Tonight's game was over quicker than George Springer trying to get an infield single. Jarred Cosart imploded in the first inning, giving up three hits, walking four, allowing two home runs, and the A's scored seven earned runs before a second out was recorded. The storyline for Cosart coming to the season was he had a great 2013 campaign with a 1.95 ERA, but he was a candidate for regression with a 4.68 xFIP*. That regression is happening, but this is only one game. The sky isn't falling. Major League Baseball now has a book on Jarred Cosart, and it's time to see what adjustments he makes.
I have been using this same line for each series preview that Cosart has pitched, "if he keeps his electric stuff under control (i.e. keep the walks down), the Astros will win the game." Cosart walked three of the first four batters he faced. That was followed by a Yoenis Cespedes single, a Alberto Callaspo home run, his fourth walk to John Jaso, and a Josh Reddick home run. Cosart left the game without recording a second out.
Paul Clemens stepped into game and pitched admirably in long relief. Let's assume he had had started the game and was able to get out of the first without a run (a stretch I know), the Astros would have been tied 3-3 when Clemens exited the game in the sixth. Cespedes took Clemens deep, as did Coco Crisp continues to be an Astros-killer.
Raul Valdes got his first appearance as an Astros, walking the first batter he faced to force home a run. He did retire the next four batters he faced with ease.
Like many games this season, the Astros exploded for multiple runs in one inning and were flat otherwise. Jonathan Villar, Jose Altuve, and Dexter Fowler singled to starting the fifth inning - scoring Villar. Astros fans continue to fill out George Springer's baby book, he drove in his first on a sharp single up the middle to score Altuve. Chris Carter scored a run on a sac fly. Springer also collected his first stolen base in the first inning, swiping second after reaching base on a Jed Lowrie error.
Speaking of Jed Lowrie - he attempted to pick a fight with the entire Houston team. This came after he had to jump out of the way of a Clemens' pitch just below his knees. Clemens just two innings before he had recorded the final out as Jed Lowrie attempted to beat the shift with a bunt. There seem to be some symmetry to these actions, Clemens may have been insulted by the thought he couldn't field his position. All batters are installed by a pitches inside, or just maybe this was all a big misunderstanding. There way it made great theater.
Lowrie jawed at the entire Astros team after the final out in the third inning. Prompting Jose Altuve to attempted to defuse the situation with his former teammate -
Bo Porter on the other hand, seem end the argument by telling Lowrie to go to his room without supper.
Finally, Porter decided one of the Gatorade coolers needed a demotion to the floor.
Thank you Tim, for stay up late and getting the GIFs.
The Astros and A's are back at it tomorrow at 3:05 PM - Brett Oberholtzer faces off against Cy-Falls product Scott Kazmir.
*Stats Courtesy of FanGraphs