Friday, April 4, 2014

From the Office of the County Clerk - G4: Astros v. Angels

Garrett Richards (0-0, -.--) vs Lucas Harrell (0-0, -.--)

Hey, remember last year when the Astros played surprisingly well against the Angels? Yeah, well, the Astros didn't remember either. At least for tonight, it was just like old times for Lucas Harrell and Houston, and those weren't the good old times. Angels dropkick the Astros 11-1, and Houston falls to .500 at 2-2 on the young season.

On the Mound:

*One of the biggest questions for the Astros' pitching staff this season is which Lucas Harrell we'll see - 2012 or 2013? Lucas' opening act was not a good one, as he got shelled to an early shower with a 3 IP / 7 H / 5 R / 5 ER / 3 BB / 3 K line, including a solo HR to Mike Trout.

*Harrell's short night granted Jerome Williams the chance for a long relief outing against his former mates, but unfortunately he didn't fare any better. Williams' line went 3.2 IP / 7 H / 6 R / 6 ER / 1 BB / 3 K, with 2 HR allowed.

*Anthony Bass then got the chance to make his Houston debut, and he at least did alright, allowing only a single in 2.1 innings of otherwise flawless work.

At the Plate:

*No Dexter Fowler due to a stomach bug tonight, so Jose Altuve was Houston's hottest remaining bat, and he kept it going - 2x3 with a 2B, a BB, and the Astros' only RBI.

*With Fowler out, Alex Presley played center and led off, going 1x5 with 3 K.

*Chris Carter got his first XBH of the season, going 1x2 with a 2B, 2 BB, and 1 K.

*Jonathan Villar was a late defensive substitution in the 8th, and he doubled in his only plate appearance in the 9th.

*Jesus Guzman got his first start since Opening Day and went 1x4 with a K.

*Carlos Corporan got his first start of the season, with Jason Castro listed day to day, and also went 1x4 with a K.

*Matt Dominguez was 0x2 with a K, but also walked twice and scored Houston's lone run.

Turning Point:

Angels runs in each of the first two innings put the Astros down 2-0, but it was in the 3rd when they began to break it open. Josh Hamilton and David Freese led off with back-to-back singles, followed by a Raul Ibanez K, but then Howie Kendrick doubled to drive Hamilton home. Chris Ianetta followed with another double to plate Freese, then an Erick Aybar sac fly made it 5-0. Harrell got Kole Calhoun to end the inning, but that inning also ended his night.

Man of the Match:

Jose Altuve. He had something of a sophomore slump last year, so it would be great to see him shake that off.

Goat of the Game:

Lucas Harrell. He'll get a fair shot in the rotation this year, but this was easily the worst of Houston's four starts so far.