning bloop-bloop-blast sequence is obviously the game winner, but without Lucas Harrell's catlike reflexes in the 5th, it may not have mattered. After a Brandon Phillips groundout to start the inning, Chris Heisey tripled, followed by an IBB to Joey Votto and a not-so-I BB to Ryan Ludwick, loading the bases. Jay Bruce singled on a bloop over Tyler Greene's head at short, giving the Reds a 3-2 lead at the time and keeping the bases loaded. Todd Frazier then chopped a ball to the left of the mound, but Harrell literally pounced on it and fired home to Chris Snyder for the force. Snyder checked first, but then threw to Dominguez at third and caught Ludwick off the base, for an inning-ending, rally-killing double play.

Man of the Match:

Matty D! And I don't mean Matt Downs.

Goat of the Game:

Wins have been scarce enough for Astros fans since June that we're just not gonna do a goat anymore when the good guys come out on top. So there.

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