It’s a good thing the Astros had such a great first 3 games of the series, because this one was a stinker. Marwin Gonzalez continued to rake, but that was pretty much the only bright spot of the game. Astros pitching did not look good, and the batters left gobs + 3 runners on base (that’s right, they left gobs of runners on base in the first 8 innings and then left the bases loaded to end the game in the 9th). Note that gobs = 13.
Joe Musgrove put even more pressure on Collin McHugh to return healthy and effective with another rough outing. The Astros #4 and #5 pitchers (Musgrove and Fiers) have not gotten the job done this year, continuing to rely on the bullpen and offense (which has typically been able to bail them out).
Musgrove struck out 3 batters in the first, but also gave up 4 runs in the inning. He gave up one more run in the 2nd (though it was unearned due to an error by Bregman) and ended the game with 4 IP, 5 R (4 ER), 5 H, 3 BB, 5 K.
Marwin Still Smoking but Offense Squanders Opportunities
On the offensive side, the Astros got the lead-off man on base in 7 of the 9 innings, yet they only scored 4 runs (hence the gobs + 3 LOB comment above). Marwin Gonzalez had another nice game with a single, solo HR, walk, sac fly, and finally made an out in his final at-bat. Marwin has now hit a HR in each of his last 5 starts. I wonder if he’ll be in the lineup tomorrow...
Altuve had the roughest day at the plate, going 1 for 6 with 2 strikeouts and leaving 8 men on base (that’s gobs - 5 if your playing along at home). Correa continued his hot streak with a 2-4 game plus a walk, including a double and a hard-hit flyout to right center that required a great effort by Carlos Gomez to track down.
Bullpen Woes (but wait, a surprise)
The bullpen didn’t do much better than Musgrove as 3 of the 4 Astros relievers in this game gave up at least a run. The 4 relievers were Brad Peacock, Tony Sipp, Luke Gregerson, and Michael Feliz.
How many of you guessed that Tony Sipp was the pitcher who didn’t give up any runs? How many of you are lying to yourself because you watched or listened to the game and already knew that? Sipp had a nice 1-2-3 inning in the 7th, getting a pop-up, a backwards K, and a flyout.
So the Astros couldn’t pull off the 4-game sweep of their intra-state rivals, but winning 3 of 4 to start the 2017 Lone Star Series is still pretty nice, especially considering the dramatic fashion in which they won the first 3 games.
The Astros will now head to LA to play another division opponent, and oh, hey, look what time it is? Time for Dallas Keuchel to start a game. Hopefully the April AL Pitcher of the Month can extend his dominance into May.