I typically start these recaps well before the game is over, unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), I got sucked into making gifs all night because there were quit a few good moments tonight that warranted it. None of which involve J.A. Happ who for the only the third time this season allowed less than three runs.
I think we're beginning to see why the Astros paid Happ 2.3 million to stick around, to see what he can do. He's never going to be the ace of the staff, but he just might make a decent back-end of the rotation starter who can every once and a while pitch a game like this. Overall Happ went six innings, allowing one run on five hits and two walks, while striking out six. The one run came via an Alfonso Soriano homerun.
Now for the rest of the recap we'll use the gifs I've created to recreate this wonderful game after the jump.
After a fairly smooth top of the first inning for Happ, Jose Altuve struck first with this shot. Notice the ball isn't heading down the left field line. Ya, dude has got some sneaky hot power.*
*Total Kevin Millar rip off.
That would be the only run the Astros and Cubs would score until the fourth inning when Alfonso Soriano homered off Happ.
Chris Johnson would get tossed from the game after getting called out on a beautiful defense play by Starlin Castro. The play was a bang-bang play and could have been called either way. Still Johnson thought he should of been safe, resulting in this gif:
Soriano not only produced at the plate, but also in the field. Notice how much he loves the ball after making the catch.
That play by Soriano was the second out of the sixth inning. Justin Maxwell would walk and advance to second on a throwing error during a pickoff attempt. That lead to the Cubs walking Carlos Lee, bringing the Struggling J.D. Martinez to the plate. JD came through with a single to right field that would put the Astros on top 2-1.
Finally, in quiet possibly the most crucial situation of the game Wilton Lopez ended the eighth inning, with a runner on third, by striking out the final two batters. Resulting in this gification.
Brett Myers closed out the game without much drama for his 11 save and the Astros 20th win.