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Bullpen falters late, Astros lose 2nd straight

A game recap in haiku

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

a loss always stings
more so with a win in grasp
undone by relief

After a tough series in Boston filled with big bombs and blown holds, the Astros bullpen looked to get back to form in Cleveland.  Tony Sipp and Roberto Hernadez held their own last night, pitching 1.2 scoreless, and it was now up to Will Harris to bail the Astros out of a late inning jam with the game tied at 2 in the 7th inning with 2 runners on and no outs.  He did not disappoint, punching out Brandon Moss, getting a bit of help from Colby Rasmus on a heads-up play in left field, and fielding the final out of the inning himself.  He maintains a sub-1.00 ERA on the season, not too shabby for a waiver wire pickup.  A.J. Hinch then called upon Joe Thatcher to face the left-handed heavy top half of the Cleveland lineup in the next inning.  After striking out Jason Kipnis, Thatcher gave up a double to Francisco Lindor, walked Michael Brantley, then surrendered another double to David Murphy that pulled the Indians ahead by 2.  Pat Neshek came in to close out the inning getting two quick outs, but the damage had already been done.

bounceback for Straily
trying to prove Dan is the man
great start, still no win

Dan Straily made a good case for the Astros 5th starter sweepstakes.  He had a very similar stat line to last night's starter Vincent Velasquez, giving up 2 earned runs on only 3 hits, 2 walks and 4 strikeouts.  However, like Velasquez, Straily would have nothing to show for it in the win column, getting a no decision.  Still a great final start  of the first "half" of the season for Dan Straily as he hopes to cement his place at the back end of the rotation after the All Star break.
the Captain has cooled
Tucker is hot in Cleveland
Gattis knows no zone
The bats showed some life tonight almost immediately.  Jose Altuve restarted his hitting streak clock with a leadoff single in the first.  Then with 2 outs, Gattis showed his Ivan Drago-level of power, launching a pitch that was about a foot up and out of the strike zone into left field seats for a 2-0 Astro lead.

Preston Tucker continued to prove his 26th year will be his best year.  He went 2-4 with 2 singles tonight (one of which was a BABIP luck tapper down the 1st base line) and is now batting 8-13 since his 25th birthday on Monday, He has really stepped up to fill the offensive gap left by George Springer's wrist injury.

However, it was not a good night for Astros batters with last names that begin with C.  Carlos Correa, Chris Carter, and Jason Castro batted collectively 0-11 with 3 strikeouts, failing to come through in key situations.  One such instance came in the 3rd inning with one out and runners in scoring position.  Correa struck out, failing to knock what would've been a key insurance run in.  He is now 0-8 so far in the series, dropping his season batting average down to .283.