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Astros Suffer Early Knockout. Get Pummeled 17-1

For J.P. France the fairy tale ends

Boston Red Sox v Houston Astros
Wilyer Abreu, traded by the Astros for Christian Vazquez, was 4-5 today, and in his debut series against the Astros these last three days, was 6-12 with a home run.
Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images

I’m not going to give you the play-by-play in this game. That‘s because if I did, you might end up with PTSD. It’s like watching Rocky Balboa getting pummeled over and over again on the big screen in slow motion for three hours.

Except there’s no miracle comeback at the end.

Or more like any real Mike Tyson fight circa 1986.

Would you want to be in the ring with Mike Tyson?

That’s what it was like for the Astros today.

I won’t make you suffer the humiliating blow-by-blow in this game. Suffice it to say, all the blows were coming from one side.

And like in a Mike Tyson fight, it was over before the third round.

They say, regression is a bitch. Alas, the long-awaited regression of J.P. France fell like an avalanche all at once today. Or, more like a late-round knockout by Rocky Marciano. Going into this game, he sported a 2.75 ERA, which few believed was sustainable. But maybe regress next year J.P. — maybe —when the rest of the staff finds its footing again.

But nooooo. As we enter September, France decided to regress. In one day, his ERA rose to 3.51. That’s still below his pre-game season xFIP of 4.53, so we might expect some more of this soon.

In 2.1 innings, France allowed 11 hits and 10 earned runs with two walks. So out of 20 batters faced, France retired only seven. His replacement, Brandon Bielak, promptly allowed a single and two walks, so that by the end of the third inning, the score was 11-0.

Give Bielak credit; he settled things down after the third inning. He was just normal mediocre, allowing three runs on six hits and three walks in 5.1 innings. At least the bullpen isn’t too worn out after this beating.

After the eighth inning, the Astros were only down 13-1. But Martin Maldonado proved that he is truly the Astros’ version of Shohei Ohtani, providing not only a mighty bat, but in this game, a valuable inning of relief pitching, allowing only four more runs. His career ERA is 36.00. Not bad, when you consider that today’s starting pitcher had a 38.57 ERA

The Astros did manage 10 hits, but they missed a lot of punches, hitting only 1-12 with runners in scoring position. Oh well, if they were 12-12 with runners in scoring position, they still would have lost.

But that’s nothing compared to the 24 hits and six walks the Red Sox had.

I wish I could say that it’s the Astros standing triumphant in this picture. Alas, we’re the one on the canvas.

Tomorrow is another day. The Astros play in Detroit tomorrow, 5:40 CT.

Box Score HERE.

Go Stros.