Wednesday, April 24, 2013

From the Office of the County Clerk: G21 - Astros v. Mariners

Joe Saunders (1-2, 4.50) vs Lucas Harrell (1-2, 4.98)

Put an exclamation point on this one! That was beautiful. The Astros got a much-needed laugher today - Lucas Harrell tossed a bullpen-saving 7 innings, the offense exploded up and down the lineup, and it all added up to a 10-3 Houston win. The Astros get their second series win of the season - both against Seattle - and are now 7-14 overall, tied with the Mariners at 6.5 GB in the AL West.

On the Mound:

*After it took Lucas Harrell 45 pitches to get through the first two innings, it looked like the bullpen phone might be ringing early again. But Harrell settled down beautifully, sailing smoothly through seven for his longest start of the season. It went like this: 7 IP / 6 H / 1 R / 1 ER / 2 BB / 5 K.

*Rhiner Cruz walked a pair in his inning of work, but he got a big K on Michael Morse to end the 8th without allowing a run.

*Paul Clemens handled the 9th with a 10-1 lead, and he wasn't as sharp today, allowing 2 R on 3 H. But a 9 run lead gives you margin for error, and he recorded the three requisite outs to finish off the win.

At the Plate:

*Big bats all over today. Jose Altuve (0 for 4, BB) and Carlos Pena (0 for 4, K) were held hitless, but every other Astro reached base at least twice.

*The story going into today was Robbie Grossman's ML debut, and he made it a great one. Grossman whacked a pair of doubles and scored a run, finishing 2 for 5 with 2 K in what is hopefully the first of many more to come.

*Brandon Laird had an even bigger day, adding a three-run home run to his own pair of doubles to go 3 for 4 with 4 RBI.

*Ronny Cedeno, we take it all back! At least for today. Cedeno swung like Cesar this afternoon, with a single, a double, and his own three-run HR, to finish his day 3 for 4 with 2 R, 3 RBI, and a K.

*Chris Carter had another big bomb, blasting a solo shot in the 2nd for his 5th HR of the season. He would later score again and end up 1 for 3 with a walk and a K.

*Matt Dominguez had his second multi-hit game in a row, going 2 for 4 with a run scored and 2 RBI.

*Brandon Barnes also went 2 for 4 with a R, adding a SB, a CS, and a K.

*Carlos Corporan got the start behind the plate with Harrell on the hill, and at the plate, he went 1 for 3 with 2 R and a K.

Turning Point:

The game was a tight 1-0 affair until one out in the bottom of the fourth, when Chris Carter got things started with a walk. Carlos Corporan followed with a single, and then Cesar Ronny Cedeno parked a Joe Saunders changeup in the Crawford Boxes for a 3-run dinger and a 4-0 Houston lead.

Man of the Match:

So many funs! We'll go with Brandon Laird, but honorable mentions to Harrell, Cedeno, and Grossman.

Goat of the Game:

Carlos Pena, I guess. 0 for 4 as a DH doesn't do much to help your team.