Astros Both Helped and Burned By Former Astros In 4-3 Extra Innings Loss

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 15: J.D. Martinez #14 of the Houston Astros watches the rain from the dugout before the start of their MLB baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies on May 15, 2012 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

What a fun, uneventful, exciting, tense game to lose. The Astros continue their trend of losing extra innings game with their now fifth loss in extras.

With Cliff Lee on the mound the Astros struggled to get anything going and only did get things going after he exited the game.

I'm not even really mad about this loss, the Astros showed some fight, and some familiar faces on the Phillies both helped and hurt the Astros in this game. I know there are no good losses in many people's books, but if you're looking for a silver lining this is a good loss, because the team never gave up.

Pitching

A six inning, six hit, three run (one of which was earned), one walk and four strikeouts outing amounts to a 55 Game Score, which is about what he posted in his last outing. All three runs scored via the homeruns. Brian Schneider took Lyles deep in the second inning for a two run shot and Hunter Pence took him deep again in the sixth inning. It wasn't exactly a terrible inning, but when you're mound opponent is Cliff Lee it might be just enough to lose the game.

Fernando Abad started the seventh inning and faced three batters, allowing one hit and one strikeout. Fernando Rodriguez relieved Abad and finished off the ninth, but not before walking the first batter he faced.

Brandon Lyon pitched the eighth inning and got himself into a bit of trouble with runners on first and third with no outs, but a ground out to third nailed the Pence trying to come home. That left runners on first and second with one out. A fly out and ground out would keep them there and it would also keep the Phillies off the board, which was a good thing because the Astros Offense scored two runs in the next half inning to even the game. Lyon made it through the bottom of the ninth with no problems.

Brett Myers came on to pitch the 10th inning and after an extended battle with Shane Victorino, that resulted in a foul out, he gave up a walk-off homerun to Pence. Overall the pitching staff pitched 9.1 innings, allowing four runs to score on 10 hits, three homeruns, two walks and an error that made two of those runs unearned, while manaing to strike out six.

Offense

Ugly until the ninth inning, but that's to be expected with Cliff Lee on the mound. The only two batters to reach base multiple times were Carlos Lee and J.D. Martinez. Matt Downs had a homerun to put the first run on the board and the Astros scratched out two more in the bottom of the ninth against an old friend, Chad Qualls. Jonathan Papelbon had pitched three days in a row and was unavailable.

The Astros actually tied the game on a Pence error when he lost grip of the ball allowing Brian Bogusevic to score on a J.D. Martinez single to right. Bogey had come on to pinch run for Carlos Lee, stealing second base to get into scoring position. I guess I should also make note of Jordan Schafer, who pinch hit for Justin Maxwell to start the ninth and reached on a double to centerfield to set up the first run scored in that inning.

Overall the offense scored three runs on nine hits and one walk, but struck out 13 times. Jose Altuve, Justin Maxwell, J.D. Martinez and Marwin Gonzalez all struck out twice.

Defense

Jose Altuve made a throwing error in the second inning with one out that allowed John Mayberry to reach. The next batter flew out and then Schneider took Lyles deep, hence the two unearned runs charged to Lyles.

WPA Player of the Game

J.D. Martinez with a .341 WPA

Wednesday

The Astros return home for a 7:05 PM CT date with the Milwaukee Brewers. Randy Wolf vs Bud Norris. Check your local listings.

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