What a comeback! The Astros fell behind early yet again, but this time rallied with 4 runs in the top of the 9th to erase the 4-1 deficit and beat the Marlins 5-4. The Astros move back to .500 at 4-4 while the Marlins fall to 3-6 despite outplaying the Astros for most of the game.
*Bud Norris continued our streak of having starters struggle at the start of the game, giving up 4 runs in his first 3 innings of work. After that he was able to buckle down however and put in a solid, if not spectacular, outing. His line: 6.0 IP / 6 H / 4 ER / 1 BB / 2 K. Rhiner Cruz picked up the Win with 2 innings of solid relief, and Brett Myers breezed through the bottom of the 9th for his second save of the season.
*Going to start from the end this time around...what a wild top of the 9th. The Astros hadn't even collected a hit since Altuve's infield single in the top of the 4th. Marlins closer Heath Bell came in to nail down the save and got a fly out to left for the first out. Then things unravelled for the fish. Altuve doubled off the wall in center and advanced to third on an error. Travis Buck came in as a pinch hitter and singled to left to drive in Altuve and narrow the deficit to 4-2. Jordan Schafer then reached on catchers interference, when his bat hit the glove of Brett Hayes during his swing. He was awarded first base. Lowrie flied out, to bring JD Martinez up with runners on 1st and 2nd and 2 out. With many of his friends and family in attendance, JD signled up the middle to make it a 4-3 game. Carlos Lee then took the first pitch he saw and drove it into right field to make it a tie game. The Marlins should have gotten out of the inning after that with a 4-4 tie....but Bogey came up and hit a fly ball to left field. Logan Morrison had trouble with it and got turned around, and dropped the ball - giving the Astros the 5-4 lead. The Astros sent 9 men to the plate in the 9th and scored 4 runs. Great resiliency from this young team.
*JD Martinez has now hit safely in all 8 games to start the season. He has been absolutely clutch this series. He went 1 for 3 tonight with 2 walks and the big RBI in the 9th.
*The Astros scored a run in the 1st inning for the 3rd straight game. Jordan Schafer did a great job of getting on base again, as he went 0 for 1 tonight but walked 3 times. His OBP is now .444 for the year. It makes a huge difference having a patient hitter at the top of the order that sets the table for us, and can still steal a bag (although he didn't attempt any steals tonight).
*The Astros are now 0 for 8 on the year with the bases loaded (0 for 2 tonight, both in the first inning). They have to do a better job of capitalizing on their chances. Carlos Zambrano was wild tonight, walking 6 in his 6 innings of work. The Astros had runners on 2nd and 3rd with 1 out in the 3rd, but again didn't score a run. Bogey tapped one back to the pitcher which resulted in JD getting thrown out returning to 3rd, and Chris Johnson hit a single to left which Carlos Lee tried to come home on from second, but was thrown out by a mile.
*The Astros left 10 on base tonight, including 7 through the first 4 innings.
*I've been arguing this for awhile now, but I still can't see how we can continue to bat Bogusevic in the 5 spot. He went 0 for 3 again tonight and is now batting .083 on the year. He keeps coming up with RBI chances and keeps blowing said chances. Either give Buck more regular playing time, as he is taking advantage of it - or move Bogey down in the order and give him a chance to work things out with less pressure in each at bat.
*Jed Lowrie went 0 for 5 tonight, but he had a couple of hard hit balls - including a flyout to the warning track in the 3rd that the FS Houston crew estimated at around 390 feet.
Altuve's double in the 9th. Heath Bell had already collected one out and the Astros hadn't even had a hit since Altuve's infield single in the 4th inning. The Astros were down 4-1 and all hope appeared to be lost. But Altuve's double and subsequent advance to third on the error by Bonifacio in center picking up the ball sparked the Astros rally and allowed them to come back and eventually take the lead.
Man of the Match:
Some argument here for Altuve and JD for sure, but going with Carlos Lee. I can't stress how impressed i've been with him this year. He's been an RBI machine with 9 already on the season and seems to be making great contact every at bat. Tonight he went 3 for 5 at the plate with 2 RBI, including driving in the game tying run in the top of the 9th. He also made an outstanding diving grab on a line drive at 1st.
Goat of the Game:
Brian Bogusevic. How he can still be batting 5th in our lineup is beyond me. He isn't even having good at bats - he swung at several bad pitches tonight and is not helping himself at all. I do have faith in Bogey....but just not in that 5 spot. Move him down in the order and let him work out his struggles, or give Buck more playing time.