contributed by Reuben
Astros 5, Padres 3
W: Lyles (2-4)
L: Wells (0-1)
The Astros beat the Padres Tuesday night, a victory that felt good, coming after Monday’s ugly 8-7 loss, but also felt a little bit like “well, they were supposed to win this game”.
Whycome? For starters, they were playing the Padres, who of course are even more
good-challenged than the Astros this year. On top of that, their pitcher was Kip Wells. The last time Wells faced the Astros, Geoff Blum, Chris Coste, and Miguel Tejada were in the lineup (and Cooper was managing, for all those who gripe about Mills…). That was two weeks before Kip’s last major league game, in 2009. Kudos to him for toughing it out and making it back though. And he actually pitched a decent game, but screwed himself with some sloppiness in the 5th, airmailing a throw to 2B that should’ve started a double play, and then launching a run-scoring wild pitch in the same inning. The Astros scored 4, which would’ve been 0 had the DP been turned, and that was basically the ballgame.
Jordan Lyles didn’t have great control tonight. He walked 4, worked behind in the count often to weak hitters, and just seemed to have a lot of trouble hitting spots with his fastball and curve. But he did a nice job not getting too flustered by events, worked out of a bases-loaded jam, 1-out jam in the 2nd, another with two outs in the 3rd, and a 2-on jam in the 5th, and pitched into the 7th, when he was pulled for Fernando Abad, whom I keep forgetting is on the team.
Lo and behold, Abad – with inherited runners on 1st and 3rd – strikes out one of the Padres’ good hitters, Chase Headley, and gets the next guy to ground out to end the threat. Then, wonder of wonders, he comes back out the next inning and puts ‘em down 1-2-3. Abad! Now all of a sudden his ERA is a respectable 3.38. What’s next, David Carpenter pitching a clean inning?!? Alas, no. In the 9th, Carp once again had no clue where his 94-96 mph heat was going, went 3-0 on the first batter, somehow struck him out, then single, walk before he was pulled for Brett Myers in an Official Save Situation.
Myers was shaky, giving up a long fly-ball out to Carlos Quentin (the Padres’ other good hitter), then a 2-run single to Headley, then another single, then bouncing a curve off Everth Cabrera’s back foot to load the bases and put the tying run on 2nd. Mercifully, he got Alexi Amarista (the subject of much speculation by Brownie and JD as to whether he was as short as Altuve, rather than his listed 5’7”) to ground into the 6-4 to end it.
What else happened?
-Lowrie and JD both homered. Lowrie is now 1 behind Orlando Miller for 2nd-most HR by an Astro SS in a season (15, Thon had 20).
-Brian Bixler made a couple nice plays at 2B.
-The Astros handed Kip Wells his 100th career loss (67-100).
-The Padres got a scoreless inning from a Mr. Hinshaw.
-I hit a HR in my pick-up softball game. Not so easy to do, now that we’re using wood bats. But… a little easier when there’s no OF fence to stop the rolling ball. Maybe there’s a metaphor for the Astros’ win in there somewhere…? Nah, I just wanted to brag.