To call this team a tease is an understatement.
Whether it's the pitching burying the game and the offense scratching its way back or the pitching holding serve and the offense scratching its rear, they just can't seem to put it together. It's entertaining, but also frustrating. I guess I would rather have this frustration than the frustration of watching an inept team. Hopefully, they can start figuring out whatever, they need to figure out.
Speaking of figuring it out. Has Mills finally figured out that he might want to think about batting Jose Altuve higher? He did in this one, batting him sixth and being rewarded with a homerun and a multi-hit game from Altuve. We should have an answer to that question tomorrow morning when lineups are posted.
Finally, if you think you're frustrated you should check out what happened to Jordan Schafer in his fifth inning at bat after the jump.
Bud Norris started out strong but faded late. He threw 3.2 innings before giving up his first hit of the game. He also managed to strikeout four batters in the third inning. The first time an Astros has done so since Brad Lidge back in 2004. From there it was all downhill. Overall Norris pitched 5.2 innings allowing seven runs on nine hits and two walks. He struck out six and plunked Rickie Weeks to begin the game.
There's a case to be made that Brad Mills should of pulled Norris sooner in the sixth inning, having allowed 2 runs already, with two runners on and the top of the order coming up. Weeks got his revenge for the plunking with a three run shot to close Norris' night.
Fernando Rodriguez and Brett Myers followed Norris and fared no better allowing a run to score in each of their respective innings. For the night the pitching staff struck out seven and allowed nine earned runs on 13 hits, four via the long-ball, and two walks.
The offense continued to tease with just enough runs to make it a game, but not enough to allow for the loud music to be played in the clubhouse after the game. The Astros did little against Randy Wolf, scoring two runs on four hits and four walks, whiles striking out four times. One hitter not fooled by Wolf was Jose Altuve who hit his first homerun of the season in the second inning. Altuve would finish 2-3 with a walk.
The Astros started to make a comeback in the later innings scoring a run in the sixth, seventh and three in the eighth. In the seventh the Astros loaded the bases, but as usual failed to get anything remotely resembling a hit and getting only one run on a J.D. Martinez ground out.
The win probability added (WPA) star of the game goes to jed Lowrie who had a .202 WPA for this game. WPA is something I'd like to start incorporating into my recaps. Essentially it looks at every players contributions to the winning of the ball game and rates it based on the situation. For a more in-depth look at WPA go here.
The Astros avoided errors and nothing spectacular stood out. Marwin Gonzalez was inserted into the lineup at third base to give Chris Johnson a day off; he handled the position well.
Day game starting at 12:10 p.m. CT. J.A Happ vs Shaun Marcum.