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Indians 3, Astros 1: Bauer Stymies Houston Offense

Bats Stay Cold, Astros Drop Rubber Game to Tribe 3-1

Jason Miller

Quite nice of the Astros to fully embrace the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in recent weeks, unfortunately they forgot to thaw the bats back out for the weekend series with the Indians. Coming off consecutive games in which the offense only managed 3 hits each day, Houston had trouble with Indians starter Trevor Bauer all afternoon. The lineup also reached double digit strikeouts for the third consecutive day, whiffing 12 times after combining for 21 strikeouts Friday and Saturday.

Brett Oberholtzer pitched formidably without much support to continue another unfortunate trend. The lefty went 6 2/3 innings, allowing 10 hits and 3 runs while striking out 6. Obie worked out of potential trouble in the 3rd inning,  only allowing 1 run to score after the Indians put runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs. Michael Bourn scored on a Carlos Santana sac fly, but Jose Ramirez ran the Tribe out of the inning trying to score on a ball that skipped just a few feet away from Carlos Corporan. Cleveland scored again in the 4th, doing their damage after the first two batters were retired with a Mike Aviles double followed by a Lonnie Chisenhall single through the right side. Not much notable action from that point until the 7th, when Obie balked Chisenhall over to 2nd after a pickoff attempt to first after Jon Singleton had already abandoned the bag to charge a potential bunt attempt. After the sac bunt was eventually laid down, Ramirez would redeem himself by knocking an RBI single to centerfield that ended Oberholtzer's day.

The Astros threatened to make me re-write the entire recap by mounting a rally in the 9th inning, but couldn't push any runs across, so the would-be rally will be nothing more than a footnote. Chris Carter pinch hit and walked, Jake Marisnick added to the threat with a 1-out single, and Jose Altuve loaded the bases with a 2-out poke to right field. Dexter Fowler struck out with the bases loaded to end the game and the road trip.

Astros Doing Astros Things

  • Brett Oberholtzer recorded a quality start, his 11th of the season. For the 13th time this season, the Astros failed to score more than 3 runs in a game started by Obie.
  • Jose Altuve collected 2 more hits and a stolen base
  • Mike Foltynewicz walked the first batter he faced. Then he struck out the next four.
  • The Astros struck out in 7 of the 9 innings today, and recorded multiple strikeouts in 4 separate innings
  • Houston went 1-8 with RISP, the only hit coming in the 9th and failing to score the lead runner, Chris Carter, who was stopped at 3rd.
  • Jon Singleton struck out twice, but also recorded an RBI double, continuing to confuse me emotionally. Who are you Big Jon? When will you get over .200?
  • Matt Dominguez continues to scuffle, going 0-2 with 2 K before being mercifully put down pinch hit for in the 7th (Castro one upped Matty D, grounding into a double play)
  • This doesn't necessarily qualify as Astros doing Astros things, but Marc Krauss had a little Groundhog Day moment for himself today, lining out sharply on almost identical plays to Indians RF Tyler Holt in the 1st and the 6th.
Even with a lackluster series at the plate this weekend, the Astros finished the road trip off at 5-5 with a week of AL West showdowns on deck at home. Oakland comes to town for 3 games beginning on Monday, with a 4 game set against the Rangers on the back end. The Boot can and will be ours by the end of the week.