This is one of those nights where the box score does tell the story.
9- Number of Astros left on base.
4- Number of Astros hits. The Rangers responded with seven.
2- Errors the Astros committed. Scott Kazmir's 1st inning error assisted the Rangers to three first innings runs.
0- The number of wins the Astros achieved this series. The Astros, whose lead in the division skyrocketed last week has now fallen back to 2 games.
The Astros went into the night putting a lot of weight on Scott Kazmir's left arm after dropping two winnable games on Monday and Tuesday. The weight was dropped. Kazmir, who hadn't allowed a run in his 14 2/3 on the mound as an Astro gave up three first inning runs and another in the second quickly putting the Astros in a 4-0 hole. The Astros had plenty of opportunities, but no one was cashing them in. In the fourth, after a Jed Lowrie RBI double putting him on second with one out he realized he should've packed his stuff because he was staying there. Gattis and Rasmus couldn't get a hit and he was stranded. In the fifth, after a lead off walk by Hank Conger the Astros couldn't convert on anything. Again, in the sixth, with the bases loaded and only one out, neither Valbuena or Castro could ring in and the Astros remained down 1 run. The eight started - and ended for that matter - the same way as the fifth. A lead off walk that was turned into a 4-6-3 double play ball. And last, but certainly not least, the ninth. With the Astros for a second straight night needing one hit to tie up the ball game they failed to do so. Carlos Gomez struck out before Carlos Correa grounded out which, in effect, ended the game and series for the Astros.
The Astros didn't play bad baseball any of the three games but still found themselves on the losers side of every single decision. The bats going quiet when there were RISP is a huge reason why. The Astros combined to hit .222 in the three game series with RISP and that includes a game where they still managed to squeak across 9 runs. The Astros didn't quite have the same clutch knack they had while they were facing the Angels but they hope to turn that around as they leave Arlington.
The 'Stros will not have much time to think about these losses - which maybe isn't a bad thing- as they fly to Oakland to face the struggling Oakland A's.The A's are 4-6 in their last game after being clear sellers at the deadline trading Scott Kazmir, Tyler Clippard and Ben Zobrist. The pitching match up tomorrow will be a clear case of Youth vs Experience as 25-year old RHP Aaron Brooks (1-0, 3.09) faces the 10 year veteran in Scott Feldman (4-5, 4.58). The fans inside the O.co Coliseum might have wanted to see a different Scott on the hill for the Astros but they will miss their former ace by a game. Tomorrow nights game has high stakes for the Astros. With the match up for Friday night being aces Keuchel vs Gray a chance to take game 1 tomorrow will be huge in a 4-game set.