May 30, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) fields a ball during the eighth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE
This one was ugly. If you want to look at the bright side the offense did a good job of overcoming an early four run deficit. Thats all I have though as they were held in check after the first two innings. It gets even uglier on the pitching front as Lucas Harrell continued the recent trend of starters struggling at Coors field. Harrell mixed in a hit and a few walks before giving up a grand slam in the first. He settled down for a little while and tried to chew some innings, and appeared to be able to do just that until things really unraveled for him in the sixth. His final line was an ugly 10 hits, 9 earned runs, 3 walks, and 4 strikeouts in 5 innings pitched.
I originally had this idea to sprinkle some praise on Harrell and Luhnow on this recap prior to the game. I was going to take us back to spring training when Harrell wasnt even being considered for the starting role with both Kyle Weiland and Livan Hernandez both appearing to have starting roles locked up. We all know how that story goes as Harrell starting having some good outings throwing his name back into the mix while Livan struggling which ultimately led to Luhnow's decision to release Hernandez. It was the right decision even if Livan is pitching okay in relief for Atlanta and Harrell has nights like tonight. That's because Harrell will also have outings like his last one against the Dodgers, and because he's 26 with a little hope to mature a little on the mound. Maybe Livan would have been a little better up to this point, but at least this way the Astros will know what Harrell's capable of this year.
Back to the game. We've already talked about Harrell, and the bullpen was unabke to contain the Rockies as well. Rhiner Cruz, Xavier Cedeno, and David Carpenter each gave up a homerun to the Rockies, and the Rockies hit five total. Cruz was unable to record an out, and Carpenter returned to the Astros and pitched pretty well minus the homerun to Carlos Gonzalez which was his third of the night. Number two came off of newly promoted lefty Xavier Cedeno who didn't get his lefty.
The Astros had a good first two innings but no more scoring after that. The big swing of the bat came from Snyder who hit an RBI double down the left field line to plate two. Unfortunately the rest of his at-bats ended in strikeouts. Chris Johnson was a perfect 3-3 on the night, and he, Altuve, and Martinez each had three hits on the night. Schafer and Maxwell also chipped in with two hits apiece. The trouble was that only two of those fifteen hits went for extra bases. The Astros were also 4-17 with runners in scoring position and left a total of 13 on base.