Thursday, May 9, 2013

From the Office of the County Clerk: G35 - Astros v. Angels

Jason Vargas (1-3, 3.72) vs Lucas Harrell (3-3, 5.03)

So very, very close to the sweep... but alas, it was not to be. The Astros found themselves locked in a back-and-forth affair tonight, and they were leading again going into the 8th. But the bullpen couldn't hold it, and then the bats couldn't respond, and the result was a 6-5 defeat. Houston drops even with the Marlins at 10-25 overall.

On the Mound:

*Lucas Harrell did not have his best stuff tonight, needing 75 pitches to get through 3 innings, and finishing at 106 after 5. But he kept Houston in the game and actually left with a 3-2 lead, after his 5 IP / 4 H / 2 R / 1 ER / 6 BB / 1 K line.

*Unfortunately, Harrell's shot at a win didn't last long, as Paul Clemens' third pitch ended up over the left-center field fence to tie the score at 3 all. (Not Roger) ran into trouble in the 7th, too, leaving with two on and two out...

*...but Hector Ambriz got a big out #3. Then, of course, he loaded the bases and gave up a two-run double to Mark Trumbo to re-tie the game at 5-5 without recording an out in the 8th.

*Travis Blackley came into Ambriz's unenviable mess, and he got Josh Hamilton before an Alberto Callaspo sac fly charged another run to Ambriz's ledger.

*Philip Humber made his first appearance since shifting to the bullpen and certainly did better than in most of his starts, tossing 1.1 scoreless with a walk and 3 K.

At the Plate:

*Matt Dominguez had an odd night, committing an extremely uncharacteristic three errors in the field. But he atoned with his bat as best he could, going 2 for 3 with 3 RBI and a K.

*Do you know why the Astros should keep Jose Altuve? Because Altuve is worth more Altuves than the Astros would be likely to get in giving him up. Tonight he was 3 for 5 with a steal and a run scored.

*Ronny Cedeno was big tonight, too, going 2 for 2 with a double, a walk, a steal, a sac bunt, and 2 runs scored.

*Chris Carter went 2 for 3 with a RBI, a run scored, a walk, and a K.

*Jason Castro was 2 for 4 with a double and a run scored.

*Brandon Barnes helped the cause by going 1 for 3 with a RBI, a steal, and a K.

*A night after his 8-game hitting streak was snapped, Robbie Grossman started a new one, going 1 for 4 with a K.

Turning Point:

With the Astros leading 5-3 to start the 8th, Hector Ambriz single-walk-walked the bases loaded, then served up a double to Mark Trumbo to erase the Houston lead. He left in favor of Travis Blackley, who got Josh Hamilton to ground out, then intentionally walked Howie Kendrick to re-load the bases. But Alberto Callaspo launched a fly ball to CF that allowed Albert Pujols to score the winning run.

Man of the Match:

Matty D. His errors cost the Astros a run, but without his bat, they'd have been even further behind.

Goat of the Game:

Hector Ambriz. 3 ER, 2 H, and 2 BB in 0.1 IP is a great way to earn a loss.