Friday, September 19, 2014

From the Office of the County Clerk - G153: Astros v. Indians

Danny Salazar (6-7, 4.22) vs Scott Feldman (8-11, 3.95)

Pitching was at the forefront of all four of these games with Cleveland this week. Certainly that was the case tonight, as Scott Feldman carried a shutout and the slimmest of leads into the 9th inning. Going into the 9th with a 1-0 lead, Houston looked poised to turn this into a series split with the Wild Card-chasing Indians. But the margin of error was too slim, and Houston's offense could not come through again, so a 1-0 lead after 8 turned into a 2-1 defeat after 13. The loss is Houston's third straight, and they fall to 8-7 in September and 67-86 overall, with 9 games left to go.

On the Mound:

*Feldman was, in fact, in fine form on the mound tonight. Only once did he allow more than one baserunner in an inning, retiring 15 in a row at one stretch from the 3rd through the 8th. He had a 3-hit shutout going on 97 pitches into the 9th inning, but with no margin for error in a 1-0 game, Scott was lifted after old friend Michael Bourn led off the 9th with a ground-rule double that was eaten (and then regurgitated) by the padding on the left field wall. Unfortunately the bullpen couldn't save that lead for Scott, so his night ended in a no decision for a 8 IP / 4 H / 1 R / 1 ER / 1 BB / 2 K line.

*Tony Sipp received the first call from the bullpen in the 9th, and he started by allowing a bunt single to Jose Ramirez that was originally called an out on the field, but overturned upon replay review. That single allowed Bourn to move up to third, then Michael Brantley reached on a fielder's choice, as the Astros erased Bourn on a 3-5-1 tag play at the plate.

*With runners on first and second and one away, Sipp gave way to closer Chad Qualls, but Chad quickly fell behind Carlos Santana 3-0. After a sinker for strike #1, Santana laced a Qualls slider into right field for a single that plated Ramirez and tied the game. Chad then recorded the final two outs without any further damage, but the ticket to extra inning purgatory had already been punched.

*Kevin Chapman set the Indians down in order in the 10th, then got the first two outs of the 11th as well, before leaving following a Michael Brantley single.

*Jose Veras walked one before recording the final out of the 11th, then walked one more and struck out two in tallying a scoreless 12th.

*Then Samuel Deduno couldn't keep the train rolling. A double, a pair of walks (one intentional), and a sacrifice fly gave Cleveland their second run of the night, tagging Deduno and Houston with the loss.

At the Plate:

*More offense tonight than the night before, but that's not saying much. Jake Marisnick had the lone RBI, going 2x4 with a walk, a stolen base, and a K.

*Dexter Fowler scored that run and went 2x5 with a walk and a K.

*Mike Bob Grossman had a fine night at the plate - if only there had been more offense around him - going 3x6 with a K.

*And Chris Carter had a single, a walk, and a K while going 1x4.

*The name you notably do not see on this list is Jose Altuve. In spite of his torrid week preceding, and all of the extra ABs tonight, Jose came up dry this time with an 0x6 night.

Turning Point:

Samuel Deduno began the 13th by striking out Michael Bourn, but fell behind Jose Ramirez 3-1 and then surrendered a double. The decision was made to intentionally walk Michael Brantley, but unintentionally walking Carlos Santana immediately after loaded the bases with only one out. On a 0-1 cutter, Mike Aviles lofted a fly ball to right that allowed Ramirez to score on the sac fly, giving Cleveland their first and final lead of the night.

Man of the Match:

Scott Feldman. He was on it and deserved better, but the offense offered him no support.

Goat of the Game:

Most of the offense outside of the multi-hit trio, but Jose Altuve in particular - Robbie Grossman went 3x6 immediately preceding him, but Altuve's 0x6 meant that Grossman's output didn't matter.