George Springer started things off the same way he ended them the night before. Springer led off the game with his 3rd home run of the young season, crushing a no-doubter to left center field.
It was Springer’s second HR against Mariners’ starter Ariel Miranda, with the first one coming last year on September 18th. That one was also a solo shot, as Miranda seems to have a knack for giving up HRs with the bases empty (10 of his 12 HRs surrendered in 2016 were solo shots). He is basically the Marwin Gonzalez of pitchers.
So it was only fitting that Marwin Gonzalez hit a solo HR to lead off the 3rd against Miranda tonight. That gave the Astros the lead back (2-1) after Mitch Haniger tied it with a solo HR of his own in the top of the 3rd. Is anyone else tired of talking about solo HRs yet?
George Springer continued impacting the game with a nice catch in foul territory that took him into the stands to end the top of the 5th.
Musgrove’s night came to an end in the 6th inning. After pitching a solid 5 innings of 1-run ball, Musgrove let the first 3 batters reach. The Astros failed to score in the bottom of the 5th after loading the bases with no outs, and now it was the Mariners turn. They also failed to record a hit after Michael Feliz was brought in to replace Musgrove, but Kyle Seager’s RBI fielder’s choice tied the game at 2-2.
Musgrove’s final line for the night was 5+ IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, and 2Ks. It wasn’t his best stuff as he struggled to find the zone at times, but he was still able to limit the damage and keep the Astros in the ballgame.
Battle of the Bullpens
James Pazos relieved Ariel Miranda in the bottom of the 6th and just like the night before, it became a battle of the bullpens.
The Astros and Mariners potent offenses had averaged only 2.9 runs and 1.2 runs per 9 innings, respectively, through the first 3 games of the series. Both teams had struggled with runners in scoring position and it just became a waiting game until one of the offenses would come to life.
Unfortunately, it was the Mariners offense that finally broke the tie, scoring 2 runs in the 9th off Astros closer Ken Giles. Michael Feliz and Luke Gregerson combined to throw 3 scoreless innings prior to Giles entering the game.
The Mariners bullpen had stifled the Astros for 3 innings as well, allowing a single to Carlos Beltran as the only hit. Edwin Diaz came on for the save in the bottom of the 9th and retired all 3 batters he faced to nail down the 4-2 win for Seattle.
The Astros offense will score alot of runs. They have not done that through the first 4 games of the season, and yet they are still 3-1.
Keuchel and McCullers looked healthy and effective, Morton and Musgrove also turned in admirable starts, Devo put on a ridiculous display Wednesday night, and George Springer is locked in. The Astros just took 3 out of 4 from one of the teams that many consider serious contenders for the division. I’d call that a great way to start the season.