Where did the Astros find this guy?
Jose Siri was a one-man offensive wrecking crew. His solo homer and ninth-inning run scored after a pure-hustle double accounted for all the Astros’ scoring. It was all they would need behind another stellar Astros pitching performance.
Luis Garcia got his first start of the season and he faced a nightmarish (for him) challenge.
“It’s almost like the other team had a pitching coach who knew our pitchers’ innermost weaknesses.” (mhatter)
Oh yeah, they do. The D-Backs have long-time Astros coach Brent Strom. And maybe he knew more than most about the lefty/righty splits of Astros starter Luis Garcia. In 2021 left-handed hitters had an .821 OPS against Garcia. Righties only hit .548.
So of course The D-Backs penciled in eight left-handed hitters against Garcia.
So how did Garcia respond? Despite struggling with command (41 out of 71 pitches for strikes and two walks) Garcia only allowed two hits and no runs. He only got one strikeout, and only four swinging strikes, plus some fielding help from Michael Brantley and Jose Siri. Still, he faced down the nightmare left-handed lineup from Hell, and tonight he exorcised the demons.
Unfortunately for Garcia and the Astros, Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner was just as good, and a little lucky. The Astros had nine hard-hit balls against Bumgarner. But only one that resulted in a run, the 109.7 MPH fourth-inning, centerfield solo homer by Jose Siri that traveled 456 feet.
Bryan Abreu relieved Garcia for the Astros in the fifth and part of the sixth innings, and lit up the radar gun, hitting 101, and throwing 100 MPH fastballs consistently. Unfortunately, one of those pitches was intercepted by the bat of Christian Walker for a homer to tie the score at 1-1 in the sixth.
But with two outs in the ninth spark plug Siri did a thing again, stretching a single just over the second baseman’s head into a double. He scored the go-ahead run on a Michael Brantley single to left field.
Michael Brantley, professional hitter. pic.twitter.com/dmlxOp7iop— Houston Astros (@astros) April 13, 2022
Blake Taylor, Phil Maton, and Hector Neris held the D-Backs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings respectively prior to the Siri score in the ninth, and Ryan Pressly recorded his third save of the year despite allowing a lead-off single to Seth Beer on a 92.6 MPH fastball. But he finished off the Snakes with a 93.6 heater to strike out Carson Kelly.
Jose Siri is hitting .455 with a 1.356 OPS, two walks, and only two strikeouts in 13 PAs.
Who’s Jake Meyers?
The Astros try to take their second series of the season tomorrow. Game time is 2:40 CT. Framber Valdez returns to the mound for his second start after killing it on Opening Day. He will face Merill Kelly.