Max Scherzer (3-0, 4.02) vs Lucas Harrell (3-2, 3.60)
At least we were spared the frustration of almost winning, as in the previous two games. In a season already littered with disastrous pitching performances, this may have been the ugliest collective outing from start to finish. While Detroit was busy scoring in every inning but one, the Astros only had one hit until late in the 6th, and the result was a lopsided as you would imagine. Lions beat the Texans, 17-2, and Houston clunks along to 8-23 overall.
On the Mound:
*Lucas Harrell caught a case of BedardandHumberitis. Or maybe he's trying to make himself less tradable, to save Astros fans from seeing their ace shipped off for the third time in four seasons. In any event, it started ugly and never got any better, with a 4.1 IP / 10 H / 8 R / 8 ER / 4 BB / 3 K line.
*Jose Cisnero's Houston honeymoon is over, and he fared no better than Harrell, with a 2.2 IP / 8 H / 6 R / 6 ER / 1 BB / 0 K line.
*Paul Clemens was the "best" of the pitching staff tonight, allowing "only" 3 H and 3 R (2 ER) in his two innings pitched.
At the Plate:
*Robbie Grossman led off the bottom of the 1st with a single, and that was the only hit Houston would get until two outs in the 6th. But Grossman at least has a 6-game streak now, after going 1 for 3 with a BB and a K tonight.
*Matt Dominguez (1 for 3, K) had Houston's second hit, on a 6th inning single.
*Carlos Corporan broke up the shutout with a solo HR in the 7th, and he finished 2 for 4.
*Jose Altuve (1 for 4) doubled in the 9th and scored the Astros' second run.
*Jason Castro struck out in each of his first three plate appearances, but singled in the 9th to drive home Altuve and finish 1 for 4.
Harrell's lack of sharpness was apparent from the get-go tonight, as Detroit kicked off the game with three straight singles. A Victor Martinez double sandwiched between a pair of outs made it 3-0, then a Jhonny Peralta single made it 4-0 before Lucas could get the final out.
Man of the Match:
Carlos Corporan. Dear reader, just watch the replay of Corporan's homer, and that's all you want to see of this game. Trust us.
Goat of the Game:
Lucas Harrell and Every Astros Pitcher. Now Houston will have to beat Justin Verlander if they are to salvage a game this series.