What is worse? A team full of potential falling on it's face? Or, a team that is just straight bad getting worked over night after night? Houston Astros fans have had a taste of both over the past few season and after 20 games of the 2016 season, I would guess most would take door two over what is happening now. Almost nothing has gone right for the Astros in 2016, it continued on Monday in Seattle.
The Astros collected ten hits but couldn't string them together against Taijuan Walker and the Mariners in a 3-2 loss.
Doug Fister picked up his second straight quality start for the Astros -- it was a quality start in name only. Fister gave a career-high seven walks and four hits. But he did limit the damage.
The Mariners runs came on home runs from Leonys Martin and Kyle Seager. Seattle strung together a Ketel Marte single, a Seth Smith walk, and a Robinson Cano single into a third run.
Houston was first on the board because of Carlos Gomez. Gomez singled home Tyler White he had walked and moved to second on an Evan Gattis single in the second inning.
Walker ended the threat with back-to-back strikes, stranding the two runners on base.
The Astros base-runner woes continued as Jose Altuve was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double after a hard hit ball rolled away from Mariners shortstop Ketel Marte.
Gattis doubled in the fourth but no damage was made of it. The Astros again had runners in scoring position in the fifth after a Jose Altuve double, but again no runs -- as a result of a spectacular play by Kyle Seager nabbing a ball down the line from Carlos Correa
Then Walker struck the side in both the sixth and seventh inning.
Correa finally broke down the barrier for driving in George Springer after he had doubled down the line. Correa stole second with one out, giving Colby Rasmus and Tyler White a chance to tie the game. But both needed their at-bat with a strikeout.
The Astros made some noise in the ninth. Carlos Gomez singled but was thrown out at second attempting to steal. For course, the Astros next to batters reached to create ever more frustration with the attempted steal. Luis Valbuena followed with a walk. Preston Tucker singled to put runners on the corners. Altuve grounded out to second to end the game.
Walker struck 11 and allowed one run on six hits over seven innings.
Josh Fields and Will Harris combined to pitch two scoreless innings in relief for the Astros.