Sometimes, things get a little fuzzy after a night at the pub; especially when the game lasts over 3 hours. Here’s a friendly reminder of what you may have missed while you were drinking.
The Houston Astros came to town for the first time since July 2012. To give you an idea of how long ago that was, Edinson Volquez won 1-0; not only that, he threw a 1-hitter. Those were the days, my friend. Tonight’s game was nothing like that. Houston prevailed in the opener 9-4. Pat Neshek got the win. Joaquin Benoit got the loss, a just result since he faced four batters in the eighth and didn’t get anybody out.
James Shields vs Collin McHugh projected to be a pitchers duel, and for the first four innings that’s exactly what it was. Jed Lowrie opened the scoring with a solo shot to right in the fourth, and Houston led 1-0. In the fifth, things got weird. Derek Norris threw out Jake Marisnick trying to steal, except Alexi Amarista lost the ball after swipe tagging Marisnick on the leg; Marisnick safe on the E6. Jose Altuve followed that miscue with a ground rule double (scoring Marisnick), and Luis Valbuena added a hard single to score Altuve. Both runs were unearned.
Trailing 3-0, the Padres then drew even, thanks to Chris Carter. With Will Middlebrooks on first, Carter fielded Amarista’s hard ground ball to first but assumed it was foul. Surprised to hear it called fair, he stepped on the bag and threw to second, but Middlebrooks was already there. Bud Black then consulted the Magic 8-Ball and let Shields hit for himself. He placed a ground ball up the middle, which Lowrie reached; but the ball kicked off the heel of his glove. Lowrie recovered and had no play, thanks to Shields running up the baseline like a baseball player instead of taking it easy like some pitchers do. A Wil Myers double (which JUUUST eluded Colby Rasmus‘ reach) and Yangervis Solarte flare single (in the perfect spot behind short) drew the Padres even.
Shields would work six innings, then give way to Brandon Maurer. This time the Magic 8-Ball betrayed Black. Maurer struggles against left-handed hitters (they came in hitting .357 off him), so after falling behind 3-1 to left handed hitting Jason Castro, Maurer misplaced a fastball that Castro deposited in the left-center field bleachers. 4-3 Astros. Maurer escaped further damage.
Once again the Padres responded. Amarista singled to leadoff the inning. With one out Myers singled softly to second. Solarte doubled to left, scoring Amarista and sending Myers to third. Tie game. Matt Kemp and Justin Upton were due next, so manager AJ Hinch summoned Neshek, who got Kemp to roll into a force out (Myers retired at home) and Upton to ground to second. So after seven, 4-all.
Then the wheels came off. Benoit walked the first two hitters to start the eighth. The 3-2 pitch to Lowrie was probably a strike but called a ball. FWIW Home Plate umpire Paul Schrieber had a generous (to say the least) outside corner, but wasn’t giving many high strikes. George Springer then stole third and scored when Norris’ throw went into left field. Rasmus and Carter – who to that point had each struck out three times – singled and doubled, respectively, to drive in the other two runs. 7-4.
Rasums tacked on a 2-run HR in the ninth to ice it. He victimized Cory Mazzoni, who made his Major League debut in this game (and Congrats Cory!).
Astros pull away from Padres for eighth win in nine games – Corey Brock/Brian McTaggert (MLB)
Bullpen falters as Padres lose to Astros – Dennis Lin (SDUT)
“We need to get on a little bit of a bullpen roll.” — Padres manager Bud Black, after his relievers allowed six runs over the final three innings (Brock/McTaggert)
Photo (Sort of)
Here’s last night’s win probability, per Fangraphs. Not as extreme as some, but still it shows the swings in the game.
Scott will have tomorrow’s WYWD for your enjoyment.