NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 26: Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros celebrates his ninth inning run against the New York Mets with teammate Brett Wallace #29 at Citi Field on August 26, 2012 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
In arguably his best start of the season, Lucas Harrell didn't get beat, but the Astros sure lost this game. Once again, they were shut down by the Mets pitching and the team just couldn't get anything going offensively.
Of course, the Mets were in no better circumstances against Harrell's arsenal of pitches. The right-hander kept the Mets off-balance for two hits in seven innings of work. One of those just happened to be a solo home run from Ike Davis, who appears to be back from that bout of the wasting sickness or whatever kept him out earlier this year.
Harrell has only struck out less than five batters twice in his last 12 starts. He's striking out batters at a rate of 8.5 per nine innings over that stretch while walking just 3.7 per nine. The homer to Davis was just the third he's given up in over 75 innings.
Which is to say he's been very good, and Houston hasn't really rewarded him with wins. He'll have the distinction as being the only Houston pitcher to top 10 wins this season (probably), but games like this one should have helped get him closer to 15 wins by end of the year. That won't happen now, and it's a shame, because he's been the best pitcher Houston's had in the past few months.
It didn't work Sunday in New York, but that's becoming a familiar theme this season. Don't worry, though, I'm totally sure Houston will rebound offensively next week against the Giants. They don't have any pitching, do they?