Any hope that home cooking would alleviate the Astros hitting and pitching woes were dispelled tonight, as Astros pitching gifted the Dodger with 9 walks and 9 runs, and Astros hitting could muster only two runs on six hits.
For three innings the game looked like a classic pitcher’s duel between two probable future Hall of Famers, Zack Greinke, and Clayton Kershaw. But the base on balls malady that has afflicted the Astros pitching staff has apparently afflicted even its most immune player, Greinke.
In the fourth Greinke walked his first batter, and it came to bite him, as the next batter, Justin Turner, homered, for the only runs the Dodgers would need until the ninth inning
But it would be far from the last they would score.
In the sixth, the base on balls bug took its full toll on Greinke, as he allowed a single and two walks to load the bases, and then gave up a two-run single to Chris Taylor.
For the night Greinke went six innings, allowing three hits, three walks, getting five strikeouts, and allowing four runs. Without the three walks, Greinke may have escaped without allowing any runs, as the walk before Turner’s homer came with two outs, as did the two walks that preceded the Taylor RBI single.
The Dodgers added another run in the seventh, this time unaided by any free passes, (although a wild pitch helped) but entirely due to meatballs served on a platter once again by Joe Smith.
Smith faced four batters, allowed two singles, the first of whom scored on a wild pitch before the second reliever of the inning, Enoli Paredes, induced a Mookie Betts groundout.
That would be the high point for Paredes. In the eighth inning, Paredes allowed a leadoff single, followed by a hit by pitch, a strikeout of Albert Pujols, and a walk to load the bases.
Kent Emanuel then walked in a run making the score 6-0 and promptly left the game with some sort of arm injury.
Andre Scrubb then entered the game and walked in two more runs before getting an inning-ending strikeout.
Scrubb would continue the wild-thing routine in the ninth inning, giving up a leadoff walk, a one-out single, and a bases loading walk to DJ Peters. The leadoff runner, Max Muncy, would score on an RBI groundout by Gavin Lux.
The Astros scored two meaningless runs, one on an Alex Bregman Crawford Boxes solo homer in the seventh, and the other an unearned run in the ninth on a Yuli Gurriel grounder that scored Kyle Tucker, who led off the inning with a single.
The Astros had only six hits, two each by Bregman and Tucker. Jose Altuve had his 17 game hitting streak snapped, and Yordan Alvarez struck out four times and is now 0 for his last 15 at-bats.
The Astros staff threw 191 pitches, 105 for strikes. Expect pitching moves before tomorrow’s game.
The nine walks allowed tonight, along with a hit by pitch and a run-scoring wild pitch, follows eight walks in the preceding game in the one-run loss to Arlington.
Is this Little League or what?
Box score and videos HERE.