Astros Lose a Tough One
Bo Porter has not committed to who his closer will be. But judging on his actions, at least prior to tonight’s game, Josh Fields was it. However after his three run ninth inning gave Boston a 7-5 victory in tonight’s rubber game, I am not so sure.
Robbie Grossman (Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports)
Fields had a 5-4 lead to protect, and he just could not do it. David Ortiz led off the inning with his fourth single of the night before being removed for a pinch runner. A one out walk to Jonny Gomes followed before Stephen Drew homered to put the Red Sox ahead for good.
Aside from a Brett Wallace two out single, the bottom half of the ninth inning was without drama. Wallace worked a ten pitch at-bat off Boston closer Koji Uehara for his second single of the night.
Even Bo Porter’s ejection was kind of quiet. Jason Castro struck out to start the inning on a ball that appeared to be a foul tip. The home plate umpire refused to get a second opinion and Porter was sent to an early shower by arguing that point.
Jarred Cosart is allowed to have one bad start. In his fifth career start, Cosart threw 100 pitches and was relieved by Wesley Wright after walking the first two batters in the sixth inning.
Cosart was lucky to have only allowed two runs in his five plus innings tonight. I don’t want to take too much credit away from the starter as he certainly did a good job avoiding any serious trouble. In a sense, it was good tonight to see the prospect deal with some adversity.
In each inning he pitched tonight, Cosart put two guys on base. That was certainly a recipe for disaster. But it could have been worse as the 23-year old was able to dance out of trouble without much of an issue. The two runs that Boston scored off Cosart both came on ground ball outs, and one was actually scored via a Mike Carp double play (Brock Holt drove in the other run).
While you don’t like to see your pitcher put 12 runners on base, it was good to see Cosart limit the damage and get groundballs to get out of innings.
Robbie Grossman just continues to hit. With his two hits tonight, his average is up to .265. But more importantly than the fact that Grossman had two hits tonight, was that both factored tremendously in the outcome of the game.
After Cosart put the Astros in the early 2-0 hole, Grossman hit a two run homer in the bottom of the third inning to tie the game driving in Jake Elmore. Elmore got the start after replacing Jonathan Villar last night when the young shortstop injured his hand stealing third base. Villar had an MRI earlier today, and appears to be alright to play this weekend.
Grossman then got the Astros three run sixth inning going with a leadoff double. The speedy outfielder moved over to third on a wild pitch forcing the Red Sox hand. They were forced to bring the infield in, setting the stage for a Jose Altuve single to score Grossman. Jason Castro then doubled in Altuve and scored on a Marc Krauss sacrifice fly to close out the scoring tonight for the Astros.
Houston would not have been in position to take the lead, were it not for Wright’s efforts, along with Josh Zeid, in getting out of the sixth inning. Wright has faced some criticism this season, but tonight he did his job even if he had to be partly bailed out by Zeid.
The lefty struck out Jarrod Saltalamacchia for the first out of the inning before he walked Holt to load the bases. At that point Astros fans began to feel a sense of doom, but Wright struck out Stephen Drew for the second out of the inning.
Zeid then continued to impress as he struck out Shane Victorino to end the inning and end the threat. That ultimately led to Victorino’s ejection. However, the seventh inning was not as kind to the rookie as a single by Carp and a home run by Gomes cut the deficit to one.
Chia-Jen Lo continued his success as he pitched 1.1 perfect innings tonight striking out one.
Aside from the the two innings in which the Astros scored tonight, there really was not much offense. After an off day tomorrow, the Astros take on the Texas Rangers for three games beginning Friday.