One of the reasons baseball is such a great game is that even when you think you've seen it all, something happens that absolutely boggles your mind. The Astros allowed only one hit that turned into four runs for the Mariners and led to another loss for Houston. It was only right that the 2013 Astros were involved in something like this.
Erik Bedard was dealing on Saturday night as he struck out 10 batters and allowed no hits in 6.1 innings. But in the sixth inning, a lot went wrong despite no base knocks. The lefty walked back-to-back batters with one out, then catcher Jason Castro allowed a passed ball to put runners on second and third. Bedard induced a sacrifice fly off the bat of Nick Franklin to cut the Houston lead to 2-1. With Raul Ibanez batting, Bedard again was victimized by his catcher as Castro let one get by him and to the backstop - allowing the tying run to score.
Bedard went back out for the seventh, but after walking Justin Smoak with one out - Bedard's fifth walk of the night - Astros manager Bo Porter decided to yank his starter despite the possible no-hitter. Bedard tied a season-high with 109 pitches on Saturday after throwing the same number last Sunday against Tampa Bay. As luck would have it for the 'Stros, Jose Cisnero took over and walked a batter before allowing a 435-foot two-run double on Tal's Hill in center field to give Seattle a 4-2 lead. Still, Bedard was showing obvious signs that he had nothing left in the tank. It was a very sensible decision to remove him, despite having the no-hitter in tact.
Bedard's final pitching line: 6.1 IP, 0 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, 10 SO
Bedard also seemed pretty willing for his night to be over:
Bedard said afterward that he's had 3 shoulder surgeries and would rather pitch 2 more years than face another batter tonight.— Jose de Jesus Ortiz (@OrtizKicks) July 21, 2013
And here are some of the other facts that baseball people have dug up about tonight's game.
teams getting one-hit, all-time, now 51 - 1,037— Jeff Sullivan (@based_ball) July 21, 2013
Mariners first team ever with 4+ runs, 1 hit. 1990 White Sox had 4 runs, 0 hits, but reached on 3 errors. Mariners reached on 0— Jeff Sullivan (@based_ball) July 21, 2013
Erik Bedard's the first player ever (well, since 1916, when records kept) to throw 6+ no-hit innings with 10+ strikeouts and take a loss.— Dave Zangaro (@DZangaro) July 21, 2013
As for Houston's bats, the clutch hitting continues to elude them as a team. The Astros had seven hits, but finished 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position on Saturday. There shouldn't have been much expected with Seattle's Hisashi Iwakuma on the hill, but the Astros had their chances. Matt Dominguez was the only Houston player with multiple hits as he was 2-for-3 with a walk in the ninth inning, which means Matty D has walked in back-to-back games - pushing his season total to 14. Progress!
Chris Carter, Jake Elmore and Justin Maxwell all contributed doubles to the effort while Jose Altuve had a sacrifice fly and Jason Castro recorded the always pretty RBI infield single for Houston's two runs in the fifth inning.
Bo Porter summed tonight's affair up pretty well.
"I would say it was the strangest game I've been involved from Little League to the big leagues," Bo Porter said.— Jose de Jesus Ortiz (@OrtizKicks) July 21, 2013
The Astros get some more good fortune of trying to avoid a sweep by facing King Felix Hernandez on Sunday afternoon. Jordan Lyles will throw for Houston.