Yankees 5, Astros 4: So Close

Mike Stobe

The Astros battled all night tonight in the rubber match against the Yankees, but ultimately fell short in their come from behind bid.

I, like BustaPozee, fell victim to the CSN Houston debacle and was also unable to watch tonight's game. However, unlike Busta I am not going to attempt to voice my frustrations here as I realize that I in no way could come close to topping his craftfully articulated thoughts last night, so I will not even try. Instead let's steer this discussion to tonight's game against the Yankees.

Imagine my surprise when checking the boxscore after the first inning. Yes, a run was scored by the Yankees, but I was completely caught off guard by the fact that an Astros pitcher, let alone Erik Bedard, was able to get out of the first inning with only throwing 15 pitches, 10 for strikes. After doing a double-take, and then a triple-take to make sure I read that right, I became cautiously optimistic that Bedard may be turning a corner.

Unfortunately, the good fortune did not last and Bedard was back at his customary 50 pitches (48 to be exact) after the second inning. That frame started out with a walk, a walk, and one more walk added in for good measure. Give Bedard credit for buckling down and being able to escape that self-created jam with only allowing one-run.

The third inning was more efficient for Bedard than the previous one, but not more effective. He fell victim to the long ball giving up two solo shots, one to Robinson Cano, and one to former Astro Ben Francisco.

Bedard was able to redeem himself for a scoreless fourth, but that ended his night with 90 pitches thrown. Was that enough to buy himself another start or two?

Paul Clemens was the tough luck loser by allowing the go-ahead run to score (after he had already left)but pitched well otherwise. Wesley Wright and Hector Ambriz contributed scoreless outings (except for the inherited runner that Wright allowed.)

Offensively, the Astros ran hot and cold. After getting off to a slow start against David Phelps, who was making his first start of the season, the Astros got things going i the fourth. Altuve got things started with a one-out single, followed by a Castro double. Pena then knocked in the first Astro run of the night with an RBI single to short. Chris Carter was then beaned, and Fernando Martinez followed with a hit-by-pitch of his own to score the Astros second run. Brandon Barnes followed with a productive out to produce run number three, and Matt Dominguez followed with an RBI single to tie the game.

The Astros had a chance to score in the sixth when Altuve reached first on a single. According to Steve Sparks, David Phelps has quick feet and a nice pickoff move which must be the case because he was able to pickoff Altuve. As fate would have it Castro followed with a double that was laced to the wall and could have likely been the go-ahead run at the time.

The Yankees scored the go ahead run in the bottom of the sixth when Altuve initiated a non-force double play that was completed after the runner on third had scored.

All things considered the Astros battled in this one, and were close to pulling it out. Make sure to tune in tomorrow night and cheer on Jordan Lyles who makes his first start of the year.

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