For those hoping that yesterday’s 13-run outburst would carry over into today’s rubber match between the Astros and Red Sox, well, you were probably disappointed. Today was just one of those games where the vibe wasn’t great outside of the leadoff dinger from our favorite second baseman. Honestly, I felt like mhatter summed up today’s game nicely in TCB’s group chat.
“Altuve hit a leadoff home run. Then there were 27 plate appearances of nothing with a Brantley double mixed in, and the Astros got on their airplane. The end.”
I honestly could have stopped there and went about my evening just fine. This is a game that I probably won’t recall much about in three days. But there were some additional items of note, even if the pitching side of the game wasn’t much better for the Astros, at least for Luis García, who allowed three earned runs (five in total) on five hits and three walks across four innings.
He also struck out four opposing hitters, but that didn’t matter much in the grand scheme. It looked like García didn’t have his best stuff based on the box score, which tracks how he pitched. To his credit, though, he did generate seven called strikes on his four-seam fastball and picked up five whiffs via his cutter. I got to find a couple of positives somewhere.
Talking about positives, the bullpen pitched well in the last four frames, with Bryan Abreu, Ryne Stanek, and Rafael Montero holding the Red Sox hitless with two strikeouts. Abreu continues to impress with improved velocity as he reached 98.9 miles per hour for his max velocity for the evening. Interestingly, the right-hander went slider heavy at 62 percent compared to 38 percent for his four-seam fastball. Only one game, but it always fascinates me to watch some deviation on a game-to-game basis. Stanek also lit up the radar gun at 99.6 miles per hour in his scoreless inning while Montero continues his strong start to the season.
For the first time since late April, the Astros lost a series. However, they did come away with a successful 6-3 road trip and are keeping pace with the Angels atop the AL West standings. While today didn’t end on a positive note, the overall vibe of the road trip is still a win.