Sunday, June 29, 2014

From the Office of the County Clerk - G83: Astros v. Tigers

Drew Smyly (4-6, 3.19) vs Scott Feldman (3-5, 4.00)

The best way to forget a frustrating loss is to come back with another win. Try to forget that the Astros were one bad Jerome Williams pitch away from a series sweep, but taking two of three from the 3x-defending AL Central champs (who came into town winners of 7 straight) is still a great weekend for Houston. Today it was Scott Feldman delivering Houston's sixth straight quality start, while Jose Altuve continues doing unbelievable things, and Jonathan Singleton made the Tigers pay for their disrespect. Astros win the game 6-4, and the series 2-1, giving them their first series win since June 11-12 v. Arizona. They improve to 12-14 in June with one left to play, and 36-47 overall.

On the Mound:

*Neither Brad Peacock nor Brett Oberholtzer allowed more than 2 runs in either of the first two games of this series, and today Scott Feldman followed suit. It was also Feldman's third quality start of the month, and would have been his fourth in a row had he gone one inning longer on June 18. Scott pitched into the 7th and collared the Tigers with a 6 IP / 7 H / 2 R / 2 ER / 1 BB / 4 K line.

*Darin Downs, who did not pitch yesterday, did pitch today after Feldman allowed a leadoff single in the 7th. Downs followed by walking his first batter, but then got the next three in order (including 2 K) for a scoreless inning.

*Jose Veras, who also did not pitch yesterday (after pitching the two games previously), came in for the 8th and got two outs on two pitches. But then it went all wrong, as a walk, a single, and a Nick Castellanos triple created two more Detroit runs.

*Tony Sipp then took over and struck out pinch-hit villain Ian Kinsler to end the 8th, and got three more in a row in the 9th to finish 1.1 perfect innings with 2 K.

At the Plate:

*We're running out of superlatives to describe Jose Altuve anymore, so just pick your favorite, or make up your own. 3x5 with a double and a run scored today, and two more steals to set a new career high of 36. He's now the first player in 97 years, and only the third in MLB history, with multiple steals in four straight games.

*Altuve was actually just one of three Astros with three hits today; Matt Dominguez went 3x4 with a double and a run scored from the 5-spot in the lineup.

*Carlos Corporan also delivered a 3x4 day with a double from the 8-spot.

*Marwin Gonzalez pinch-ran for Corp after his double, and came around to score a run.

*L.J. Hoes contributed a pair of RBI today, on a sac fly in the 1st and a double in the 3rd, finishing 1x3.

*George Springer hit second and went 1x2 with a run scored, a RBI, and 3 walks - two of them intentional...

*...which is where Jonathan Singleton came in, hitting third. Both times the Tigers intentionally walked Springer, Singleton made them pay - the first time with his patience, on a bases-loaded walk, and the second time with his bat, on a RBI single. Jonathan finished 1x4 with 3 K.

*Jesus Guzman was the DH today and went 1x5 with a R, a RBI, and a K.

*Alex Presley replaced Dexter Fowler in CF for the third straight day, and now has a 3-game hitting streak, going 1x3 with a run scored.

*Jonathan Villar was the only Astros starter without a hit, going 0x3 with a K, but still contributed a walk.

Turning Point:

After Scott Feldman delivered a perfect frame in the top of the 1st, Houston hit Detroit starter Drew Smyly early and often. Jose Altuve led off with a single and stole second. George Springer doubled, bringing Altuve home. Jon Singleton struck out, then Springer stole third with Jesus Guzman at the plate. Guzman singled, scoring Springer. Matt Dominguez singled, moving Guzman up to second. With L.J. Hoes batting, Smyly uncorked a wild pitch that let Guzman move up to third. Then Hoes hit a sac fly to right field that sent Guzman home. Ultimately Smyly would not last through the 3rd, and the Astros were in the driver's seat of this one from start to finish.

Man of the Match:

Scott Feldman. Finishing strong after a shaky start to June.

Goat of the Game:

Jose Veras, I suppose, for cutting Houston's lead to one run at the time.