If you can’t hit em in, walk em in.
The last time the Astro played they lost 4-3 on a ninth inning walk-off to the A’s. Tonight they won 4-3 on a ninth inning walk-off against the Rays. The Astros are still not hitting worth a damn, but a walk-off walk still results in a walk-off win, and as I write, if the Mariners lose tonight, the Astros will be the AL West champions for the fourth straight real season.
The Astros were down 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth but managed to get runners on second and third with one out. (An out call on Carlos Correa that was overturned was crucial) The Rays decided to intentionally walk Aledmys Diaz to load the bases.
The Rays brought in J.T. Chargois who walked Chas McCormick to tie the game, and then pinch-hitter extraordinaire Jason Castro for the winning walk-off walk.
While it is easy to denigrate the value of win that came off of three consecutive walks, the at bats of McCormick and Castro were professional quality. Both walks were earned after numerous fouled off pitches.
The Rays began the scoring in the first on a cheap, Crawford Box, two-run homer by Yandy Diaz.
The Astros tied the score after a sixth inning solo homer from Alex Bregman and an eighth inning homer by Jose Altuve, his 31st.
.@JoseAltuve27 has tied his career high with 31 home runs on the season. #ForTheH pic.twitter.com/FDjDtWKkwL— Houston Astros (@astros) September 29, 2021
Astros starter Jose Urquidy went five innings, allowing the two runs, four hits, a walk, with six strikeouts.
Yimi Garcia, Blake Taylor, and Brooks Raley held the Rays for the next 2.2 innings, but then Phil Maton came in and gave up a homer to Randy Arozarena in the eighth, giving the Rays a 3-2 lead.
It looked like Maton was going to be the losing pitcher, after blowing a save in his last appearance, and allowing five runs in .1 innings in the appearance prior. But Maton managed a scoreless ninth, meaning that the Astros’ walk-fest made him the winning pitcher.
The Astros pulled this one out, but the offense is still dormant, getting only six hits against 5+ ERA Rays starter Michael Wacha and the Rays bullpen.
Go A’s. (Did I say that?)
Earned the W.#ForTheH pic.twitter.com/HkHdNwj2kf— Houston Astros (@astros) September 29, 2021