Lucas Harrell pitched seven innings and allowed only one run tonight against the Reds. Harrell also pitched seven innings and allowed one run in his previous outing, Thursday in San Diego. The Astros lost both games and Harrell is still looking for that elusive eighth victory of the season.
The Astros were clinging to a 2-1 lead in the ninth inning when Brad Mills brought in his new closer Francisco Cordero. Drew Stubbs hit a two-run homer to put the Reds on top. Cordero would give up another run before exiting the game in favor of Fernando Rodriguez. Cordero, recently acquired from the Blue Jays, was unable to convert his first save opportunity as an Astro. Ironically, it came against one of his former teams.
The Astros continue to find ways to lose and have now dropped 20 of their last 22. Lately they have been blown out more often than not, but when Harrell pitches the Astros usually have a chance to win. Unfortunately for Lucas, they have not capitalized on those chances. Tonight it was a simple case of bullpen meltdown with a side order of too little offense. Last Thursday in San Diego it was a complete lack of hitting as the Astros managed only one hit in the game, losing 1-0 to Edinson Volquez.
What recipe for defeat will the Astros cook up tomorrow? I can hardly wait to find out.