So when is this offense going to wake up? Yes, the pitching was a problem this afternoon as well, but the last time I checked, teams are still 0-for-forever when scoring zero or fewer runs. Through the first eight games of the season, the Astros are averaging 2.6 runs scored per game and have yet to breakout for more than five runs in any single contest. Also, James Paxton has now pitched 13 shutout innings against the Astros to open up his 2017 campaign, so... good for him? If he could start exclusively against the ‘Stros, he’d be a shoe-in for the AL Cy Young Award.
Charlie Morton scattered seven hits and two walks while striking out six and allowing three earned runs over five innings. Not exactly a sterling stat line, and it could have been a lot worse once you consider he was able to wriggle out of a bases loaded, no outs jam in the bottom of the fourth by striking out Danny Valencia and Leonys Martin back-to-back and then getting Mike Zunino to fly out to right. Char Char was not so lucky in the fifth inning, when he loaded the bases again and Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager made him pay for it, driving in a combined three runs. Credit where credit is due, as Morton also struck out the side in the second — which is always a nifty feat.
The bullpen was a mixed bag, with Tony Sipp continuing to look toasted, and Michael Feliz struggling as well. On a positive note, Jandel Gustave did pitch a clean eighth inning.
All you need to know about the Astros’ offense in this game is that Carlos Correa was good (3 for 4) and everyone else was bad (3 for 28).
The Astros face off against the Seattle Mariners tomorrow evening at 9:10 CT for the second game in this three game series.
A Few Notes:
*It felt like Blum, Kalas, and Julia spent about half an hour talking about the toasted grasshoppers served at Safeco Field concession stands.
*Did y’all see that Leonys Martin steal pictured above in the lead photograph? I don’t understand the physics that enabled him to keep contact with the bag the entire time as he was falling down after basically tripping himself.
*What the hell happened on Evan Gattis’ strike out in the second inning where Carlos Beltran was picked off of first? That was some serious little league base running shenanigans.