Thursday, September 20, 2012

From the Office of the County Clerk: G150 - Astros @ Cardinals


Bud Norris (5-12, 4.93) vs Jaime Garcia (4-7, 4.24)

Sayonara, St. Louis. Maybe the Astros could tip their caps to the Cardinals for well-pitched games the last two nights, but today, they have only themselves to blame. On three separate occasions, the Astros loaded the bases with only one out, but in the subsequent at bats, they never got a hit and only managed to score once, on a bases-loaded walk. It was an afternoon full of missed opportunities, and the result is that Houston bids farewell to the site of their only National League championship with a frustrating 5-4 loss. They're swept for the season in St. Louis and are now 48-102 in 2012.

*For 5.1 innings, the only runs that Cardinal killer BudChuck Norris had allowed came on one big swing by Allen Craig with two on in the 1st. But he walked the final two batters he faced, then Wesley Wright let them score on a Carlos Beltran double, leaving Bud with this line: 5.1 IP / 6 H / 5 R / 5 ER / 5 BB / 7 K. After the double, Wright got the next two hitters, then Hector Ambriz (1 IP), Jose Valdez (0.2 IP), and Xavier Cedeno (0.1 IP) combined for two scoreless innings to keep the Astros in the game.

Observations:

*Collectively, the Astros were 3 for 14 with RISP and left 11 LOBsters stranded. That number would have been even higher were it not for grounding into two key double plays.

*Brandon Laird only had two official ABs, but he led the offense anyway in odd fashion. He went 1 for 2 with a walk and two RBIs - one on the bases-loaded walk referenced above, and the other on a single up the middle that was headed into a glove before it hit the second base bag and took a sharp left into left field.

*Brandon Barnes did well, as well, going 2 for 4 with a K, a double, a run scored, a RBI, and a spectacular diving catch in center field that ought to end up on SportsCenter.

*Justin Maxwell had a RBI double in the 3rd and finished 1 for 3 with a run scored, two walks, and two strikeouts.

*Matt Dominguez went 3 for 5 and is now on a six-game hitting streak.

*Jose Altuve went 2 for 5 with a run scored, a strikeout, and a caught stealing.

*Scott Moore had Houston's 10th hit in his only at bat and scored a run.

*Every Astro hitting 1-7 left at least one runner on, except for Laird, but J.D. Martinez was worst of all. He went 0 for 4 with 2 K and 7 LOB.

Turning Point:

After St. Louis took a 5-3 lead in the 6th, Houston answered with a run in the top of the 7th, so they went to the 8th down 5-4. Brian Bogusevic led off with a walk, followed by a sac bunt from Carlos Corporan, then walks to Jed Lowrie and Matt Downs loaded the bases. Jose Altuve and Brett Wallace came next, but both struck out against Fernando Salas to let St. Louis escape with the win.

Man of the Match:

Brandon Laird again, for his bizarro two-RBI day.

Goat of the Game:

Every Astro hitter who didn't hit with runners on. Which was pretty much everyone except for Laird.

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