Saturday, April 13, 2013

From the Office of the County Clerk: G10 - Astros @ Angels

Bud Norris (1-1, 3.18) vs Tommy Hanson (1-0, 4.50)

Did you know that money wins baseball games? You'd think so, from all the salary talk being bandied about before this Astros/Angels series. But no, dear citizens: baseball players win baseball games, and last night, the Astros players did a great job of just that. Bud Norris forgot that he's not supposed to pitch well on the road, and he dominated last night in Anaheim, leading Houston to a 5-0 triumph. The win improves the team to 4-6, and moves them past Seattle back up to third place in the AL West.

On the Mound:

*Bud Norris was in full Studly Cuddly BudChuck mode last night, and he pitched every bit like a guy deserving of the title "staff ace." Bud never allowed the Cardinals Angels to get a runner past first base, knocking them cold with a 7 IP / 3 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 2 BB / 5 K line.

*Hector Ambriz pitched a perfect 8th with a K before allowing Albert Pujols to start the 9th with a single, but then Wesley Wright got Josh Hamilton, and Rhiner Cruz got Mark Trumbo to pop into your typical 2-4 double play to end the game.

At the Plate:

*Justin Maxwell just keeps swinging a hot stick. The Silver Hammer launched his first home run of the year, as part of his fifth multi-hit game so far, extending his hitting streak to 8 by going 2 for 4 with a double, a HR, 2 RBI, a BB, and a K.

*Rick Ankiel finally improved on that .000 BABIP, striking out twice, but adding a single and a double to go 2 for 4 with 3 RBI.

*Jose Altuve also had his fifth multi-hit game of 2013, going 3 for 5 with a run scored.

*Carlos Pena added a double to his team-leading total of 4, going 1 for 4 with a R, a BB, and a K.

*Jason Castro (1 for 5, R) and Chris Carter (1 for 4, R, BB, K) had Houston's other hits.

*Matt Dominguez didn't have a hit, but he did walk twice in four PA.

Turning Point:

Jose Altuve started the game with a single on Tommy Hanson's second pitch, then Justin Maxwell doubled to deep center two pitches later, driving home Jose for a 1-0 Astros lead. Maxwell was out at third trying to stretch the double into a triple, but Houston followed with three more singles and a walk to bump the score to 3-0 and put BudChuck in the driver's seat.

Man of the Match:

Bud Norris. Salary chatter aside, the Angels do have a very potent lineup, and to hold those guys to just three singles and no runs over seven innings is an outstanding performance.

Goat of the Game:

Marwin Gonzalez. 0 for 4 with a K and 5 LOB, and the one time he did reach base on a fielder's choice, he got caught stealing to end the 6th.