Wednesday, May 18, 2016

G41: Astros @ White Sox

Hey! The Astros win a road series! How did that happen? Well, let me tell ya…

On The Mound:
Doug Fister starts out the bottom of the first inning with a solid strike to Adam Eaton. Eaton drilled the sixth pitch down the third base line to Tony Kemp who would laser the ball down to Altuve to get Eaton out at second base. Jimmy Rollins would double to right field on the first pitch from Fister. Next, Jose Abreu singled between first and second base bringing Rollins home to tie up the game. After a walk to Todd Frazier Melky Cabrera grounded out to Altuve who would toss it to Correa on second who then sent it to Valbuena on first for a double play to get out of the first inning.

In the second inning, Fister sent down Brett Lawrie with his first strikeout of the night, followed by his second strikeout of the night on Avisail Garcia. Dioner Navarro was taken out easily on a ground ball to Altuve to Valbuena at first moving the game on to the third inning. Austin Jackson and Adam Eaton were both quickly sent down on fly balls in the bottom of the third while Fister got his third strikeout of the night on Rollins.

Bottom of the fourth inning started with Abreu quickly hitting a ground ball to Altuve for the first out followed by another ground out from Frazier for the second out. Melky Cabrera came up with a left field single off a fastball from Fister but he would be the only one to make it on base as Fister struck out Lawrie on a curveball concluding the fourth inning.

Fister starts his time in fifth with a quick out, heading to first base himself for the out as Valbuena tossed him the ball. Navarro singled on a soft ground ball followed by a line out to Springer from Jackson. Eaton doubled off of Fister sending both he and Navarro into scoring position but Colby Rasmus would have none of it running to catch a fly ball in center field to keep the White Sox at one. A quick fly out from Abreu started out Fister’s time in the sixth inning. Frazier would get a bunt single off of Fister followed by a triple from Cabrera scoring Frazier and making it 5-2, Astros. Lawrie went out on strikes for the third time on a fantastic slider from Fister. Garcia was sent back to the dugout on a ground out sent to Valbuena and tossed to Fister at first.

In the seventh Navarro singled into left field bringing up Jackson who would fly out to Springer and would be the last batter Fister would see after his sixth consecutive quality start. Giles came in to see top of the White Sox order starting with Eaton who would walk on a full count and everyone got nervous. The second out of the inning came on a fly out to Rasmus from Rollins. Abreu came in next with an RBI single off a slider from Giles making the score 5-3, Astros. Frazier would pop out as Rollins did to Rasmus to get the Astros out the inning.

Will Harris took the reins in the 8th to strike out Cabrera on a 94mph cutter. Lawrie who had struck out all 3 plate appearances so far grounded out to Correa in his final plate appearance and Garcia struck out looking on a 93 mph cutter. At this point Rasmus had moved to left field taking Kemp out for the night and Jake Marisnick had come in at center field.

After a shaky ninth the night before, Gregerson needed to pull this one out. Avila would ground out to Gregerson who would send it to Valbuena at first to get the first out. A fly out to Rasmus would secure the second out and Adam Eaton would strike out swinging at one of Gregerson’s nasty sliders to end the game giving Fister the win and Gregerson the much needed save.

At The Plate:
In the first inning Jose Altuve got on base quickly with a single to right field & Mat Latos attempts a pickoff immediately. Springer walked after 5 pitches to bring up Carlos Correa. After a full count Correa lined it to right field , scoring Altuve and moving Springer to second base. Colby Rasmus popped out into shallow center field allowing Springer to advance to third. During Evan Gattis first pitch Correa stole second base. Gattis struck out quickly to bring up Colin Moran in his major league debut who would strike out as well for the third out.

Luis Valbuena came up in the second and ground out to second baseman Brett Lawrie who threw to Abreu at first base. Jason Castro singled on a pop out to third baseman Todd Frazier followed by a line drive double to left field from Tony Kemp for his first major league at bat. Altuve grounded out on the first pitch easily scoring Castro and moving Kemp to third making it 2-1 Astros. George Springer would fly out to right fielder Eaton for the last out.

To start off the third inning Correa came up to single into left field but would be taken out at second base when Rasmus would single. Gattis struck out swinging for the second time bringing up Moran, who after driving a just foul ball down the third base line would end his second attempt in a ground out.

Another ground out from Valbuena started out the fourth inning, bringing up Castro who would quickly take a walk to first base on 4 pitches. Tony Kemp got on base again in his second plate appearance sending Castro to second base. Jose Altuve singled on a ground ball to left field, scoring Castro and sending Kemp to second base making it 3-1, Astros. Springer would force out Altuve at second but making it to first base and advancing Kemp to third base. That was all for the Astros after Correa would ground out to Lawrie at second base.

What would be a better way to start of the fifth inning than a ColbyJack? None, I say. That bomb by Rasmus made it 4-1, Astros. Next Gattis picked up an infield single followed by a line out to shortstop Rollins by Moran who has yet to reach a base at this point. Valbuena grounded out into a double play to send Fister back to the mound.

What would be a better way to start off the sixth inning than with a one pitch home run by Castro? None, I say. Tony Kemp followed up with a ground out bringing up Altuve with a single to left field. Zach Putnam would replace Latos who would issue a single to Springer. Correa struck out swinging and Rasmus grounded out for the last 2 outs. In the seventh Putnam quickly took out Gattis on strikes but then issued a walk to Moran who got on base for the first and only time this game. Dan Jennings came in to replace Putnam and face Valbuena who singled off a fastball into left field. The inning would end on a ground ball double play from Castro sending the game into the eighth inning with the Astros still leading 5-2.

A quick eighth inning started with a walk to Kemp and a second to Altuve. George Springer would ground out to Frazier at third base who threw to Lawrie at second who threw to Abreu at first base for an impressive triple play to head to the bottom of the inning. The ninth only saw three Astrso come to the plate. Correa grounded out on the first pitch seen, Rasmus struck out on a foul tip and Gattis struck out looking. Thankfully, the earlier runs were enough to secure the Astros win.

Turning Point:
This game. This whole game feels like a turning point.  

Man of the Match: 
Doug Fister. Very solid outing with five strike outs and only one walk over 6.1 IP.

Honorable Mention: 
Tony Kemp. His first night in the starting lineup and he makes it on base all four plate appearances plus that outfield assist in the first inning. Welcome to the big leagues, Tony Kemp.

Goat of the Game: 
No one. Good team win.

The Astros go for their first series sweep of the year with Colin McHugh on the mound facing the dominant Chris Sale.

A road series win. A much needed road series win.