Wednesday, October 3, 2012

From the Office of the County Clerk: G162 - Astros @ Cubs

Edgar Gonzalez (3-1, 4.15) vs Travis Wood (6-13, 4.39)

And so it goes. With a chance to end their National League tenure on a sweep of the Cubs - the same way the .Colt 45s began their existence 51 years ago - the Astros rallied back from a 4-1 deficit to make it 4-4 going to the 9th. But a season of many disappointments ended with one more, and the Cubs come away with a 5-4 walk-off win. The 2012 season will now officially go down as the worst in Houston franchise history, as the Astros finish their last trip through the NL with a 55-107 record.

*Edgar Gonzalez's arrival in Houston roughly coincided with their September turnaround, and the team had won four of his five starts so far. But today, Edgar could not match the stellar performances of those who went before him in the preceding three games, and he finished his 2012 return to the big leagues with a 3.1 IP / 5 H / 4 R / 4 ER / 4 BB / 1 K line. The bullpen was big until the end, with Fernando Abad (0.1 IP, BB), Jose Valdez (1.1 IP), Mickey Storey (1 IP, K), Fernando Rodriguez (1 IP, K), and Hector Ambriz (1.2 IP, 3 BB, 2 K) keeping the Cubs off the board again until two outs in the 9th. But Ambriz could not get the final out, allowing a bases-loaded single to Bryan LaHair that lost Houston the game.


*The Astros didn't have much success against Cubs pitching today until the 8th, but Justin Maxwell made it seven straight games with a HR for Houston, clubbing a three-run shot in that 8th and finishing 2 for 3 with a walk. Maxwell ended the season with a team-leading 18 home runs.

*Carlos Corporan got Houston on the board in the 1st with a two-out RBI single, ending up 2 for 4 on his day.

*Jed Lowrie went 0 for 3, but he walked and scored on Corporan's single in the 1st.

*Jimmy Paredes got his first start since September 25 and went 1 for 3 with a walk and 2 Ks.

*Tyler Greene started in place of the injured Jose Altuve and finished 1 for 5 with 2 Ks.

Turning Point:

It all came down to the bottom of the 9th, and Hector Ambriz began the inning by walking Anthony Recker. Steve Clevenger popped out on a bunt attempt for out #1, but Tony Campana followed that with a bunt single that put runners on first and second. Ambriz got Adrian Cardenas to K for out #2, then walked Starlin Castro after that to load the bases. Tony DeFrancesco left Ambriz in the game after a conference on the mound, but Bryan LaHair lined the first pitch he saw into right field for the walk-off single.

Man of the Match:

Justin Maxwell. Ending his season with a bang, and he was one of the brighter spots of the year for these Astros.

Goat of the Game:

Hector Ambriz. This was not the way that the Astros wanted to say goodbye to the National League, but... c'est la vie.