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Astros 4, Athletics 5; Not Cool

Despite strong showing last night, Athletics continue to be Quall's kryptonite

Bob Levey

My Rec League soccer team almost tied tonight; it would have been our first tie (much less win) of the season. Our opponent had a direct free kick from midfield; the ball sailed over our goalie's head, hit the crossbar, and plummeted into the goal. Our goalie was so sure that the strike was going over the goal that he didn't even bother jumping to try and deflect it. It was a frustrating way to lose. Also, the Astros lost tonight, and it was also frustrating.

Chad Qualls has only blown four saves all season, and three of them have come against the Athletics. It's no great shame to have a kryptonite, but it's no fun for the fans either. After pulling ahead of the A's 3-2 in the 7th, the Astros were unable to lock down the victory, giving up 3 runs in the top of the 9th. The good guys were able to get one back in the bottom of the 9th, courtesy of Chris Carter's 33rd home run, but, unfortunately, it was too little too late.

During this game, it occurred to me for the first time that the Astros have a real shot at having the league leaders in batting average (Jose Altuve), home runs (Carter), and steals (Altuve). It's not quite Biggo and Bagwell, and personally, I'd rather make the playoffs instead, but these individual achievements are nothing to sneeze at, and hopefully, in the near future, these solid singular performances will lead to a better overall club.

Brad Peacock was "effectively wild," allowing only one run over 5.1 innings of work while scattering 4 hits but walking an alarming 5 batters while also hitting a batter and throwing a wild pitch. His ERA is on the wrong side of 5, but I hope management will continue to throw him out there until the end of the season, to see if he can put it all together. If you disagree, name your pick for late season fifth starter in the comments section below.

Nine hits and four runs should win you a game in 2014. I'm bummed that the Astros weren't able to secure the W, but the great thing about baseball is there's always a game tomorrow. The Astros square off against the instate rival Rangers tomorrow at 7:10 PM CT – be sure to tune in.