Wednesday, April 10, 2013

From the Office of the County Clerk: G8 - Astros @ Mariners

Erik Bedard (0-0, 0.00) vs Brandon Maurer (0-1, 9.00)

Release the kraken! After a momentous Opening Day and welcome to the American League, the Astros' subsequent six-game skid came in many flavors of discouraging. But Tuesday night was delicious, and the Astros' offense made the new fences-in Safeco Field look like anything but a pitcher's park. Houston pounded the Mariners 16-9 - and it wasn't even that close - improving to 2-6 on the young season.

On the Mound:

*While Seattle may be foreign territory to most of the Astros, it's old home to Erik Bedard, and he settled himself right in. Erik didn't allow a baserunner until the 4th (when he loaded the bases), but was still pulled from the game after only 66 pitches - presumably because Houston is taking it slow in working him back from that strained glute. His line: 4 IP / 1 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 2 BB / 3 K.

*As effective as Bedard was tonight, Paul Clemens wasn't in his ML debut, but he still earned the win because the starter didn't go 5. (Not Roger) Clemens' line: 4 IP / 6 H / 5 R / 5 ER / 1 BB / 0 K, with three home runs allowed.

*Hector Ambriz came in for the 9th and was even less effective than Clemens, allowing four runs to score with two outs (though only one was earned, due to an Altuve error). But when you enter with an 11-run lead, you can get away with that kind of thing.

At the Plate:

*Every Astro hitter except Carlos Corporan (who only had one AB) and Brett Wallace (who had four) got in on the offensive last night. Their 16 runs and 22 hits were both the most since Houston had 18 runs on 22 hits on August 3, 2010 at St. Louis.

*Houston's five home runs were their most since they also had five back on September 16, 2009 at Cincinnati. Welcome to American League baseball!

*Lots of stars at the plate last night, but Chris Carter led the attack - 4 for 6 with 2 HR, 3 RBI, and 2 K. THAT is the hitter that the Astros hoped they were getting when they traded away Jed Lowrie.

*Jose Altuve came a triple short of the cycle, going 4 for 6 with 2 R, 4 RBI, a double, and his first HR of the season.

*J.D. Martinez continues to prove that he belongs in the lineup, going 2 for 6 with 3 RBI, 2 R, a HR, and 2 K.

*Marwin Gonzalez wins the OBP award, reaching base in all five of his PA by going 3 for 3 with 2 BB, a HR, 2 RBI, and 3 R.

*Carlos Pena was the first to get the Astros on the board, with a 2-run double in the 1st. He'd finish 2 for 4 with 2 R, a BB, and a K.

*Jason Castro got slotted in the 3-spot last night, and he responded by going 2 for 4 with a R, a BB, and a K.

*Matt Dominguez ALSO had a multi-hit night, going 2 for 6 with a run and a RBI.

*Brandon Barnes only got two plate appearances, but he doubled and scored in one and walked in the other.

*Justin Maxwell now has himself a 6-game hitting streak, going 1 for 5 with a BB and 2 R. He's hit safely in every Astros game so far that Yu Darvish didn't pitch.

*Ronny Cedeno singled in his pinch-hit appearance.

*The lone lowlight on offense was Brett Wallace, who struck out in all four of his AB. He leads all of MLB with 17 K (in 22 PA) and is now down to a .048/.091/.048 slash line.

Turning Point:

The Astros scored in every inning but two and only went down 1-2-3 once, but their biggest inning was the 1st. It went like this: Altuve single, Maxwell single, Castro single, Carter K, Pena double, Martinez single, Wallace K, Dominguez single, Gonzalez walk, Altuve double, pitching change, Maxwell pop-up. That staked Erik Bedard to a 6-0 lead before he ever took the mound, and the Astros never looked back.

Man of the Match:

Chris Carter. Or TROGDOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOR!!!, burninating the Mariners.

Goat of the Game:

Brett Wallace. He's never been this strikeout prone in his career, but Brett's in a bad place right now.