Thursday, April 24, 2014

From the Office of the County Clerk - G23: Astros v. Athletics

Scott Kazmir (2-0, 1.65) vs Brett Oberholtzer (0-3, 3.04)

Welp. So. This is when you wish tonight's game had been on the West Coast, so you could DVR it from the CSN Houston you don't get, and then delete it quietly and save your soul after reading this the next morning. The Oakland Athletics are a really good baseball team, y'all. But nights like this highlight how the Astros really, truly, very aren't. Terrible pitching, anemic offense, and atrocious defense - Houston had it all working tonight. Oakland laughs their way to a 10-1 win at Minute Maid Park, dropping the Astros to 7-16 overall.

On the Mound:

*Maybe Brett Oberholtzer was due for a clunker, and he just got it out of the way tonight. The typically dependable Obie failed to escape any of the first three innings scoreless, then left with the bases loaded in the 4th, en route to an ugly 3.2 IP / 8 H / 6 R / 6 ER / 4 BB / 2 K line.

*Paul (Not Roger) Clemens got Houston out of the 4th, but then quickly added his own crap to the pile, coughing up 3 runs (all earned) on 4 hits, a walk, and a HBP in 2.2 IP. That HBP was notable, as it came when Clemens threw behind "bunt with a 7-0 lead" Jed Lowrie in the 7th...

*...which led to Clemens' immediate ejection. Which led to Anthony Bass replacing him and promptly surrendering a 2-run homer to Josh Donaldson - his second of the night. So Oakland didn't have to wait and serve their revenge cold.

*Jerome Williams was the only Astros pitcher worth a damn tonight, fanning one in two perfect innings of mop-up duty.

At the Plate:

*Through six innings, the Astros had as many hits as they did errors - five of each. Somehow none of those errors led to any unearned runs, but they still helped to send Bo Porter's blood pressure to Bruce Banner levels. The Pyrite Glove plays belonged to George Springer (throwing), Matt Dominguez (fielding, throwing - on the same play!), L.J. Hoes (fielding), and Jason Castro (catcher's interference).

*Also, Houston was 1x10 with RISP, and 11 team LOBsters. Houston's only RBI came on a bases loaded walk to Chris Carter in the 1st. That ain't gonna get the job done against mediocre competition, much less a two-time defending division champ.

*Jose Altuve suffered the least suck tonight, going 3x5 with a 2B.

*Matt Dominguez personally had as many errors as he did hits, going 2x4 with a K.

*Jonathan Villar likewise went 2x4 with a K, but one of his hits was a double.

*Dexter Fowler was 1x2 with a walk, and scored Houston's only run.

*Alex Presley went 1x2 after replacing Fowler in center field to start the 7th.

*Jason Castro had the other hit, going 1x3 with 2 K.

Turning Point:

All Oakland, all the way. Brett Oberholtzer got Coco Crisp to fly out leading off the game, then Jed Lowrie worked the count from 1-2 to 3-2 and ultimately singled. One pitch later, Josh Donaldson had his first 2-run homer of the evening, off the train in left field, and that would be the winning run. Houston managed to load the bases with one out in the bottom of the 1st, but only got the one run on Carter's walk, and it only got much, much uglier after that.

Man of the Match:

Do we have to? Jose Altuve, I guess.

Goat of the Game:

Hahahahahahahaha. Everybody. It takes a team effort to look this bad.