Jarred Cosart has made July bearable for Astros fans. Every five days, Houston fans can look forward to seeing the young righty keep sustaining himself as a big piece of the Astros' rotation going forward. He certainly hasn't disappointed, sporting a 0.86 ERA through his first three big league starts.
Sunday's start looked a lot like the Cosart many Astros' followers expected to see, with lots of walks and lots of groundballs. Sunday's outing for Cosart was a fun one to watch because he was in trouble so much, but he battled his way out of jams almost every time. And in the inning where a run crossed under his watch, it could have been much worse.
Cosart walked the Blue Jays' Jose Reyes and allowed a Melky Cabrera single to start the third inning, but then retired the 3-4-5 hitters in the Toronto lineup in order with Reyes scoring on an Edwin Encarnacion sacrifice fly in the middle of it to score the Blue Jays' only run off Cosart. In the 23-year old's six innings he allowed only three hits, five walks and stranded seven Blue Jays on the bases.
Toronto's starter, Todd Redmond, had never gone six innings in a MLB game before. Granted, this was his fifth career MLB start, but the Houston offense made sure they changed that as Redmond got through six frames while striking out a career-high ten batters in the process. A Brett Wallace solo home run in fourth inning scored the only run for Houston on the afternoon.
In the last five innings, Toronto pitchers faced only one batter over the minimum against the Astros lineup. On the bright side, the Astros stole four bases on four tries, including Marc Krauss' first two career steals. It's quite noteworthy that the big fella swiped two bags only 23 games into his Major League career.
@chronastros Had 2 SB's in a game for us on 4/27 against New Orleans. Those were his only 2 SB's in 66 games.— Alex Freedman (@azfreedman) July 28, 2013
Josh Fields (hit, two walks) and Travis Blackley combined to shakily get through a scoreless seventh inning to keep the game tied at one. In the eighth, Blackley walked Rajai Davis and then pinch hitter J.P. Arencibia gave a fly ball a long ride to left-center field. Toronto's regular catcher thought he had himself a home run, or at least a double, but not on Brandon Barnes' watch! His amazing, jumping catch against the wall can be seen here.
Jose Cisnero came on to finish the eighth cleanly, but in the ninth Emilio Bonafacio led off with a double to chase Cisnero. This led to the Astros going with Wesley Wright, who got Adam Lind out on strikes and intentionally walked Encarnacion to put runners on first and second. The next batter, Colby Rasmus, placed his chopped, high-bouncing groundball perfectly as it was too high for a jumping Wright and too far right of Jake Elmore at second with some added speed of playing on the turf at the Rodgers Centre. Bonafacio scored as the hit rolled into centerfield - oh well.
The loss drops the Astros to 35-69 on the year, which is now six more losses than second-worst, Miami, after their 3-2 victory over Pittsburgh on Sunday.
The Astros are off Monday before heading to Baltimore for a three-game set. Bud Norris is slated to make the start for Houston. Will he make that start for Houston? Will he make it for Baltimore? That would be weird. Or could he be some place else? It could be a entertaining off day for Astros fans.