Saturday, April 13, 2013

From the Office of the County Clerk: G11 - Astros @ Angels

Lucas Harrell (0-2, 7.84) vs Garrett Richards (0-0, 2.08)

Bad memories... everything was going so well. Lucas Harrell returned to form, Chris Carter stayed en fuego, and the Astros were in line for their fourth straight win. One out away, but then Albert Pujols... it's a tale Astros fans know all too well. Houston falls to the Angels 5-4, dropping to 4-7 on the season.

On the Mound:

*Lucas Harrell was coming off what was by far the worst start of any Astros starter so far this season, and there had been some speculation that something was wrong with him. Lucas laid that speculation to rest tonight and dominated the powerful Angels lineup much as Bud Norris had the night before. His line: 5.2 IP / 6 H / 1 R / 1 ER / 1 BB / 5 K.

*Hector Ambriz came in when Harrell began to show signs of tiring, and he had an adventurous but ultimately effective night, giving up three hits in 1.1 scoreless.

*Rhiner Cruz had an even more adventurous 8th, giving up two 2 R (1 ER) on 2 H with a K in his inning...

*...but then, Jose Veras. He finally got his first save opportunity as an Astro, but it didn't go at all as planned. Veras coughed up a two-run, two-out double to Albert Flippin' Pujols, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

At the Plate:

*Trogdor! Chris Carter is a man on fire, launching his fourth home run of the season - a two-run shot in the 4th that was Houston's first hit tonight. He also had their second hit, singling to lead off the 7th and finishing 2 for 4 with 2 R, 2 RBI, and a K.

*J.D. Martinez had a costly error in the 8th that led to an unearned run, but he also doubled and scored, ending his night 1 for 4 with a K.

*Jose Altuve was hitless, but walked twice and scored a run in four plate appearances.

*Matt Dominguez went 1 for 3 with a RBI single.

*Marwin Gonzalez had Houston's other RBI on a sac bunt, finishing 0 for 2 with a K.

*Brett Wallace got his first start since Tuesday, and he didn't get a hit, but he did manage to avoid striking out, going 0 for 3 with a walk.

*Justin Maxwell went 0 for 4, bringing his 8-game hitting streak to an end.

Turning Point:

Do we have to? Jose Veras came in to close; he struck out Hank Conger, walked Luis Jimenez, and got old friend J.B. Shuck to fly out to left. But then Mike Trout singled, and Albert Pujols... it didn't leave the park, but it had the same dagger-to-the-heart effect. Two-run double, and that's the game.

Man of the Match:

Chris Carter, again. Dude is killing it, to the tune of a .462/.500/1.000 slash line with 4 HR and 7 RBI on his current 6-game hitting streak.

Goat of the Game:

Jose Veras. Just... crap.