Sunday, June 15, 2014

From the Office of the County Clerk - G71: Astros v. Rays

David Price (4-6, 3.97) vs Brad Peacock (2-4, 4.50)

The replay giveth, and the replay taketh away. Also, Jerome Williams isn't very good lately. Houston was staked to early 2-0 and 3-1 leads against David Price, but Brad Peacock had a rough day and was gone before the 5th. Once Jerome Williams came on, an overturned out call let the Rays score the tying run in the 6th, then Williams stuck around until the 8th to surrender the deciding blow. So the Astros lose the game and the series by a 4-3 final, marking their first series loss since May 19-21 @ Anaheim, and dropping back to 32-39 overall.

On the Mound:

*As referenced, Brad Peacock struggled, needing 91 pitches to make it through just 4 innings. Two timely strikeouts helped him escape a bases-loaded jam in the 2nd, or else the damage could have been even worse, but not before he had already walked in a run. The 1st was his only "easy" inning, but even that took 21 pitches, so Brad's day was done early with a 4 IP / 3 H / 2 R / 2 ER / 4 BB / 3 K line.

*Darin Downs was predictably dependable, allowing a double and an intentional walk in the 5th, but nothing else in a scoreless 1.1 IP.

*Then came Jerome Williams. Two straight singles and a challenged/overturned double play in the 6th gave the Rays their third run, then two more singles sandwiched around a HPB gave them another run in the 8th. Williams earned the blown save and the loss with a 2 IP / 5 H / 2 R / 2 ER / 0 BB / 1 K line.

*American League rules or not, Bo Porter pulled some more creative maneuvers with Tony Sipp today. Sipp got one out in the 8th, then went to left field as the Astros gave up their DH and brought in Josh Zeid to pitch. Zeid struck out Evan Longoria to end the 8th, then Sipp returned to the mound (and Alex Presley took over left field) for two more outs in the 9th.

*pr0FF3ss0r_F4rnsw0rth was called upon last and delivered a strikeout for the final out of the 9th.

At the Plate:

*A bright beginning still led to a disappointing end for the Astros against David Price. Dexter Fowler led off the game for Houston with a solo HR in the 1st, and later doubled to finish 2x4 with 2 R.

*Matt Dominguez continued swinging well and also jumped on Price with a solo HR in the 1st, finishing his day 2x4 with a K.

*Jesus Guzman got the start at 1st to give Jonathan Singleton the day off, and Guzman delivered a RBI single to finish 1x4.

*Jonathan Villar had Houston's only other hit on a bunt single in the 5th, after which he stole both second and third base, but he would not score. Villar finished 1x3.

*Jose Altuve got his third straight day off with a bruised hand, but he did pinch-hit for Kyle Farnsworth in the 9th (with the DH gone), and grounded into a fielder's choice at second.

Turning Point:

Lefty Darin Downs got lefty Matt Joyce to fly out on one pitch starting the 6th, but then Bo Porter brought in Jerome Williams to face three straight right-handers due up next. Williams allowed back-to-back singles to Yunel Escobar and Jose Molina, putting runners on the corners, then induced a grounder to short from Desmond Jennings that the Astros turned into a inning-ending double play. Or so they thought, until Joe Maddon challenged the call, which the umpires rightly overturned - Jennings beat the rap at first by a hair, letting Escobar score with the tying run.

Man of the Match:

Dexter Fowler. Still doing his thing, but we'll be glad to see Jose Altuve rejoin him atop the lineup (hopefully) on Tuesday.

Goat of the Game:

Jerome Williams. He's now only had one "scoreless" appearance since May 28 (7 games), in which he walked the only batter he faced.