Sunday, June 8, 2014

From the Office of the County Clerk - G64: Astros @ Twins

Collin McHugh (4-3, 2.52) vs Samuel Deduno (2-3, 3.83)

One day after being shut out for the seventh time this season, your new look Astros were faced with the possibility of losing a series to the last-place Twins. Houston's offense responded with a great big "OH HELL NAW," and this, my friends, is why the Astros are suddenly fun to watch again. Four home runs, including grand slams from both cHRis Carter and Jon Homerton, put an exclamation point on Houston's 14-5 win this afternoon. They head south to Phoenix to face the last-place Diamondbacks at 28-36 overall.

On the Mound:

*Cursed blister of Collin McHugh. Bothered by a blister on his pitching hand, Doctor McHugh was uncharacteristically imprecise, issuing a career-high 5 walks to go along with three hits in his second-shortest start of the season (by one out). In spite of all that, he still left the game with only one run charged to his ledger, but the two runners he left behind would both also soon score, so his final line looked thus: 4.1 IP / 3 H / 3 R / 3 ER / 5 BB / 6 K.

*Josh Fields did not start well, allowing back-to-back singles to his first two hitters, which plated the other two runs charged to McHugh. But he settled in just fine after that, striking out four while allowing only one more single, to finish with 1.2 scoreless IP.

*Kyle Farnsworth's day was rubbish, facing five batters and surrendering two singles, two walks, and a sac fly, good enough for two more Minnesota runs.

*Darin Downs was called upon to put out Farnsworth's fire, and he did precisely that, striking out two while allowing only two hits in 2.2 IP of scoreless work.

At the Plate:

*14 runs! Four home runs! Two grand slams! And every Astro reached base. The 14 runs were Houston's most since they scored 16 @ Seattle back on April 9 of last season. The two grand slams have only happened once before in franchise history, and that not since 1969.

*The runs didn't matter by then, but the highlight of this game for Houston fans likely has to be Jonathan Singleton's 9th inning grand slam - second home run of his big league career, and he did it in style. iLLJAY_SiNG earlier doubled and scored, so his day ended up 2x6 with 2 R, 4 RBI, and 3 K.

*cHRis Carter has many more home runs than Jon Homerton so far, but he had also never hit a big league grand slam - until today. Carter's came in the 7th and broke the game wide open for the Astros; the home run was his 10th of the season, and he finished 1x4 with 2 R, 4 RBI, a HBP, and 2 K.

*George Springer will gladly cede the spotlight to his teammates today, but he still went deep on a solo shot in the 8th for his team-leading 12th home run. Gerorge finished his day 1x3 with 2 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB, and a HBP.

*Dexter Fowler had the first big fly of the afternoon for Houston, blasting a solo shot for his 4th of the season. Once again, he reached base three times, ending his afternoon 2x5 with 2 R, 2 RBI, and a BB.

*Jonathan Villar returned to the starting lineup for the first time since his elbow was plunked back on Tuesday, and he returned in a big way, going 3x5 with a R, a RBI, and a K.

*Mike-Bob Grossman had another fine day, going 2x3 with a 2B, a bunt single, a SB, 2 BB, and 3 R.

*Jose Altuve still leads the majors in hits (85), and the AL in steals (23), adding one of the former and two of the latter today: 1x3, 2 SB, BB, SF, HBP, RBI. His latest hitting streak is now 7 games, and he's only been held hitless twice in 30 games since May 8 (47x130, .362).

*Carlos Corporan tried everything once, finishing 1x4 with a R, a RBI, a BB, and a K.

*Matt Dominguez was the only hitless Astro today (0x5, 2 K), but he still walked and scored a run to help the cause.

Turning Point:

Single runs in the 2nd and 3rd put the Astros up 2-0, but the 4th was when they truly took control. Robbie Grossman walked and Chris Carter was plunked, bringing the Minnesota coaches out to the mound to check on starter Samuel Deduno. After Carlos Corporan walked to load the bases, Deduno was done, but reliever Anthony Swarzak did no better. Jonathan Villar singled, and it was 3-0 Houston. Dexter Fowler singled, and it was 4-0 Houston. Jose Altuve hit a fly ball to center, and the Twins finally recorded an out, but Carlos Corporan also scored, giving the Astros a 5-0 lead. Minnesota would claw back to 5-3 before Carter's grand slam in the 7th, then 9-5 before #Springleton in the 8th and 9th.

Man of the Match:

Jonathan GRANDSLAMington. And cHRis Carter too.

Goat of the Game:

Collin McHugh's blister. Or Kyle Farnsworth. Either way, who cares? ASTROS WIN.