Tonight, the Astros beat the Rangers 2-1, if you don't count the five runs scored by the Rangers in the fifth inning. Jordan Lyles pitched a fantastic game, except for the five runs (three earned) he allowed in the fifth.
Justin Maxwell hit his 7th home run. All or nothing with that guy, but it's nice to see a little power. The Astros struggled to get anything going against Yu Darvish all night, though Jed Lowrie was able to squeeze Jose Altuve across after a walk and a steal. Only Maxwell and Brett Wallace grabbed multiple hits, and J.D. Martinez followed up his Grand Slam game last night with a hat trick tonight - 3 K's while batting fourth as the DH.
The first inning featured dual spectacular plays by Chris Johnson and Jose Altuve, both that ended with good digs by Wallace at first. The Astros committed only one error: a bad throw on an attempted CS by Jason Castro in the eigth.
Jordan Lyles pitched an awesome game. He gave up zero runs in 4-2/3 innings. The Ranger's only run came on a Mitch Moreland bomb in the 8th.
And now for the rest of the story. Five runs by the Rangers after Lowrie allowed seven baserunners in a row. Only three of those runs were earned, as the Astros committed two errors in the inning: a bad throw by Johnson that pulled Wallace off the bag, and a miscommunication in right field that led to a fly dropping directly in front of Altuve.
I am excited to cover this game - I believe this is the 3rd Rangers matchup I've had the privelege of writing up. The matchup is Jordan Lyles versus a recently recovered Yu Darvish. Oddly enough, I don't believe I've seen either of these characters pitch. I shall enjoy this.
- Darvish: What a weird windup. Holds the knee in the air before taking his step towards the batter.
- Two very good throws by Chris Johnson and Jose Altuve with two good digs by Brett Wallace at first end the inning. Both plays defensive gems.
- Bogusevic with a single to right ensures that Darvish will not have a perfect game tonight.
- Really nice inning by Lyles. Ground ball after ground ball.
- Nice walk and steal by Jose Altuve. You know I like to see that.
- Woohoo! RBI signle for Jed Lowrie, scoring Altuve. Score Astros 1 Rangers 0.
- Followed by an admittedly very nice double play. J.D. Martinez is not having a good night as the DH.
- Rant: What's with "Root. Root. Root."? Why periods? Why not exclamationo points or commas? I submit that "Root! Root! Root!" or "Root, root, root!" is more effective. "Root. Root. Root." suggest detached boredom, false enthusiasm, or even sarcasm. I know the Astros marketing staff won an award for that slogan, but come on.
- Darvish has a really nasty slow curveball. Reminds me of Oswalt's. They'll be able to compare notes in a few weeks.
- Back-to-Back singles for the Rangers. I hope Lyles settles down and we have a nice short game that ends with an Astros win.
- Lyles has a nice curveball too. Worked out of another jam to finish the inning.
- Lousy throw by Chris Johnson leads to an error and a runner on second with one out. Bummer.
- Especially when it's followed by a HBP. Lyles is really struggling with the strike zone.
- Defensive swing by Michael Young on a high inside pitch scores Kinsler. Not woohoo. Score Astros 1 Rangers 1.
- Score Astros 1 Rangers 2 on a single to left.
- What happens when three Astros try to catch the same ball in Right Field? Naturally, the ball drops between them, loading the bases.
- Score Astros 1 Rangers 4 on a single by David Murphy. Two errors this inning too, yuck!
- Score Astros 1 Rangers 5 on yet another bloop single. Not a hard-hit ball this inning. Lyles chased from the game, and here comes Fernando Abad.
- WOW! Wallace might have a hole through him after that line drive. Barely got his glove up in time. Abad cleans up the inning.
- Bunt single / Stolen base for Schafer. Let's see if they can do something about with this now.
- Home Run Justin Maxwell! When he hits it, he means it. Score Astros 2 Rangers 5.
- Followed by a double by Jason Castro. And a rare strikeout looking by Altuve.
- Worst song of all time? My vote is Richard Harris' "Macarthur Park." Though, Maynard Ferguson's version is awesome, and Weird Al Yankovic's "Jurrassic Park" is an all-time great.
- Rhiner Cruz looks tight tonight. Compared to Lyles, the pitches all seem around the zone, but not in it.
- Darvish still in the 8th inning. He's had a good night.
- Strikes out the side. Good grief.
- Mirch Moreland hits a home run all the way to Oklahoma. Score Astros 2 Rangers 6.
- Nothing happened.