A dejected Phillip Humber didn't have any answers after another short outing on Thursday. The right-hander, claimed off waivers in the winter from the White Sox, has struggled in his last two starts for the Astros. At least against Boston, he managed to make it out of the first inning.
He didn't make it out unscathed, as Humber gave up four runs on four hits with a walk, a double and a strikeout all in the bottom of the first. The runs all came in bunches, as Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Mike Carp and Jarrod Saltalamacchia all had RBI hits in the first.
"It's pathetic," Humber said after the game. "I didn't give our team a chance to win the game before and definitely not this time. I'm definitely not doing my job right now."
In 4 2/3 innings of work, Humber gave up 10 hits and all seven of Houston's runs while walking three and striking out five. His ERA is now up to 7.99 and is peripherals aren't much better, as his FIP low but not low enough at 4.70 and his strikeout rate per nine innings plunged below five.
Humber's bad day wasn't helped by the offense's inability to hit Red Sox starter Clay Buchholtz. The Lumberton, Texas native struck out 10 in 7 2/3 innings of work, while allowing six hits and two runs. Buchholtz almost threw a no-hitter last time he pitched, and was just as good today.
But, Buchholtz also got the benefit of a ton of called strikes. The right-hander had more strikeouts (10) than swings and misses (9) in the game. On the other hand, Houston struck out at least 11 times for the ninth time in 22 games.
On the bright side, Jose Altuve snapped an 0-for-9 slump while Fernando Martinez was 3 for 4. Marwin "Game Breaker" Gonzalez was 1 for 3 with a double and a run scored while Jason Castro was 1 for 3 with a walk and an RBI. Oh, and Chris Carter hit a double, or as I like to call it, a half-Trogdor.
This wasn't good, though. Things only get worse on this road trip, so the Houston rotation needs to get it together. Now.