What has gotten into the pitching lately? Three straight shutout wins, 27 scoreless innings overall. That's how you win ball games folks. The only thing better is that the shutouts were apart of series wins against the "Should Have Moved Instead" Milwaukee Brewers and the "Triple Digit Loveable Losers" Chicago Cubs. It's nice to see this team finishing the season strong in both the pitching side and the offensive side of baseball.
Bud Norris finished off the season strong with six shutout innings against the Cubs. He allowed four hits and two walks, while striking out four Cub players. Xavier Cedeno followed him with a perfect seventh. Chuckie Fick and Wesley Wright combined for a no-hit eighth that would have been perfect if not for a Wright throwing error. Wilton Lopez finished off the ninth with a no-hit ninth, allowing only one runner to reach via the walk. The save put Lopez at 10 for the season.
Jason Castro has found his power stroke in the last two weeks, with a .609 slugging percentage. While that's nice it's worth noting that he's also hitting for a .217 average and a .250 on-base percentage (excluding tonight's action). Still it's encouraging to see an Astros catcher hitting bombs.
The other scored via a Starlin Castro error, which ended up as a two base error because Justin Maxwell hustled to second, and then Tyler Greene followed that play with a single to right that scored Maxwell. Worth noting that the throw home was cut-off putting Greene in a rundown that he eluded to get back to first base. Dale Sveum came out to argue that Greene stepped out of the baseline, but the umpires ruled in the Astros favor.
Wright collected an error as mentioned above. Jason Castro picked off Brett Jackson at second base. Sorry, no Brandon Barnes flying highlight-reel catch tonight, maybe tomorrow.
Both Scott Moore and Jose Altuve left the game early with injuries. Moore appeared to be injured on a diving defensive play in the outfield/infield (stupid wind) and Jose Altuve appeared to be injured running down the first baseline. Zachary Levine is tweeting that with one game left both are down for the season:
Jose Altuve and Scott Moore both done after their injuries today, Tony D says. Laird and Paredes to start finale.— Zachary Levine (@zacharylevine) October 3, 2012
Final Game of the Season
Day game has Edgar Gonzalez facing off against Travis Wood starting at 1:20 p.m. CT.