Friday, September 14, 2012

From the Office of the County Clerk: G145 - Astros v. Phillies


Cole Hamels (14-6, 3.03) vs Edgar Gonzalez (2-0, 1.74)

Some nights you've got it, and some nights you don't. For the second game in a row, Philadelphia jumped out to an early 4-0 lead. Last night, the Astros turned that around, but tonight, the Phillies were far from done. Houston never got closer than 5-3 and ultimately fell to the Phillies by an ugly 12-6 score. The Astros now sit one defeat away from consecutive 100-loss seasons, at 46-99.

*Whatever magic Edgar Gonzalez may have harnessed in his first two starts back in the Bigs was not with him at all tonight. He was down 3-0 before recording an out, and was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the 4th, ending his night with this line: 4 IP / 6 H / 5 R / 5 ER / 1 BB / 2 K. The shutdown bullpen from last night was nowhere to be found tonight, as Chuckie Fick (0.1 IP, 2 ER), Fernando Rodriguez (0.2 IP, allow two inherited runners to score), Jose Valdez (1.2 IP, 2 ER), and Enerio Del Rosario (0.1 IP, 3 ER) all dug the hole even deeper for Houston. Rhiner Cruz finally ended the night with two scoreless frames, but the cows had long since left the barn.

Observations:

*It's a shame Houston's pitching staff was so awful tonight, because their offense actually did relatively well against Cole Hamels and the Phillies. The four runs Hamels surrendered were the most he's allowed since July 27 against Atlanta.

*Matt Downs came into tonight 2 for 4 with a walk and a double in his career against Hamels, so he got the start in RF and justified Tony D's decision. He launched a two-run homer into the Crawford Boxes in the 4th, finishing 1 for 3.

*Jose Altuve had his second straight multi-hit game, going 3 for 5 with a double, a K, and two runs scored.

*Justin Maxwell's hitting streak is now at 8 games, as he launched his team-leading 15th home run onto the train tracks in the 5th. He finished 1 for 4 with a K and two runs scored.

*Matt Dominguez added his own multi-hit attack, going 2 for 4 with a run scored.

*Brett Wallace (1 for 5, 2 K) and Jed Lowrie (1 for 4, K) had Houston's other two hits.

Turning Point:

There was still plenty of scoring to come from both sides after the 1st, but Philadelphia took control of this one early and never looked back. Jimmy Rollins led off the game with a solo homer, followed by a walk and a steal from Juan Pierre. Chase Utley singled to make it 2-0, then stole second himself, before Ryan Howard drove him home on a ground-rule double. Edgar Gonzalez got "Chooch" Ruiz to fly to right for the first out, and Domonic Brown grounded out for the second, but then John Mayberry singled to score Howard and to give Cole Hamels a 4-0 lead before he ever took the mound.

Man of the Match:

Jose Altuve. He's now hit safely in all three of his starts since returning from an abdominal strain.

Goat of the Game:

Every Astros pitcher save for Rhiner Cruz. No one had an answer for the Phillies tonight.

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