Saturday, September 27, 2014

From the Office of the County Clerk - G161: Astros @ Mets

Samuel Deduno (0-1, 5.79) vs Rafael Montero (1-3, 4.38)

The bad news is that the Astros lost 2-1 on a 2-out, 2-run walkoff homer by Lucas Duda. The good news is that only one game remains in the season, so there's only one more chance for another frustrating defeat. Samuel Deduno and a trio of Houston relievers held the Mets to 2 hits for 8 innings, and the Astros scratched out a 6th-inning run to lead 1-0 heading to the bottom of the 9th. But Tony Sipp couldn't shut the door, and Houston drops to 70-91, with the season finale set for noon Central tomorrow.

On the Mound:

*After hitting the 200 innings plateau in his previous start, Tom Lawless decreed that Dallas Keuchel would sit out the rest of the season, so Samuel Deduno was given the chance to make his first start for Houston. On a pitch count restriction, he only lasted 4 innings, but he put up numbers that would have made Keuchel proud, finishing with a 4 IP / 1 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 1 BB / 4 K line. The lone hit he allowed was an infield single in the 2nd, which followed a walk and an error (Dominguez) and looked like it would plate an unearned run. But Marwin Gonzalez made a great diving stop and fired home to catch Wilmer Flores at the plate for the third out.

*Jake Buchanan pitched a 1-2-3 5th (1 K), then allowed a double between a pair of groundouts in the 6th.

*Kevin Chapman got a trio of groundouts - ending the 6th and starting the 7th - with no baserunners allowed.

*Jose Veras turned in 1.1 perfect innings, including a flyout of retiring long-ago pre-Stro Bobby Abreu as a pinch hitter in the 8th.

*Then Tony Sipp came in for the 9th. After a leadoff flyout, Eric Young tripled, but the Daniel Murphy flyout that followed was not deep enough to allow Young to come home. It seemed then that Sipp just might escape with the save, but on a 1-0 fastball, Lucas Duda lined the pitch off the right field foul pole for the come-from-behind walkoff win.

At the Plate:

*Not much to say about offense with a 1-0 game going into the 9th, but the Astros did manage 7 hits for the second straight night. Jason Castro doubled home the lone Houston run in the 6th, finishing 1x4 with a K.

*Dexter Fowler went 2x4 and scored the run after reaching on an infield single.

*Robbie Grossman was 1x4 with a K, extending his hitting streak to 9 games. He's also now hit safely in 16 of his last 17 games (23x71, .324).

*Besides his nifty play on defense to save a run in the 2nd, Marwin Gonzalez doubled and went 2x3 with a BB at the plate.

*And Samuel Deduno earned his first ever big league hit - and the first of the season for any Astros pitcher - with a double in his only AB in the 3rd.

Turning Point:

The aforementioned bottom of the 9th with Tony Sipp. Tough gut punch of a loss after what was otherwise a brilliantly pitched game by the collected Houston staff.

Man of the Match:

Marwin Gonzalez, and the first four Houston pitchers (Deduno, Buchanan, Chapman, and Veras).

Goat of the Game:

Tony Sipp. Two great innings last night, but one big mistake this time around.