Saturday, May 17, 2014

From the Office of the County Clerk - G43: Astros v. White Sox

Hector Noesi (0-2, 4.50) vs Jarred Cosart (2-3, 4.30)

For the second time in a week, Jason Castro hit a 3-run home run in the 1st inning, helping the Astros to an early lead. For the sixth time in seven games, the Astros offense tallied 11 hits. Jarred Cosart was not at his sharpest today, and Kyle Farnsworth was less than inspiring in his Houston debut. But it didn't matter, as for the fourth time in a week, the Astros walked away winners. Houston's current 4-2 stretch is their best since they won four in a row September 9-13 of last season, and today they were winners by a 6-5 final. The NOT-worst-in-MLB Astros improve to 15-28 overall.

On the Mound:

*Jarred Cosart labored through 101 pitches and five innings, but at least did enough today to help his team win. Not his best effort, finishing with a 5 IP / 7 H / 3 R / 3 ER / 4 BB / 2 K line.

*Josh Fields made his return from Oklahoma City and allowed a leadoff single in the 6th, but nothing else, striking out two in a scoreless frame.

*Tony Sipp handled the 7th and still has yet to allow a baserunner now in 5 games and 6.2 IP as an Astro, striking out one in a perfect inning today.

*Kyle Farnsworth made his Houston debut (wearing Roy Oswalt's old #44), and came out in true Goatpen style, allowing 2 hits, 2 walks, and 2 runs in two thirds of an inning.

*Darin Downs had another successfully LOOGY appearance, getting Conor Gillaspie to pop out ending the 8th.

*Freshly minted closer Chad Qualls got the 9th and struck out one in a perfect inning, nailing down his third save.

At the Plate:

*Jose Altuve helped the Astros jump ahead early, leading off the 1st with a single and scoring Houston's first run, finishing the afternoon 2x5 with a SB. His hitting streak is now 9 games, and his .304 batting average is now at its highest point since he was at .375 on April 5, five games into the season.

*George Springer got Houston's first RBI with his first big league triple, finishing the day 2x4 with 2 R, a BB, and a K.

*The Astros are undefeated when Jason Castro hits a 3-run homer in the 1st (and actually they're 7-1 in his career when he hits a 3- or 4-run blast). His only hit today was that - his sixth home run of the season - and he finished 1x5 with a K.

*Dexter Fowler is a house afire, with a solo HR (his third) and another 3x4, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, K day. He went 0x3 yesterday, but he's still hit safely in 21 of his last 25 games, and he's reached base in all but one of those.

*Alex Presley had a nice day, going 2x4 with a steal.

*Marc Krauss had the other hit, going 1x3 with 2 K.

Turning Point:

After Jarred Cosart faced the minimum in the top of the 1st, Jose Altuve led off Houston's half with a single to left. George Springer followed with a triple up Tal's Hill in center, giving the Astros a very early 1-0 lead. Hector Noesi walked Dexter Fowler on five pitches, then on a full count, Jason Castro repeated his feat from Sunday in Baltimore and lined a 3-run homer to right, making the score 4-0. The White Sox would pull within 4-3, then 6-5 after the Astros later re-extended their lead, but Houston still led this one wire to wire.

Man of the Match:

Dexter Fowler. Since he was hitting .196 on April 19, he's raised his batting average 69 points to .265, going 28x91 (.308) with a .442 OBP in 25 games since then.

Goat of the Game:

Kyle Farnsworth. Not the best first impression, but he's still likely to be a nice bullpen add.