Well, look at that finish. But, first, let’s recap how we got to this point.
To start this little shindig off, the Astros got on the scoreboard early thanks to a leadoff double from George Springer and an eventual RBI single by Yuli Gurriel to take an early 1-0 lead. Tonight’s starter Framber Valdez looked promising at first with a leadoff strikeout of Mookie Betts and a scoreless opening frame.
So far, so good.
Then the wheels promptly came off as Valdez surrendered back-to-back home runs to Chris Taylor and Enrique Hernandez in the second inning. A 3-1 deficit in the early against a team like the Dodgers isn’t optimal, especially with this bullpen.
The Astros lineup would unsurprisingly remain quiet as the Dodgers tacked on a run in the third and fifth innings to drive up their lead to 5-1. Honestly, I thought the game was done by this point. The Rockets loss by the hands of the Lakers just made the night from a sports point of view feel like a lost cause. A loss to the Dodgers would be the rotten cherry on top.
Overall, Valdez didn’t have his best stuff. Five runs in five innings against the Dodgers could’ve put the game out of reach. Hard hits are still an issue, but he did avoid those pesky walks with only one in five innings. Picking up seven strikeouts was key as well.
Then, a slight glimmer of hope as the Astros scored a run (RBI force out from Gurriel) off of former A’s nemesis Blake Treinen, who has allowed just five runs all season. 5-2 heading into the ninth. On a semi-related note, please re-sign Gurriel, James. Please.
But the real fireworks started in the ninth inning as Houston’s bats didn’t miss a beat against closer Kenley Jensen. Six consecutive hits, in fact. For context, Jensen has allowed six runs in 2020; five of those occurred against the Astros on Saturday night. The comeback was complete as Ryan Pressly worked around a leadoff single from Cody Bellinger and a two-out double by Joc Pederson for the save.
The Astros climb their way back to .500 with a 23-23 record. Clearly the biggest win of the season. They take on the Dodgers one more time this season on national television again tomorrow.
On a quick side note, the Astros twitter account was pure savage tonight. Good stuff in a year of generally terrible news.
Stop us if you've seen this before. #ForTheH pic.twitter.com/s90MUG2w1n— Houston Astros (@astros) September 13, 2020