Jordan Lyles (4-6, 5.40) vs Bartolo Colon (14-4, 2.75)
Of course they would. Of course the Astros would start August 1-10, nearly get perfect game'd by Yu Darvish for the second time this year, then go on the road to face the opponent they're 1-11 against. Of course the goatpen would threaten another comfortable lead and try to squander another solid effort by a Houston starter. Then of course the Astros would win anyway. Of course they would - why? Because baseball. Astros beat the A's 5-4, "improving" to 38-80 overall.
On the Mound:
*Jordan Lyles went from pretty great through mid-June to pretty awful since then, but he looked pretty great again tonight, turning in what was easily his best start since the All-Star break. His line: 7 IP / 5 H / 1 R / 1 ER / 2 BB / 3 K.
*Tonight's goatpen adventure began in the 8th with Josh Zeid, who managed to give up 3 R on 3 H while recording only 2 outs.
*Kevin Chapman "relieved" Zeid and hit (admittedly big target) Nate Freiman, the only batter he faced.
*Can Chia-Jen Lo get every relief appearance from here on out? He threw one pitch to end the 8th, then walked one in a scoreless 9th. He's still yet to give up a run, now through six appearances, and earned his first big league save.
At the Plate:
*Doubles, doubles everywhere! Houston's 11 hits tonight tied their team high for August (8/6 v. Boston), and their 5 doubles were their most since 6/23 @ Wrigley.
*Brandon Barnes led the way, going 2 for 4 with 2 doubles, 2 RBI, 2 R, and a K.
*Chris Carter also had a RBI double, going 1 for 4 wih a K.
*Matt Dominguez (2 for 4, 2B, R, 2 K) and L.J. Hoes (2 for 4, SB) each added a pair of hits apiece.
*Jose Altuve had the other double, going 1 for 5 with a K.
*Jason Castro had the other RBI, going 1 for 3 with a walk and a run scored.
*Robbie Grossman (1 for 4, BB) and Brett Wallace (1 for 5, K) each scored a run.
Goatpen misadventures aside, the Astros jumped out to an early lead in the 2nd, which Jason Castro started with a walk. Chris Carter popped up for out #1, but back-to-back doubles by Dominguez and Barnes staked Jordan Lyles to a 2-0 lead that only grew from there.
Man of the Match:
Good Jordan Lyles. Whom we like much better than Bad Jordan Lyles.
Goat of the Game:
Josh Zeid, who was mercifully removed before this became another total bullpen meltdown.