Carlos Carrasco (7-5, 2.86) vs Brett Oberholtzer (5-11, 4.51)
There's Jose Altuve, and then there's everybody else. Firstly, my apologies to the readers for missing last night's recap, as a family emergency arose, but Altuve did indeed surpass Craig Biggio's club record with his 210th and 211th hits in last night's 4-2 loss. Tonight, Altuve merely notched his 7th multi-hit game in a row, knocking hits #212 and #213 - and he was also the only thing standing between Houston and getting no-hit tonight. A pair of Altuve infield singles and a Jonathan Singleton walk were all the offense that Houston could muster against Carlos Carrasco, so Brett Oberholtzer's solid effort goes for naught and the Astros drop their second straight, by a 2-0 final. They drop to 67-85 with 10 games left in the 2014 season.
On the Mound:
*Brett Oberholtzer was good. Very good. Maybe as good as he's been all season, as this was his longest outing of the year, and he never walked a batter while allowing only 2 runs. It took him just 94 pitches (67 strikes) to make it through 7.2 innings, and the two frames in which Cleveland scored were the only two frames in which he allowed a pair of baserunners. On most any other night, such an effort would be rewarded with a win, but tonight, Carlos Carrasco was just too good (or Houston's offense was just too bad). (Or both.) Obie's line: 7.2 IP / 7 H / 2 R / 2 ER / 0 BB / 3 K.
*Mike Foltynewicz took over for Oberholtzer with a runner on first and two away in the 8th. That runner (Michael Brantley) stole second on Folty's first pitch, but he got Yan Gomes to pop to third on his second pitch, for the third out. Then Folty retired the side in order in the 9th to give Houston the chance at the walk-off win.
At the Plate:
*But no walk-off was gonna happen tonight. There was Jose Altuve (2x4, SB, K), with his infield singles in the 4th and in the 9th.
*And there was Jonathan Singleton (0x2, K), with his one-out walk in the 3rd.
*And that was it for the Astros offense. Altuve made it to second on defensive indifference in the 9th, and to third on a steal and a throwing error in the 4th. And the rest was just silence.
After holding the Indians hitless through the first 3.2 innings, Carlos Santana finally broke through against Brett Oberholtzer with a double to left on a 2-1 fastball. Obie then managed to get Yan Gomes down 1-2, but Gomes hung in for three more pitches until he got a changeup that he lined to center for a single, which drove Santana home. With Houston's complete absence of offense beyond Altuve tonight, that was the ballgame.
Man of the Match:
Jose Altuve, we love you. <3 <3 <3
Goat of the Game:
Every Other Astro with a Bat.