PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 09: J.D. Martinez #14 of the Houston Astros celebrates after hititng a solo home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the third inning of the Major League Baseball game at Chase Field on August 9, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Well, this game was filled with some serious extremes... of both the positive and negative variety.
Let's start with the the good signs..
J.D. Martinez continued his remarkable power surge with a solo shot to left, and I'm beginning to think Baseball America couldn't have been more wrong in their assessment of Martinez. He's showing phenomenal patience at the plate, hitting to both sides of the field, and exhibiting much more than just "line-drive" power. He also gunned out a runner at third with a strong throw, and it's hard to believe that his performance wasn't the best one tonight.
Brian Bogusevic finished a triple short of the cycle, and his first career home run was an absolute bomb to deep left-center. While most projections/scouts have him listed as a career fourth-outfielder, I think we could see a lot of progress as he continues to get substantial at-bats. He couldn't honestly settle into a groove when only pinch hitting a few times per week, and it's time that Jason Michaels stops seeing the field. However, Brad Mills loves his aging veterans, and I don't have a clue what goes on in his mind sometimes. Then again, does anyone?
How about another solid performance from an Astros rookie? Jimmy Paredes also clubbed his first career home run tonight with a solo shot in the seventh and rifled a double down the right-field line. If that's not enough, he showed off his arm with an unbelievable throw to nail Willie Bloomquist in the third.
In case you weren't paying attention, Martinez, Bogusevic, and Paredes combined for seven hits, seven RBIs, and three homers. The youth movement marches on, and their performance tonight was very encouraging.
Jordan Lyles finally received more run support than he knew what to do with, and a six-run lead wasn't enough for the rookie right-hander. He unraveled in the fifth and sixth innings and broke a string of three consecutive quality starts in the process.
While tonight's final result was frustrating to say the least, you can't be mad at the effort that our young guys showed. That sounds cliche, but the offense has accounted for 18 total runs in the last two games.
When's the last time we could say that?