In the Game Preview we asked whether it would be a a pitcher’s duel like Game 1 of this series, or a slugfest, like Game 2. Unfortunately, it was like Game 1, with one key difference: The Angels pitchers outdueled the Astros’.
Noah Syndergaard made his much anticipated return to the mound and did not disappoint Angels fans, going 5.1 shutout innings.
And even though Verlander in his return was more dominant in the strikeout department, 7 - 1, that’s not the statistic that wins games. Verlander allowed one run in his five innings, a homer to Jared Walsh in the second inning.
The Astros could not answer all game, getting only two hits, and none after the third inning.
The meat of the Angels order, Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout had been suspiciously quiet so far this series. In fact, Ohtani struck out three times tonight. But Trout finally broke out in the eighth, adding an insurance run with a homer against Ryne Stanek.
Well, we knew the Good Guys weren’t going to win every game this year. Encouraging even in loss was Verlander’s performance, plus the debut of Cristian Javier, who threw 1.2 scoreless innings with three Ks.
The Astros try to take the four game series from the Angels tomorrow.
Game time 3:07 CT. Jose Urquidy gets the start for the Stros.