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A's 4, Astros 3: Coming Home Did Not Help

Offense started great, then went silent. Bullpen started awesome, then faltered. Five in a row.

Bob Levey/Getty Images

What Happened

That's a good question.  What happened to the Astros?  What happened to this team that held off the American League West for most of the season?  What happened to the team that seemed to be able to hit home runs at will?  What happened to the bullpen that was so solid up until this last month?  Be warned, a little frustration may bleed through into this recap tonight.

It started out so promising.  Mike Fiers had a really good outing, only allowing two runs on back-to-back homers in the top of the fourth inning.  The bats got to work early, scoring a run in each of the first three innings, including a Chris Carter homer and a great hustle play by Jose Altuve to score on a short sacrifice fly to right.  When both starters came out of the game the Astros had a 3-2 lead.

Here is what went horribly wrong tonight.  With two outs in the fourth inning Jake Marisnick singled.  That was the last baserunner the team had until two-outs in the ninth inning when Colby Rasmus walked.  No hits, no walks, no errors, no hit-by-pitch...nothing.  They hit some pitches hard, and the A's made some good plays on them.  At other times, in other situations, that would make me feel good, but it doesn't work for me tonight.  So the promise the offense showed early evaporated, but we had the lead going into the eighth anyway.

Pat Neshek came in to pitch the eighth and gave up a lead off single.  He then had to face the homer twins from the fourth inning, Josh Reddick and Danny Valencia.  With the way this team is playing they might as well have been facing Canseco and McGwire circa 1988.  Neshek got Reddick to pop up to third.  Joy was short-lived as he then threw what one day may be known as the fattest and flattest slider in the history of fat and flat sliders to Valencia.  He did his job by depositing it deep into the Crawford Boxes to take the lead.

Somebody for the A's came in and sat down everyone he faced except the previously mentioned Rasmus walk in the two innings he pitched.  And so here we are...five losses in a row.  Another one run loss.  One miracle game away from losing eight in a row.  The sad part is I'm starting to think it will take some sort of divine intervention for this team to win again.

Guess what?  There isn't anything we can do about it.  The cavalry is not coming.  No one is going to show up to help us pull out of this tailspin.  The only folks that can do something about it are the guys who got us to this point.  Either they will hit better and pitch better, or they won't.  But I for one can't believe that the guys who played as well as they did for this long just became bad at baseball.  Therefore, until it is over I will still have faith in them.  But they aren't making it easy...

Come back tomorrow folks and see Scott Kazmir face his old buddy Sonny Gray at 6 pm.

Fun Facts

At least the Rangers lost too...

Will Harris had a solid outing.

Chris Carter hit another home run.  A LONG one.

Tweets of the Night

Heyman is a tool...

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">it&#39;s been explained, i assume, to the astros players that they aren&#39;t shooting for the No. 1 pick this time around?</p>&mdash; Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) <a href="">September 19, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Doesn't make me feel better, but he is right...

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Carlos Correa has hit a ball 109 MPH and 106 MPH. Both were outs. League batting avg for batted balls between 105 &amp; 109 is .691. Bad luck</p>&mdash; Daren Willman (@darenw) <a href="">September 19, 2015</a></blockquote>

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