Wednesday, July 2, 2014

From the Office of the County Clerk - G85: Astros v. Mariners

Hisashi Iwakuma (5-4, 3.48) vs Jarred Cosart (8-5, 3.60)

To watch the Astros over the last week, you'd think the Mariners were the real contenders, not the Tigers (and that may well be true). It was Santana Day in Houston, but the evening did not go well for Domingo - or any of the rest of the Astros. Seattle hands Houston their most lopsided loss of the year, 13-2, and the Astros open July by falling to 36-49 on the season.

On the Mound:

*One more out, and Jarred Cosart would have had his sixth straight quality start. One more out, and his outing would have been classified as "gritty," "gutty," or whatever other adjective you might choose to mean "ugly, but still alright." Instead, it was just plain ugly. Seattle got at least one runner to second base in every inning that Cosart pitched, but still he had only allowed 3 runs through 5.2 innings - then perhaps he stayed on for one hitter too long. That hitter, Robinson Cano, stroked a 2-run double to end Jarred's night, then one more run was charged to his ledger, before closing the book on his 5.2 IP / 9 H / 6 R / 6 ER / 4 BB / 3 K line.

*Darin Downs was Bad tonight. Startlingly Bad. Impressively Bad, even. He relieved Cosart in the 6th, and immediately allowed five straight hits - four of them doubles - to let in five more Seattle runs (one for Cosart and four of his own). Then he finally, mercifully, recorded the third out.

*Kevin Chapman made his not-so-triumphant return from OKC, allowing a walk, a triple, and a RBI groundout to let in two more Seattle runs before he had hardly arrived. Ultimately Chapman had 2 BB, 2 K, 3 H, and 2 R allowed in 2 IP.

*With Cosart, Singleton, and Santana all in the starting lineup, then Josh Zeid also had to make an appearance on Santana Day. Not to be outdone by his Astros moundmates, Zeid served up a solo HR to Kyle Seager in the 9th, so no Houston pitcher escaped unscathed.

At the Plate:

*Santana Day was less than memorable for Domingo himself, as he went 0x4 with 3 K in his MLB debut. The one time he didn't strikeout, though, he did at least reach base on an error, and ultimately scored a run.

*Jose Altuve shook off his 0-fer last night, and returned by going 2x3 with a run scored tonight.

*Altuve might have done more, but after the game got out of hand with Seattle's 7-run 6th, he was replaced on defense by the Astros' other MLB debut tonight, Enrique "Kiké" Hernandez. Kiké, at least, had a great night, knocking a ground-rule RBI double into the Astros bullpen in his first AB in the 7th, then adding a single in his second AB in the 9th.

*Marwin Gonzalez moved up on the depth chart with Jonathan Villar's demotion, and tonight went 2x4 batting ninth.

*With Dexter Fowler now on the DL, Alex Presley continues manning centerfield, and he's now up to a 5-game hitting streak in the role. Tonight he went 2x5 with a K.

*Matt Dominguez was 1x3 with a RBI single in the 1st.

*George Springer (1x5, 2 K) and Jason Castro (1x4, K) had Houston's other hits.

*Jonathan Singleton probably had the best night of all the ex-Phillie prospects, even going 0x3 with a K, because at least he managed to walk twice.

Turning Point:

Seattle jumped out 2-0 in the 1st and never trailed, but Houston was still hanging around down 3-1 until the 6th inning happened. Cosart started the inning by allowing a walk to Dustin Ackley and a single to Brad Miller, but recovered by getting Endy Chavez to ground out, and James Jones to ground into a fielder's choice that cut down Ackley at the plate. That left two on, two out for Robinson Cano, who worked the count full before doubling to left, plating both runners ahead of him and ending Cosart's night. But the fun was only beginning once Darin Downs came in, as it went double-double-double-single-double immediately thereafter. Suddenly 3-1 had become 10-1, and Santana Day was officially spoiled.

Man of the Match:

Kiké Hernandez. That's Alt+0233 on Windows, Option+E then e on a Mac.

Goat of the Game:

Ed Wade, for trading shoulda-been-Astros-lifer Hunter Pence for 0x7 with 4 K, 7 ER in 6.2 IP of disappointment tonight.