The Houston Astros were a juggernaut through the first part of the 2017 season. Injuries and regression have taken their toll and brought the Astros back down to earth.
The Astros were shutout for the second time against the Diamondbacks in four games, losing 4-0 on Thursday at Minute Maid Park.
It wasn’t long time ace Zack Greinke again, it was 5-year veteran Patrick Corbin. Corbin had his stuff working, striking out Jose Altuve twice and held Alex Bregman to a 0-for-4 day.
Corbin scattered four hits over 8 2⁄3 innings while striking out seven and walking one. He was pulled after giving up a double to Yuli Gurriel and Archie Bradley closed out the final out.
It didn’t help that home umpire Paul Nauert’s strike zone was all over the place on Thursday. Nauert’s day was exemplified by the final at-bat of the game. Marwin Gonzalez could have easily been standing on first base after four pitches instead the count was 2-2 and Gonzalez struck out looking on a called strike three on another pitch out of the zone.
The Astros couldn’t take advantage of shortstop Ketel Marte throwing the ball over the diamond, putting runners in scoring position.
Mike Fiers wasn’t sharp but kept the Astros in the game with two earned runs allowed in 5 1⁄3 innings. He frankly shouldn’t have had one run scored on him. Daniel Descalso hit an inside the park home run in the fourth inning because Jake Martinisk misplayed a ball.
The A’s come into Houston for three games, time to move on.