Brett Oberholtzer (0-5, 5.63) vs Robbie Ray (0-0, -.--)
Mixed reviews for Brett Oberholtzer if he was auditioning tonight to keep his rotation spot after Scott Feldman returns Friday. Glowing reviews for Detroit rookie Robbie Ray tonight in his MLB debut. But good news for the Tigers is bad news for the Astros, and Houston drops their fourth straight, by an 11-4 final tonight. Arizona won tonight, so Houston opens up a half game lead for worst in the majors, now at 10-23.
On the Mound:
*On the plus side, Brett Oberholtzer was better tonight than in either of his previous two starts, and he pitched deeper than he had in any start but one. On the minus side, he still wasn't as effective overall as in any of his first four starts this year. So Obie falls to 0-6 thus: 6 IP / 9 H / 4 R / 4 ER / 1 BB / 4 K.
*Jose Cisnero is just keeping Matt Albers' bullpen seat warm... unless someone else in the Goatpen pitches their way out of it. After giving up 3 runs in 0.2 IP versus Seattle on Saturday, Cisnero allowed another 2 runs (both earned) on 3 hits in 1 IP tonight, to fashion himself a nice 9.64 ERA.
*But Josh Fields might just be that someone else. 5 runs (all earned) on 6 hits tonight in 0.2 IP, and the wheels have officially come off. His season ERA is up to 12.00, and an even more extraordinary 42.00 in 5 appearances now since April 23.
*Darin Downs at least handled the only batter he faced, facing off against his former mates tonight.
At the Plate:
*A 3-run, 2-out rally in the 9th made the final totals look a little more acceptable, but Houston's offense was all crickets again until they finally broke through in the 6th.
*Chris Carter broke up Robbie Ray's debut shutout attempt with a RBI force play in that 6th, finishing 1x4 with a R and 2 K.
*George Springer had the best night at the plate of his young career, going 3x4 with a RBI double and a run scored.
*Dexter Fowler also had a multi-hit night, going 2x4 with a run scored and a K.
*Jose Altuve celebrated his 24th birthday with a trademark double, going 1x4.
*Matt Dominguez was 1x4 with a RBI single.
*Jason Castro went 1x4 with 2 K.
*And L.J. Hoes went 0x3 with a BB, but got a RBI on fielder's choice.
There was no single big inning early tonight; Detroit just kept chipping away - one in the 1st, two in the 3rd, one in the 4th. Houston finally scored to make it 4-1 in the top of the 6th, but then the Goatpen took over for the 7th and buried the Astros in an 11-1 grave before they would score again.
Man of the Match:
George Springer. Raised his batting average 31 points (.191 to .222) with tonight's performance.
Goat of the Game:
The Goatpen™. But Houston never really threatened in this one anyway.