Jordan Lyles gave the Astros exactly what they’ve needed, seven quality innings, and that helped them snap a painful 8-game losing streak. He would only give up 2 runs over his seven innings while gaining major support from the bottom of the Astros’ order. Brett Wallace returned and provided a nice spark with 2 hits, reaching base a total of 3 times. Jason Castro and Marwin Gonzalez both pitched in with 2 hits and Justin Maxwell provided the biggest hit of the game with a 2-run pinch homer, which proved to be the difference. The “regulators’ finished off the Reds and secured the Astros 5-3 victory and hopefully will start a nice little streak for the home-town nine.
Jordan Lyles has been up and down, not being able to settle down in Houston more than a start at a time but after Sunday’s excellent start, he should be able to get comfortable. He’ll be part of the rotation from this point on and this will give him the opportunity that he has been seeking. He has looked the part but had been the victim of the big inning until Sunday when he was able to contain a blazing hot Reds offense. Lyles is still maturing but even last season, most fans and experts could see Lyles’ evolution was taking place at a rapid pace. Sunday was just the latest step into the development of the 21 year old prospect.
The offense has been the least of the Stros problems during the dreadful losing streak. On Sunday it was the bottom of the Stros lineup that made their stand and a timely pinch hit bomb from Justin Maxwell. The wavier claim pickup has shown the ability to destroy a pitch or two but it’s making consistent contact that’s the issue. It’s pretty obvious the reason he isn’t a regular is his inability to put the ball in play because when he does, he does damage. The return of Brett Wallace was unexpected but he quickly made his impact upon his return to the Astros’ lineup. Wallace could always get on base at a nice clip but his power has been questioned all the way up the farm system. Wallace doesn’t need to hit 40 homeruns a season but he does need to provide some power and hit his share of doubles to be an effective weapon as a corner infielder.