Tom Koehler (6-7, 3.85) versus Jarred Cosart (9-6, 4.23)
It seems that Jarred Cosart has a fairly miserable record in the early innings this year, but a single 7ER in one-third would skew anyone's record. Well, tonight he had some difficulty with they whole "strike throwing" thing early on, but he settled down to gut it into the sixth inning. He was actually only one pitch from getting out of the second (his Waterloo inning) unscathed, which would have changed the complexion of the game entirely. Still, the Astros lose their fourth straight by a score of 7-3.
On the Mound:
The aforementioned Jarrod Cosart scuffled with his command, walking three in the first two innings, all of whom scored. He would add only one more walk to his night, however (an IBB when he was down 3-0 to Giancarlo Stanton), who wouldn't score, thankfully.
Christian Yelich walked in the first, and was grounded to second and third by Jordany Valdespin and Giancarlo Stanton respectively. He scored on an 0-2 single by the clutch-y Casey McGehee, who is has some ridiculous slash-line with RISP (.370/.455/.454). In the second, Cosart loaded the bases with a leadoff walk, a flyout (excellent running catch by Kiké Hernandez), a double (runner to third) and a walk. Christian Yelich then singled on the ninth pitch of his at-bat (after being 0-2 down) through the left side, and all runners advanced a base with one out. Valdespin stuck out, but all that did was set the stage for Giancarlo Stanton, who smoked a double on a first pitching hanging curve just past the diving Marwin Gonzalez for a bases-clearing double.
Cosart settled down, but spent long periods of time out of the stretch as he allowed leadoff singles in the third and fourth. His best inning was the fifth, when he retired the side in order on nine pitches. He convinced Bo to leave him in with two outs in the sixth and Christian Yelich at the dish -Yelich again singled through the left side after the first two pitches were recorded as strikes. Darin Downs relieved and retired Valdespin to end the frame after Yelich easily stole second.
The seventh belonged to Veras, who struck out two in a perfect frame, and the eighth belonged to Sipp, who also didn't allow a runner to reach. Chad Qualls started the ninth in a non-save situation, and he did what he does in low leverage, allowing an opposite field two-run shot to left off the bat of Jordany Valdespin - his first of the year.
At the Plate:
The Astros took an early 2-1 lead when, with 2-outs in the first, Carter (2-5, RBI) hit a clean single up the middle, and Castro smoked a shot to right off the second deck façade on a 2-0 count. Kiké Hernandez (1-3, BB, 2B) nearly hit it out in the second with a deep drive to the left-centre that hit the wall that lines the visitors 'pen - a few feet to the right, and he would have got the wall where the HR-line sat much lower. But it didn't, so it was a double. In the third, Altuve (3-5) and Gonzalez (2-5) reached with no outs, then watched from the corners as Chris Carter smoked one up the middle which ricocheted off the back of Tom Koehler and rebounded into the glove of a waiting Adeiny Hechavarria at short. Castro and Dominguez both struck out to end the frame after the bad luck on a sure RBI-single. In the fourth, Krauss (2-3, 2B) doubled with one out, but was also left at second, and in the fifth, Altuve and Gonzalez again singled to start the frame, and this time Carter's single to CF didn't involve crazy-bad (back?) luck, so Altuve scored. In the sixth, a Grossman (0-3, BB) walk with two outs moved Kiké to second, but Altuve was retired on a hard-hit ball to left.
Altuve reached with no outs in the ninth, and Marwin Gonzalez had a 11-pitch at-bat that ended with a strikeout looking off former catcher Chris Hatcher. Hatcher also retired the last two batters in order, and the game was done. Plenty of hard-hit balls, not a lot of luck, but the result was again a loss in a batting lineup affected by key injuries.
Can't moan too much here, given that Cosart hung a curve down the pipe to Stanton with bases loaded, and Stanton hit it hard along the ground. Another foot or so to the left, and Gonzalez has a shot at a force at second for the third out. Not to be, however, and the four runs the Fish scored in that inning were enough to carry them through the game.
Man of the Match:
Jason Castro, 2-5, HR, 2RBI.
Goat of the Game:
Matt Dominguez and Jon Singleton both went 0-4 with a K (and Dominguez added a GIDP to his tally) batting in the 5-6 slots. That combination effectively killed any rallies that didn't involve a Castro homer or a Carter line-drive.
Jacob Turner (3-6, 6.03) versus Collin McHugh (4-8, 3.28)
2 Eastern, 1 Central.