Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, Astros fans, but no team gets to go to the playoffs every year.
And after this the Astros’ fifth straight home loss, an 11-1 drubbing by the Mets, it’s getting harder and harder to visualize the Astros playing in the post-season this year.
It was the first Mets win in Minute Maid Park since 2012.
The game started promisingly. Astros Starter Hunter Brown sliced through the first six Mets batters he faced. But in the third inning, the Brown alter-ego we have seen from time to time this year started throwing meatballs, and the Mets didn’t miss.
It started with a Daniel Voglebach home run. Three singles and another run later, Francisco Lindo put the exclamation mark on Hunter Brown’s worst-ever inning with a three-run homer.
Brown had two hitless innings after the third, but in the sixth, the Mets tagged Brown again when Jeff McNeil singled home Tommy Phan, who doubled to lead off. Ryne Stanek came in to get the last out of the inning.
Brown went 5.2 innings, allowing six runs, the most runs in a single game in the young pitcher’s career.
On the Mets side, the Astros made Mets starter Max Scherzer look like World Series Scherzer of 2019. Scherzer allowed four hits, one walk, with eight strikeouts. His eight-inning shutout lowered his ERA to 4.04.
Meanwhile, at least the Astros didn’t waste a good hitting performance on a bad pitching performance like on Sunday. They only managed one run (their favorite run total lately) on a Yainer Diaz home run.
It is Diaz’s sixth this year in 106 at-bats. It raised his OPS to .805, which is second-best among active Astros players. When Yordan Alvarez comes back, if Dusty Baker doesn’t play Diaz every day in place of Martin Maldonado and/or Jose Abreu, he should be fired. Baker not playing Diaz is robbing the young man of a once-in-a-lifetime shot at rookie of the year and keeping one of two almost sure outs in the lineup.
Besides Diaz, the Astros had one bright spot, but it turned out to be an illusion. Yet another rookie pitcher made his debut for the Astros. For two innings, Shawn Dubin was nails. In his first inning, he struck out Brandon Nimmo and Francisco Lindor. However, in the ninth, the Mets figured out Dubin in his third inning pitched just like they figured out Brown. Dubin gave up a two-out, two-run double to Lindor that hit off the high wall in left field. It was a routine fly ball with an expected BA of .020 that should have ended the inning.
After that, the deluge. A walk and three singles gave the Mets three more runs and an 11-1 final score.
Tomorrow it’s Framber Valdez vs. Justin Verlander. Nuff said.