The Houston Astros were one strike away from splitting the series with the Braves but Brian McCann had different plans. He ended up hitting a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth to send the games to extra and added insult to injury by hitting a walk-off two run homer in the 11th for a final of 3-1. Even though this went to the extra innings, it seemed like only Wandy Rodriguez, Brett Wallace and Hunter Pence showed up today to play.
Wandy had arguably his best start of the season going 8.0 innings, only giving up five hits and two walks while striking out six. Both him and Derek Lowe breezed through their starts on a cold, windy day in Atlanta. There was no scoring for either team until the seventh when Brett Wallace connected on a solo shot that went over the center field wall. This was only Wallace’s third home run of the season but he has shown power capabilities in the minor and it is only a matter of time before he starts getting the long ball working.
Hunter Pence also had a good day, going 2 for 4 with two singles and made a flying catch in the bottom of the ninth off the right field wall that kept the lead for the Astros. I also need to give credit where credit is due and Clint Barmes is starting to put together a pretty good offensive game at the plate. He has raised his batting average above .200 and has hit safely in nine of the past 13 games. He was brought in primarily for his power and will need to work on that he does have only one home run so far this season.
Now for the bad and one half inning sticks out for the Houston Astros. In the top of the 8th they had the bases loaded with one out and both Carlos Lee and Brett Wallace worked the pitcher to a 3-1 count. The Astros were not able to get a single run across because Lee swung at a fastball down the middle of the plate and popped up to the shortstop and Wallace fouled a pitch and then swung and miss for strike three. This was a big inning and getting even one run across would of been the difference.
The Astros will need to put this loss behind them quickly as they head to St. Louis tomorrow for a two game set with the Cardinals.