Thursday, June 12, 2014

From the Office of the County Clerk - G68: Astros v. Diamondbacks

Wade Miley (3-6, 4.57) vs Scott Feldman (3-4, 4.12)

Redemption! And relief! Those are the feelings following tonight's Astros game, now that we know that Jose Altuve is alright. Altuve returned to the lineup tonight after missing yesterday's game with a strained oblique, but was forced from the game early again when he was hit on the hand with a pitch in the 7th inning. It didn't look at all good when he left, but about 15 minutes after the game ended, the Astros updated: X-rays negative, day-to-day, and all of Houston collectively caught its breath. But the Altuve situation overshadowed what was actually a great game - capped by a walk-off home run! cHRis Carter coming up big again, with a solo shot in the bottom of the 10th, to wrap up a 5-4 Astros win and complete their sweep of the two-game miniseries at MMP. They climb back to 6 games under .500 at 31-37. On to the recap.

On the Mound:

*After back-to-back starts that Scott Feldman would rather forget, he seemed to be back on his game tonight. Though hurt by an Altuve error in the 3rd, his own wild pitch in the 6th, and a Chris Owings solo HR for the last batter he faced in the 7th, Feldman's final line was still plenty respectable at 6.1 IP / 4 H / 3 R / 2 ER / 0 BB / 6 K.

*Darin Downs allowed a single to the first hitter he faced after replacing Feldman, but he got the next two to end the 7th, plus a K to start the 8th, before...

*...Josh Fields came on, and allowed a Paul Goldschmidt double. But George "Superman" Springer saved him on the next batter, with his second spectacular diving catch of the night, which he then turned into a double play.

*Chad Qualls had not given up a run since April 19 - a stretch of 17.2 IP over 19 games. Chad Qualls had only given up one home run all season. Chad Qualls was therefore predictably handed Houston's 4-3 lead for the 9th, but it only took him one pitch to undo all that. Un-sinking sinker to Miguel Montero landed in the Crawford Boxes, and Chad earned the blown save. He also allowed a two-out single, but finished the 9th without further damage.

*Tony Sipp got the unique four-out inning in the 10th, due to a catcher's interference call on Carlos Corporan for what should have been out #3. But no matter, as Tony got Martin Prado to ground out next, ending the inning anyway.

At the Plate:

*Missed chances could have hurt the Astros tonight - 10 team LOBsters, 0x6 with RISP, and two bases-loaded, inning-ending double plays. The aforementioned Altuve error also led to an Arizona run. But it was actually Houston's defense that picked them up tonight, with no less than 8 fine defensive plays (go watch the highlights!), including two diving catches by Springer, a running grab by Dexter Fowler, and three solid plays by Jonathan Villar.

*So of course Chris Carter is the story again. Through 9 innings, he was 0x4 with 2 K, but given one more chance in the 10th, cHRis capitalized. For the second straight game, and the third time in his last four, he went deep to take over the team lead in home runs (13).

*Before Jose Altuve became Houston's fallen martyr tonight, he was enjoying a rather good game (error aside): 2x3 with a double. Then obviously a HPB on a bunt attempt that just... ow.

*Dexter Fowler returned to big OBP form, going 3x5 with a run scored.

*cHRis Carter was not the only one to have big fun with the bat tonight, as Jon Homerton crushed a Wade Miley fastball into the second deck in RF in the 3rd. He earlier had a RBI sac fly, too, to finish 1x3 with 2 RBI and a BB.

*Carlos Corporan has no cute blogger home run nickname, but he did have a 2-run homer to the train tracks in LF in the 4th, for his 5th of the season. Corp swung well all night, ending up 3x4.

*George Springer had the remaining Houston hit, and reached base three times, going 1x3 with 2 BB.

*Mike-Bob Grossman was 0x3 with a K on the night, but walked ahead of Corporan's monster shot, and therefore also scored.

Turning Point:

Houston's 4-1 lead slowly faded as Arizona scored single runs in each the 6th, 7th, and 9th. But Chris Carter quickly turned that around leading off the 10th, taking J.J. Putz' fifth straight fastball to the Crawford Boxes for the Astros' first walk-off home run in nearly a year (Carlos Pena, June 20, 2013 v. Milwaukee).

Man of the Match:

cHRis Carter! Because of course he is.

Goat of the Game:

Matt Dominguez. 0x5 with 3 K, a batter interference call, both of those aforementioned rally-killing double plays, and 8 LOBsters all by himself.