Once again, we'll take a look back at Houston's weekend playing against the Rangers to see just how bad things were.
After beating up on the Angels a little bit earlier in the week, the wheels fell off Houston's train to Successville, as the Astros were swept by the Rangers. It was Texas' first road sweep of the season.
How did it happen?
The Rangers can hit home runs
That's right, home runs were the difference in Friday's contest. Houston hung close to the Rangers, a theme that would continue all weekend, but a few timely longballs sunk Houston's thoughts of a comeback.
One in particular from Nelson Cruz may have been the most majestic in Minute Maid Park this season. It's at least tied with that Jesus Montero shot to straight away center field. Cruz' blast would have left the ballpark entirely, though, banging off the glass over the train tracks in left.
Trevor Crowe had a nice game, hitting a home run of his own, but Houston failed to do anything at all with five walks issued by Alexi Ogando.
Brandon Barnes can play defense
This may have been the defensive highlight of the weekend. Brandon Barnes is pretty good out there in center field. He goes a long way to make this semi-sliding catch.
Yu returned, was less than perfect
Returning to the scene of his near-perfect game, Texas starter Yu Darvish had plenty of eyes on him Saturday night. He sort of disappointed, losing his no-hitter in the bottom of the third and giving up three runs overall for the third consecutive start.
Darvish was mainly touched up by Matt Dominguez, who broke up the no-no with this shot in the third.
That tied the score at 1-1, after Nelson Cruz hit another home run to put the Rangers out front in the top of the second. Matty D came through again two innings later, wrapping a pitch around the foul pole in left field for a two-run home run that gave Houston a 3-1 lead.
His teammates were sort of happy about that.
Humber's bad day
Two-thirds of an inning was all it took for Houston to lose this game. Recently demoted Phil Humber came into the game in the top of the sixth with the Astros leading 3-1. He left with Houston down 8-3 and things never got better. The Astros made a game of it from there, but that disastrous 2/3 inning outing from Humber sealed the loss. You can check out the inning in all its gore here.
The next day, Houston announcedHumber had been designated for assignment as the team signed Edgar Gonzalez to replace him.
Revisiting Houston's monster win from the past
Our piece on Astros History for the Rangers series focused on one of the wins from Houston's past in this series when they pounded the Rangers for a ton of runs. Astrosblogger also reflects on how many Astros players went on to play for the Rangers and how that sort of stung.
I became a fan of Houston in the early 90’s and Ken Caminiti was the first players that I recognized as a great player. I was always amazed at the way he was able to throw the ball across the diamond, especially from his knees or sitting down. I remember watching him play with the Padres in 1995 and being upset at the sight of it. When he came back to Houston I thought it was awesome. My sickness returned in 2001 when Caminiti joined the in Rangers and I did not watch a Braves game in 2001 for fear of seeing my first favorite player in the uniform of the team that I could not stand at the time.
Houston rallies again, but can't overcome Lyles/EdGone
Again, a theme the came up over and over again for Houston this weekend is that the offense could not overcome mistakes of the defense. After Jordan Lyles and Edgar Gonzalez were shelled for 12 runs in the first five innings.
The Astros did hit three home runs in the game, as Chris Carter, Jason Castro and Brandon Barnes all went deep. It was the first time since Sep. 29 of last year that Houston hit three home runs in a game and also lost. It only happened three times total in 2012 and just seven times total in the past four seasons.