I should have known. Once I saw the lineup for tonight’s game, the answer was obvious.
No way were the Astros going to win. Ronny Cedeno was the starting DH. That is not a recipe for offense. So it should not be a surprise that the Astros were shut out for the second straight game and lost 8-0.
Now I understand that a left hander was pitching for Tampa Bay in David Price, but that is no excuse. Brett Wallace was recalled from AAA to play, so let him play. Let’s see what he can do against a southpaw. He certainly could have matched Cedeno’s output before Marc Krauss pinch hit for him in the eighth inning. A utility infielder striking out twice in two at bats is alright. But when your designated hitter does it, it is not how you win.
I mean, it does not fit with going by the book and playing the matchup game, but I would have liked to see Krauss get the start in right field instead of having to deal with Jimmy Paredes again. However, if fairness to Paredes from an offensive perspective he did get one of the four Houston hits tonight.
Erik Bedard didn’t pitch terribly tonight, but he also didn’t pitch all that good. He gave up a sacrifice fly to Wil Myers in the first inning, and that was all Tampa needed as they shut the Astros out for the second straight game.
Desmond Jennings then struck in the fourth inning driving in two with a single. Bedard could not get out of the sixth inning, and was pulled after 5.1 innings for Josh Fields. Fields then quickly allowed Tampa to really put the game out of reach and Jennings hit a two run shot making it 5-0 for the Rays and also closing the book on Bedard.
There really was not a point in the game that was stress free for the lefty as he allowed six hits and six walks to go with the four runs that were charged to him.
David Price had his share of early season struggles before heading to the disabled list. In his first start back, he was burdened with a 90 pitch limit.
That proved not to be an issue as Price pitched seven strong innings while allowing only three hits to go with ten strikeouts. None of that should surprise you, especially the strikeouts. But the truly alarming fact, was that Price only needed 70 pitches to get through his seven innings.
The Astros are a team looking for a spark, and tonight they did not find it. At least tomorrow is another day and another game.