How did this one get away?
Going into the eighth inning the Astros were holding a commanding 2-0 lead. Commanding? With a pair of shutdown relief specialists like Kendall Graveman and Ryan Pressley on hand and fresh to close the game, this one was in the bag.
Graveman came into the game with 10 saves and only 2 blown saves, an ERA of 0.88 and a WHIP of 0.68.
Two back-to-back doubles and Graveman allowed the Mariners to sneak back into the game.
No matter, Ryan Pressly is closer-deluxe, a shutdown specialist, 19 saves in 20 tries.
The Astros will win for sure.
Ty France homer to tie the game. Blown save.
In the tenth inning, Brooks Raley was awesome, with a little help from his friends. Mainly, a tag out at third of the unearned runner on a perfect throw from Carlos Correa to Aledmys Diaz. Two strikeouts followed that held the Mariners scoreless in the 10th, the third out a 3-2 swinging strike to Mitch Haniger.
Enter the bottom of the 10th. The Astros had bases loaded with no outs thanks to an Altuve single and an intentional walk to Michael Brantley.
Paul Sewald proceeded to strike out Carlos Correa (called strike three was six inches inside), pinch hitter Jason Castro, and Yuli Gurriel.
In the top of the eleventh, it all unraveled on reliever Ryne Stanek. A walk and a single put the Ms up a run, and then the big blow, a Kyle Seager three-run homer to give the Mariners a four-run lead.
The Astros didn’t die without a fight, putting up a run in the bottom of the eleventh, but walk-off hero Jose Altuve struck out with the bases loaded and one out, and Michael Brantley closed out the loss with a flyout to center.
The Astros blown game overshadows a superb pitching performance by Framber Valdez, who has seemingly righted his ship after a few recent rocky starts. He went seven shutout innings with three hits, one walk, and six Ks. Too bad Graveman, Pressly and Stanek ruined his stellar start.
One thing that makes Graveman’s failure more bitter was the superb performance of the players the Astros traded to get Graveman. Joe Smith came into the sixth inning with runners on second and third and one out. He proceeded to get two strikeouts.
Going into the game Smith had 10 scoreless innings with the Mariners after basically being a batting practice pitcher this year with the Astros.
Abraham Toro had a hit, and since joining the Mariners Toro is hitting .310 with an .878 OPS and three homers.
The Astros were 3-16 with runners in scoring position after going 6 - 9 yesterday. They stranded 13 batters, after stranding only three the day before.
Yordan Alvarez added his 25th homer.
Astros try to recover from this awful loss against KC tomorrow at Minute Maid Park, 7:10 CDT, Zack Greinke pitching.