Brett Oberholtzer (4-1, 2.79) vs Dan Straily (8-7, 4.38)
With 20 games left in the 2013 season, these Astros are on pace to lose 108 games, after 107 in 2012 and 106 in 2011. But at least it's a lot easier to be excited about the future of a team filled with Chris Carters, Jonathan Villars, and Jarred Cosarts than a team filled with Scott Moores, Steve Pearces, and Armando Galarragas. Yeah, they lost again: 2-1 to Oakland, and they're now 47-95 overall.
On the Mound:
*Brett Oberholtzer is another something to be excited about. He followed up his GG shutout last time out with six innings of one-run ball today, marred only by a Yoenis Cespedes solo HR. His line: 6 IP / 7 H / 1 R / 1 ER / 0 BB / 5 K.
*Josh Zeid was touched for a solo HR by Jed Lowrie in his one inning of work.
*Chia-Jen Lo turned in a perfect 8th.
At the Plate:
*For the second time this season, the Astros offense couldn't manage much against rookie righty Dan Straily. Brandon Barnes was 0 for 2 with a BB but got the lone Astros RBI on a fielder's choice in the 8th.
*Brett Wallace scored the run, going 1 for 3 with a double and a K.
*Matt Dominguez also went 1 for 3 with a double and a K.
*Jonathan Villar and Jose Altuve (K) each went 1 for 4.
*And Marc Krauss singled as a pinch-hitter in his lone plate appearance in the 8th.
The Astros never managed to score against Dan Straily today, but Dan Otero took over for Oakland with a 2-0 lead in the 8th. Chris Carter started with a flyout, then Brett Wallace doubled and Marc Krauss singled to put runners on the corners with one away. Brandon Barnes reached and Wallace scored on a force at second, cutting the A's lead to 2-1. With Jonathan Villar up, Barnes stole second to reach scoring position, but then got picked off and caught trying to steal third, ending the Astros' threat.
Man of the Match:
Brett Oberholtzer. With seven big league starts now under his belt, six have been of the quality variety.
Goat of the Game:
The offense in general, but going with Brandon Barnes. That pickoff in the 8th killed Houston's only rally.