Sunday, July 20, 2014

From the Office of the County Clerk - G99: Astros @ White Sox

Jarred Cosart (9-6, 4.17) vs John Danks (8-6, 3.99)

A fugly win is still a win, so we will absolutely take it. Jarred Cosart was far from his sharpest, the Goatpen (at least for one inning) did their worst, and the defense was iffy at best, committing three errors that gifted the White Sox at least two additional runs. But the Astros offense was all over it today, matching a season high with 17 hits, helping Houston take the series finale by an 11-7 score. They now head west to Oakland (where nothing could possibly go wrong) at 41-58 overall.

On the Mound:

*Jarred Cosart made a living last year by working out of trouble - a skill which came in handy again today. 7 hits, 4 walks, and a wild pitch in 5 innings, plus an error behind him, and the results could have turned out much worse. Fortunately, Cosart instead finished with an unspectacular-but-alright 5 IP / 7 H / 4 R / 3 ER / 4 BB / 4 K line.

*Darin Downs allowed a single and got a flyout for the two batters he faced, but ended up with a run charged to his ledger thanks to...

*...Jose Veras, whom the defense hardly helped, but who was hardly sharp himself. A double, a single, and two errors let the White Sox erase the 7-4 deficit they faced starting the 6th. Downs' run was earned, as was one of Veras', with one more unearned tying the score 7-7. Jose did at least record one out cleanly...

*...then Tony Sipp threw one pitch and ended the ugly 6th. He stayed on for a perfect 7th, then left after a leadoff walk in the 8th...

*...which brought on Josh Fields, who struck out everything. Three batters faced, three K's, so that leadoff walk went nowhere.

*Then Chad Qualls took the 9th, and turned in another perfect frame, sealing Houston's first post-ASG win.

At the Plate:

*Lots of offense! So much offense. Which was good, given the state of the pitching and defense today. The 7 runs allowed matched the most allowed in any Houston win this year, back on July 7 @ Texas - incidentally also the other game in which the Astros offense put up 17 hits. Fielding errors by Jonathan Singleton and Jose Altuve, plus a throwing error from CF by Kiké Hernandez, made two of those seven runs unearned.

*Many stars on offense, but the biggest this afternoon was Matt Dominguez, who drove in runs with each of his three hits. Missing only a triple for the cycle, Matty D finished the day 3x5 with a 2B, a HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, and a K. The home run was his 12th of the season and came in the 5th with one on.

*Jose Altuve also went deep today, with one on in the 3rd for his 3rd of the season. He also had another multi-hit day (ho hum), finishing 2x5 with 2 R and 2 RBI.

*Chris Carter DH'd and hit like a DH today, going 2x3 with 2 2B, a sac fly, a RBI, 2 R, a BB, and a SB (!) - his first steal since September 4 of last year, and the fourth of his big league career.

*George Springer was held out of the lineup to rest leg issues, so Kiké Hernandez started in his place in center, going 2x5 with a run scored and a K.

*Marwin Gonzalez also had himself a nice day, going 3x4 with a 2B, a R, 2 RBI, and a K.

*Robbie Grossman got in on the multi-hit barrage, going 2x4 with a R, a RBI, a BB, and a K.

*L.J. Hoes had a RBI double in the 7th, and later scored a run, finishing 1x5 with a K.

*Jonathan Singleton was 1x5 with a run scored and 3 K.

*And Carlos Corporan went 1x5 with 2 K, so that every Astro had at least one hit.

Turning Point:

Astros gonna Astro, but after the bullpen/defense let Chicago pull even at 7-7 in the 6th, Houston struck back quickly against White Sox reliever Daniel Webb in the 7th. Chris Carter lined his first pitch to left for a leadoff double. Two pitches later, Matt Dominguez also doubled to left, putting the Astros back ahead to stay at 8-7. Webb got the next two outs, then intentionally walked Robbie Grossman, but L.J. Hoes made him pay with a double to right that scored Dominguez. Then Marwin Gonzalez singled home both Grossman and Hoes for good measure, and the 11-7 final was set.

Man of the Match:

Matt Dominguez. He's done this year basically what he did last year, but it would be a nice boost to the offense seeing him kick it up a notch.

Goat of the Game:

Veras, Downs, and the cast of clowns behind them in the 6th. Fortunately, at least for today, it didn't matter.