Thursday, June 26, 2014

From the Office of the County Clerk - G80: Astros v. Braves

Mike Minor (2-4, 4.20) vs Jarred Cosart (7-5, 3.78)

Jarred Cosart has the cure for what ails ya. Since their walkoff win against Arizona on June 12, the Astros had only won two more games. Since June 12, Jarred Cosart had made two starts. Now it's been three, and it's no coincidence that Houston has won all three of them. Jarred won back on June 9, too, so that's two straight four-game losing streaks snapped by him, and four straight wins for him overall. Houston's offense also reappeared today, and so they salvage the last game of the Atlanta series by a 6-1 final. The Astros will welcome Detroit to town tomorrow, sitting at 34-46 overall.

On the Mound:

*Jarred Cosart is The Man. All five of his June starts have been of the "quality" variety, and he's yet to allow more than 3 runs in any start since the April 18 disaster. Last time out, he tossed 8 shutout innings, and this time was nearly as good, allowing Atlanta's only run on a Tommy La Stella sac fly following a Jason Castro throwing error in the 1st. The run was earned anyway, as Freddie Freeman followed the sac fly with a single, but Jarred's line was still sterling at 7 IP / 6 H / 1 R / 1 ER / 2 BB / 2 K.

*Cosart left after 102 pitches, giving way to Josh Zeid, who retired both batters he faced in the 8th.

*Tony Sipp got the final out of the 8th and the first two of the 9th, but then walked Jason Heyward and was lifted...

*...for the return of "Thunderstruck"! Old friend Jose Veras returned to the fold and struck out Justin Upton on four pitches, nailing down the "V" for Houston.

At the Plate:

*Jonathan Singleton ensured that the Astros would not wait long for offense today, tying the game on a RBI double off the wall with one out in the 1st. He later singled off the wall, too, finishing 2x4 with a K.

*Jose Altuve scored that first run for Houston, and another later, getting back on track with a 2x4, 2 SB, 2 R day. He's now up to 30 steals on the season - 5 off his career high from last year - and he's only been caught 3 times.

*Matt Dominguez had the biggest blow, taking Mike Minor deep off the pillars in left-center with 2 on in the 5th, for his 11th home run of the season. Matty D ended his day 1x3 with 2 R, 3 RBI, a HBP, and 2 K.

*Cover Boy George Springer added an exclamation point in the 7th, blasting his team-leading 15th home run of the year through the arch just left of the Conoco Pump. He finished 1x3 with 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, and 1 K.

*Jason Castro had a double that contributed to Houston's second run, and made up for his throwing error on a B.J. Upton steal by nailing brother Justin with a perfect throw later on. Jason ended his day 1x3 with a BB.

*Jesus Guzman drove in the run that followed Castro's double, on a RBI groundout, but also singled to finish 1x3 with a RBI and a K.

Turning Point:

The Astros took the lead in the bottom of the 4th following Matt Dominguez's HPB, Jason Castro's double, and Jesus Guzman's RBI groundout. But they really took control after two outs in the bottom of the 5th. Jose Altuve was on first following a single, then stole second with George Springer batting. George worked the count full, then walked, as Altuve stole third on ball four. Dominguez followed, and fell behind 0-2, but he turned on Mike Minor's third straight fastball and belted it off the pillar in left-center for a 3-run homer, and a 5-1 Astro lead.

Man of the Match:

Jarred Cosart. Alongside Dallas Keuchel and Collin McHugh, Houston has a solid Big 3 going now.

Goat of the Game:

Dexter Fowler. Conspicuously absent from the offensive attack today, going 0x4 with no walks leading off.