Friday, May 3, 2013

From the Office of the County Clerk: G29 - Astros v. Tigers

Rick Porcello (1-2, 8.84) vs Jordan Lyles (0-0, -.--)

While most of us Astros fans went to bed for work the next day, the Astros themselves stayed up late finding new and frustrating ways to lose. It seemed like an eminently winnable game most of the night, and Houston was actually leading into the 8th, but they couldn't score after the 4th, and that was their ultimate undoing. The Astros lose their first foray into extra innings, 7-3 in 14, and drop to 8-21 overall.

On the Mound:

*Jordan Lyles arrived from OKC and pitched like he belonged in the big leagues. He only went five innings, but he did well for that time against a powerful Tigers lineup, with a 5 IP / 6 H / 2 R / 2 ER / 1 BB / 6 K line.

*Travis Blackley (1.1 IP) and Paul Clemens (0.2 IP) got the Astros through the 6th and 7th with no base runners and 2 K apiece.

*Hector Ambriz allowed a walk, then got a double play in the 8th.

*Wesley Wright followed Ambriz in the 8th, but tonight Wesley couldn't record an out. He started by hitting Prince Fielder with a pitch, then a Victor Martinez single and a Rick Ankiel error allowed Fielder to score.

*Jose Veras took over next, and he fanned all four hitters he faced.

*Dallas Keuchel returned from OKC with Lyles, and he got the call to start the 10th, pitching four scoreless frames until the 14th. But then a ground-rule double got Kid Keuchy in trouble, and an intentionally-walk-the-bases-loaded strategy backfired, leading to four Detroit runs.

*Jose Cisnero came in after Keuchel had one out and one in, with the bases still loaded, and he allowed all three inherited runners to score before getting the last out.

At the Plate:

*Castro the Astro maintained his hitting streak - now at 9 - and he got the Astros on the board early tonight with a two-run HR in the 1st (#2 on the year for Jason). He finished 1 for 6 with 2 K.

*Carlos Pena also went deep, on a solo shot for his third HR of the season, and he finished 2 for 6 with a K.

*Robbie Grossman likes that home cooking. After stroking two doubles in his Houston debut, he only had three hits on the seven-game road trip - a single in each of the last three games - but tonight went 2 for 5 with a double, a BB, a R, and 2 K back in the Friendly Confines of Minute Maid.

*Rick Ankiel came in as a defensive substitute in the 7th, and he went 1 for 2 with a K thereafter. But his defense was really the story, with an error in the 8th that allowed the tying run to score, and a throw in the 11th that kept the winning run from scoring (at least for three more innings).

Turning Point:

It's easy to question the back-to-back intentional walks that loaded the bases in the 14th and preceded the winning run, but the Astros really lost this game in the 8th. They were leading 3-2 at that point, with two out and nobody on, when lefty Wesley Wright came in to face lefty Prince Fielder. But Wes hit Fielder with a pitch to put him on, then switch-hitter Victor Martinez stroked a single to right. Rick Ankiel botched picking up the ball, allowing Fielder to freight train his way around third and score the run that forced extra frames.

Man of the Match:

Jordan Lyles. A solid return to the big leagues for a pitching staff sorely in need of solid performances.

Goat of the Game:

Rick Ankiel. If the Astros had won the game, he would have been Man of the Match for his game-saving throw in the 11th. But with his arm, and with Prince Fielder being Prince Fielder, there's no way that he should have scored from first on a single, had Ankiel played it cleanly.


Anonymous said...

Disagree - Goats of the game should be Wesley Wright and Bo Porter. Bo for his misuse of the pen and Wright for his inability to hold the fort.

Anonymous said...

Your slash line for Lyles got me to thinking about the concept of a "quality outing", which is defined as 6IP and a max 3 runs. That equates to a 4.50 ERA, which is not so good, not so "quality" IMHO.

Another beef I have with pitcher stats is the ERA itself. When a pitcher is relieved with men on base and those runners score, the departing pitcher is assigned those runs. True, he put them on base, but it was the reliever who allowed them to score. I think the ERA would be more reflective of a pitchers performance if those runs were divided between the departed and the relief pitcher. If 2 are left on base and those 2 score on the reliever, each pitcher gets one ER added to their ERA stats. What do you think?