To put it simply, the Astros haven’t been playing well lately. The bats, for example, are ice cold right now. The pitching staff has been off-and-on. On nights like this one, the wheels came off quickly in the later innings.
This game, in short, was relatively depressing. Marco Gonzales threw eight shutout innings, allowing seven hits while walking one and striking out six. For the eighth consecutive game, the Astros failed to score more than four runs in a game. Third time in eight games to score one run or less. The month of September has not been fun.
Astros in September: .219 average, .272, OBP, .364 slugging. They're averaging 3.5 runs per game, including only 2 runs per game in last six games.— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) September 22, 2020
Believe it or not, but Lance McCullers Jr. actually had a no-hitter through five innings. That train would derail in the seventh inning as four unearned runs would score for the Mariners. Michael Brantley made a costly mistake in the outfield. That’s all Seattle would need as they also scored two more in the eighth. Josh Reddick drove in Carlos Correa for the only run of the night for Houston in the top of the ninth.
I wish I had a more optimistic take on the Astros tonight. Sure, they still have a three game lead on Seattle with six games left. Odds are Houston still qualifies for the postseason. But it’s hard to generate much excitement right now.
Oh, congrats to the A’s as they won the AL West title.