Lucas Harrell (10-9, 3.86) vs Lance Lynn (15-7, 3.95)
In their just-completed four game series against Philadelphia, the Astros averaged six runs and nine hits per game against a still-impressive Phillies pitching staff. That backdrop only serves to underscore how well the Cardinals have pitched this series. After Kyle Lohse held Houston to no runs and four hits over seven innings last night, Lance Lynn said, "Me too!" The Astros managed only three hits before the 9th inning tonight, and they fall to St. Louis, 5-0. The team is now 48-101 on the season.
*Lucas Harrell was one out away from a quality start for the second start in a row, but his overall numbers were better tonight than his last time out. Unfortunately two of the five hits he surrendered were home runs, so he finished with this line: 5.2 IP / 5 H / 3 R / 3 ER / 1 BB / 7 K. Hector Ambriz retired all four batters he faced, striking out three, but Mickey Storey allowed singles to all three of his hitters, leaving with none out, one in, and two on in the 8th for Chuckie Fick. Fick got Houston out of the inning, but not before a second of Storey's runners scored on a sac fly.
*Only three hits for Houston tonight against Lance Lynn, in 6.2 IP. They added two more in the 9th off Joe Kelly, but Jason Motte came in and shut down the rally threat.
*Brandon Laird got the start at third and had his best game as an Astro so far, going 2 for 4 with a double and a K.
*Jose Altuve also doubled, in the game's first at bat, and finished 1 for 4 with a K.
*Brett Wallace hit safely for the fourth straight game, going 1 for 4 with a K.
*Jed Lowrie did Wallace one better and has now hit safely in five straight, ending up 1 for 4.
*Justin Maxwell was the most offensive of the non-contributors on offense, going 0 for 4 with 3 Ks, but he did have another great diving catch in center to rob Skip Schumaker in the 8th.
The Astros never even got a runner as far as third base until the 9th inning, by which time they were already down 5-0, so this one was over early. After striking out the side in the 1st, Lucas Harrell allowed a leadoff single to Allen Craig in the 2nd. Yadier Molina flew out to left, but David Freese then followed with a two-run shot to center field, which put the Cardinals in front for good.
Man of the Match:
Brandon Laird, for his first multi-hit performance with Houston.
Goat of the Game:
Mickey Storey probably had the worst night of any Astro individually, but the offense was collectively woebegone.