Jake Meyers. That is the summary of tonight’s game.
Well, not really, as it takes more than one player usually to win a game. But in this case, Meyers played a dang large role in determining the final result. First, he had his first career home run — a 396-foot solo shot — in the third inning to cut the Angels early lead in half to 2-1.
That dinger jump-started the Astros lineup, who would eventually claim a 3-2 lead when the half-inning concluded, thanks to a sacrifice fly by Carlos Correa and Yordan Alvarez’s RBI double. Alvarez would eventually tack on another run with another RBI double to make the score 4-2 in favor of Houston in the top of the fifth.
With a lineup currently not at full power due to various health ailments — namely to Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker — it felt as if the Astros would have to capitalize when the opportunity presented itself. After all, Houston’s schedule is currently at a favorable stage, with the A’s breathing down their necks in the AL West. They can’t afford to let golden opportunities slip away. Meyers, who was starting in place of Tucker, made sure to take advantage of his golden opportunity to drive up his club’s chances of winning with the grandest of home runs.
Meyers, in the process, cemented his spot on a notable list of Astros history. First time in over twenty years, in fact.
Hit 1st 2 career HR in same game, Astros history:— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) August 15, 2021
Jake Meyers, tonight
Lance Berkman, 7/31/99
Bobby Abreu, 4/28/97
Orlando Miller, 7/10/94
Luis Gonzalez, 5/1/91
Larry Howard, 9/7/70
John Mayberry, 4/15/70
From an offensive standpoint, the final three innings were more like a formality as both teams went through the motions. The Angels would threaten to chip away at the lead at various points, but those threats were ultimately empty.
From a pitching point of view, Saturday’s game was an encouraging one for the Astros. Other than Zack Greinke, there arguably hasn’t been a more consistent starting pitcher on this year’s staff other than Luis Garcia. With a 3.29 ERA/3.33 FIP in 106 2⁄3 innings heading into tonight’s game in Anaheim, the 24-year old’s presence has stabilized a staff that is rather shaky at times. But even Garcia isn’t immune from a rough stretch of performances as he allowed 10 earned runs in his last 9 1⁄3 innings. Outside of the missing bats, Garcia’s performance was something to watch as the rookie pushes his inning total to new heights.
While Garcia wasn’t at his best, he did enough to limit the Angels to only two runs — allowed in the first inning — across five innings. It is worth noting that his average four-seam velocity tonight (92.1 MPH) was 1.3 MPH lower than his season average of 93.4 MPH. But it was a nice rebound effort considering how his last two starts unfolded.
The bullpen collectively also had some positive outings with a scoreless inning of relief, each provided by Brooks Raley, Blake Taylor, Phil Maton, and Yimi García. Low leverage situations, yes, but nonetheless encouraging. In any case, a 2-0 start on a seven-game road trip is a step in the right direction, coming off the heels of a 3-3 homestand. Let’s see if they can keep the good times rolling with a possible sweep of the Angels on Sunday.