Arizona 8, Houston 2
W: Collmenter (2-2)
L: Lyles (2-7)
This one actually started out pretty well. Sure, Kubel got his home run, but so did Maxwell and the Astros actually had a 2-1 lead after 5 1/2. Lyles had done a good job spotting his pitches and keeping the Dback bashers off balance.
The AAAstros found a new way to squander an opportunity in the top of the sixth, doubly frustrating because they get so few opportunities at all and this is not a team that can hold one-run leads. This time. with one out, CJ on third and poised to score, Maxwell is asked to squeeze the run home. CJ dashes with the pitch but it’s inside. Maxwell pulls the bat back and the baseball equivalent of Pickett’s Charge results in a massacre of any hopes Houston had for adding more to the ledger. You can argue all you want about why you’d ask a flyball hitter to squeeze, but the fact is that Maxwell blew the chance that was given to him.
In the bottom of the frame, Lyles lost his command and began hanging pitches over the heart of the plate. Three singles loaded the bases and Montero smacked a hard shot over second, picked up by Gonzalez and flicked desperately at Altuve, who caught it with his shoulder and then paused to think about how wrong that was. This compounded the error and allowed a second run to score on the play, giving up the lead for good.
Mills wanted to keep Lyles in to learn how to pitch out of trouble, and the 21-year-old demonstrated that need still exists when he served up a rocket by Chris Young that plated three. Two singles later and Mills had had enough.
More crap happened. More runs were given up. The game devolved into a sleepwalk through the sewer of a .250 AAAstro road team, but as usual the GZ was rife with pithy discussions and entertainment through oblique cultural salvos.
Back home, Your Minor Leaguers Wearing Major Leaguers Uniforms will comfort themselves with their woobies and familiar sippy cups tonight. Maybe they’ll have a better day tomorrow, and the ride on this Shit Train will take a day off.