Everyone has heard of winning ugly. But how about losing pretty? In their first two games after returning from the All-Star break the Astros style of play has led to the coining of a new term. The Astros managed to lose Friday night despite the fact that Brandon Barnes hit for the cycle. Last night’s loss was even more amazing considering the fact the Mariners had only one hit in the game.
But there was nothing pretty about today’s 12-5 blowout loss at the hands of Felix Hernandez and the Mariners. No Astros player was able to come up with an outstanding individual performance. In fact, a couple of guys had the type of day they’d like to forget.
Jordan Lyles had a rough Sunday afternoon, reminiscent of the one against Texas that John Burgess likes to exclude when talking about the young pitcher’s season stats. Well John, what are we going to do now?
Much like the game against the Rangers, Jordan didn’t get much help from his defense. Jake Elmore‘s second inning error on a routine double-play ball opened up the flood gates. Elmore kicked the tailor made grounder and failed to record an out on the play. Things continued to unravel for Lyles and when Nick Franklin stepped to the plate later in the inning with the bases loaded the smell of a Grand Salami permeated the air of Minute Maid Park. Franklin turned on a fastball from Lyles, depositing it in the rightfield bleachers to cap a seven run inning.
The big lead was more than enough for King Felix, the American League’s ERA leader. The Mariners played add-on against Lyles and Lucas Harrell while Hernandez barely broke a sweat and was removed after six innings with a 10-0 lead. That lead eventually grew to 12-1 before the Astros added a cosmetic 4-spot in the ninth.
In what wasn’t one of the best decisions of the afternoon, Justin Maxwellwas almost thrown out at the plate to end the game with the score 12-2. Maxwell barely beat the tag and the Astros went on to plate a couple more runs thanks to some shoddy defense from a Mariners team that was already thinking about boarding an airplane and getting out of town with a 3-game sweep.
The Astros have now lost five straight and host a 3-game series against the Oakland Athletics starting tomorrow. The Astros have only three wins in the month of July and are 0-9 against Oakland this season. It’s starting to look a lot like 2012 all of a sudden.