Heading into the final (and crucial) weekend of the season the Astros sent their ace to the hill to fend off the Angels and Twins. And hey, if things break just right maybe catch up with the Rangers, right? The team was without the services of DH Evan Gattis tonight in a National League ballpark, but it didn't seem to matter early on.
Aaron Hill made an error on a ball hit by George Springer in the first, and that set the stage for a big inning. Carlos Correa followed with a single, and then Colby Rasmus drove in the first run with a single of his own. After Luis Valbuena drew a walk to load the bases, Chris Carter delivered a 2-RBI single to make the score 3-0. Could have been more, but they were forced to play by the stupid NL rules. They gave Jason Castro a free pass to get to Dallas Keuchel, who struck out.
They tacked on a couple more runs in the second inning, beginning with a Springer Dinger to dead center field. After a 2-out walk to Rasmus, Valbuena hit a high popup behind third base. It was misplayed and Rasmus scored from first as Luis ended up at second base. Jonathan Papelbon is somewhere smiling at that play. In the third inning Jose Altuve drove in Preston Tucker with a sac fly to make the score 6-0.
Arizona got on the board in the bottom of the third inning. After Keuchelangelo got the first two outs of the inning, and two strikes on Phil Gosselin, he hit him with the pitch. Paul Goldschmidt (did you know he is from The Woodlands?) followed with a single to put runners on first and second. Hill hit a double into the left field corner to score one run, but a great relay from Tucker to Correa to Castro caught Goldy trying to score from first base.
Correa got that run right back to start the fourth as he hit a bomb to centerfield to make the score 7-1. The Astros then forgot to score in the fifth inning, but realized their mistake in the top of the sixth...and made up for it. Correa drew a 2-out walk. Colby had a 3-1 count and thought he got ball four. The catcher thought it was ball four. The pitcher thought it was ball four. Blue called it a strike. After the next pitch the Diamondbacks wished Laz Diaz wasn't so bad at his job. Rasmus drilled a homer just left of center. Valbuena followed that with one to the same spot to make the score 10-2.
Keuchel came out after he collected his quality start. His pitch count was under 100. It wasn't his greatest start but it didn't need to be with that offensive output. Two runs, three strikeouts and two walks over his six innings, becoming the only 20 game winner in the American League.
It got a little out of hand for the Dbacks after that. There were hits, errors, more hits and more runs. Instead of telling you all about it, I'll just make a list of all the guys who scored:
Jake Marisnick, Jason Castro, Jon Singleton, George Springer, Carlos Correa, Colby Rasmus, Luis Valbuena, Jon Singleton (again), Marwin Gonzalez, George Springer (again), and Jonathan Villar.
The bullpen was able to secure the win by only giving up three runs over the final three innings.
Tomorrow they will play the middle game of this series. Collin McHugh will take the ball against Jeremy Hellickson at 7pm.
Carlos Correa has now hit the most home runs by an Astros rookie with his 22nd tonight.
Keuchel became the first Astros 20 game winner since Roy Oswalt in 2005.
Correa had a single, a triple (the first of his career) and a homer before he was taken out of the game. His replacement, Jonathan Villar, hit a double in his first at-bat. I would call it a pinch-cycle.
Everyone who picked up a bat tonight (and there were a lot...check out the box score) got a hit except Max Stassi (one at bat) and Jon Singleton (two walks). Oh...and Keuchel of course.
The only players to play all game were Springer and Rasmus.
The Dbacks have a guy named Socrates Burrito or something...
Tweets of the Night
Thanks a bunch, Jonah...
Astros set franchise record with 21 runs scored. What could have possibly happened today to trigger that?! Oh. pic.twitter.com/BAL4SW4oPO
— Jonah Keri (@jonahkeri) October 3, 2015
It's never too early...
Is it too early in the game to start whipping and nae naeing?
— STROSfaniknow (@strosfaniknow) October 3, 2015
and finish with some love for our ROY...
Correa could hit 40 home runs and drive in 120 next year and no one would bat an eye. That's how freakin good he is.
— Drew Shirley Sports (@DrewShirleyShow) October 3, 2015
CORREA'S ARMS ARE MADE OF CANNONS AND THUNDER
— Ulysses S. Cocksman (@USCocksman) October 3, 2015