April 17, 2012; Washington, D.C., USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Wandy Rodriquez (51) pitches in the third inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE
Remember when people were worried about Wandy Rodriguez's spring stats? Ya, I think Rodriguez has proved that yet again you can't put much value in Spring stats. Through three starts Rodriguez has a 1.96 ERA, but has an 0-2 record because of misplays in the field -- an example of why pitcher wins don't carry much value either.
The Nationals secured the save with, a familiar face to Houston Astro fans, Brad Lidge who collected his second save of the season. To start the inning, it looked like the Astros had gotten 2007 Lidge after Jed Lowrie and J.D. Martinez reached base. Unfortunately Carlos Lee, Chris Johnson and Travis Buck all failed to cash in. One of these days the Astros will put it together, and it will be glorious.
Justin Maxwell started in place of Jordan Schafer and Travis Buck started, and may continue to start, in place of Brian Bogusevic. Combined they were 1-8 on the night with four strikeouts, two apiece. The only two players to reach base multiple times was Lowrie and Martinez. Lowrie via a hit and a walk and Martinez via two walks.
The only other two Astros with hits were Jordan Schafer, who pinch hit for Chris Snyder in the eighth and reached on a bunt single, and Jose Altuve. Overall, the offense had four hits, three walks and nine strikeouts.
Wandy Rodriguez again pitched well and again fell victim to some poor play in the field. Unlike his previous two starts the Astros didn't record an error during his seven innings on the mound, however, two misplayed fly balls in the outfield cost him an earned run in the box score. With two outs in the bottom of the fourth Maxwell, starting in place of Jordan Schafer, failed to catch a ball in center that he probably should of caught. The very next play J.D. Martinez and Jed Lowrie let a flare fall in between them in left field, allowing the one run attributed to Rodirguez to score. Wandy finished the night allowing one run on five hits, zero walks and three strikeouts.
Rhiner Cruz collected a strikeout in a perfect eighth inning.
We've already talked about the misplays so we'll leave this section for the positive plays. In the first inning Jed Lowrie, Jose Altuve and Carlos Lee combined for a sick double play. Then in the fifth inning Chris Johnson made this nice play, and played well overall.