Man, the bullpen can sure turn a fun game into a painful one, huh? Houston had a lead, but Hector Ambriz and Wesley Wright made sure it was short-lived.
To be fair, Houston was living on borrowed offense, thanks to errors by Oakland, including this play scored to yakkity sax.
Dallas Keuchel pitched well at times and hung on by the skin of his teeth in others. He walked four, struck out five but only gave up one run on a Grant Green sac fly in the sixth.
That started the avalanche of A's runs, though. A Chris Young laser beam pierced the atmosphere atop the Crawford Boxes before Josh Reddick hit a ball 5,280 feet in the air to right that landed 20 rows back.
Thus, a 3-1 lead turns into a 4-3 loss.
So, let's run through Porter's logic. He brings in Travis Blackley to relieve Keuchel, because the A's are terrible against left-handers. He did okay, except for that pitch against Chris Young, who just destroyed a ball. But, Young does that all the time in Houston, so that's opportunity cost.
Then, after Hector Ambriz does okay after relieving Blackley, Josh Reddick strides to the plate. Reddick is a worse hitter against lefties than he is against righties, but Reddick hasn't been a good hitter period this year. He's hitting .197 against lefties, but just .220 against righties. Terrible.
Still, Porter goes to Wright. He's got the favorable matchup. Wright just doesn't execute the pitch. After the game, Porter seemed slightly upset by this.
"This is a ballgame we felt like we should win," Porter said. "I felt like we did not execute the right pitches we needed to close it out. That there is the right matchup. It's the matchup you want. If you don't win that matchup, you don't deserve to win the game."
In other news, Jonathan Villar had a nice debut, becoming the third Astros shortstop in the last 40 years to have a hit in his MLB debut. He also stole a base and scored a run. Only
Also, remember that awful pickoff of Jose Altuve at third in the bottom of the eighth? Altuve has a green light, but "that was on me," according to Porter.
"That guy is 1.56, 1.57 to the plate and just so happened that he inside-moved on the pitch that we picked to run on," Porter said.
We'll talk more about this in the morning, but if Houston is making decisions based on emotion tonight, none of the bullpen might survive.