Dan Straily (0-0, -.--) vs Brad Peacock (0-0, -.--)
One disastrous inning. That was a common theme of the 2012 Astros amidst their struggles, where often things seemed to be going alright, then in one sudden inning, the wheels came off. That theme resurfaced tonight, and one disastrous inning made all the difference. Oakland wins the first match against their new division rivals by an 8-3 score.
On the Mound:
*After giving up a leadoff homer to Coco Crisp, Brad Peacock pitched his way in and out of trouble for four innings, but he kept the A's from extending their lead until the 5th. A one-out double by Crisp then chased Brad from the game (but that was only the beginning). His line: 4.1 IP / 3 H / 2 R / 2 ER / 3 BB / 5 K
*Xavier Cedeno came on in "relief," and managed this line: 0 IP / 1 H / 6 R / 3 ER / 3 BB / 0 K. A Marwin Gonzalez error compounded the trouble, but Cedeno still left the game with a shiny 108.00 ERA so far for 2013.
*Rhiner Cruz (1.2 IP), Wesley Wright (1 IP), Hector Ambriz (1 IP), and Jose Veras (1 IP) finished out the game. Cruz and Ambriz had their own adventures (3 H apiece), but they all kept Oakland off the board the rest of the way.
At the Plate:
*Get your bets in now! How long until the Astros have a game with single-digit strikeouts? They struck out 13 times more tonight, to go with their 43 K's from the Rangers series. That means that 56 of Houston's 105 outs so far as a team have been strikeouts (53.3%).
*Rick Ankiel was King K tonight, fanning in all four of his plate appearances; he's struck out 9 of 11 times so far this season.
*Brett Wallace was right behind, going 0 for 4 with 3 K and 5 LOB; that gives him 11 K in 14 AB's so far.
*On the positive side, Altuves gonna Altuve. Jose went 2 for 4 with a K, a walk, and a RBI, and he's now hitting .438 for 2013.
*The Astros got four doubles tonight, from Marwin Gonzalez (2 for 4, R, RBI, K), Justin Maxwell (1 for 4, R), Jason Castro (1 for 4, R, K), and Matt Dominguez (2 for 4, RBI).
*Maxwell and Dominguez were the only Astros to not strikeout at least once.
*Chris Carter collected his first hit as an Astro, singling and finishing 1 for 4 with a K.
Brad Peacock left; Xavier Cedeno came on. With one out and a runner on second, in a 1-0 game to that point, Cedeno's night went like this: walk, walk, E6, sac bunt (everybody safe), walk, single, HBP. The score was 6-0 with the bases loaded by the time he left, and Coco Crisp's double off Rhiner Cruz made it 8-0, with both runs charged to Cedeno. The inning could have been even worse were it not for a great diving catch by Rick Ankiel on Cruz's first batter.
Man of the Match:
Jose Altuve. His RBI tonight in the 6th gave the Astros their first run in April.
Goat of the Game:
Xavier Cedeno. True that half of the runs he surrendered were unearned, but he did nothing to limit the damage thereafter.