Going into today’s game, there have not been many good things to say about the Astros’ series against the Mariners. Well, that was until Brett Oberholtzer took the mound for Houston this afternoon as they looked to avoid the sweep.
Brett Oberholtzer (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)
The bats for the Astros apparently did not make it back to Houston as they only scored four runs combined in the first three games of the series. Today, the bats really were not any better, but Oberholtzer did not need much run support in his 2-0 victory.
After four straight quality starts, Oberholtzer got into trouble in his last start against the White Sox. He gave up four runs in 5.1 innings. I don’t think the lefty could have done an ymore today to rebound as he extended his record to 4-1 and saw his ERA fall to 2.79.
The rookie got that much closer to earning a spot in next year’s rotation by doing something that has been unheard of for the Astros this season. He threw a complete game. I know it is hard to believe, but it was the first complete game for the Astros all season. In doing so, Oberholtzer allowed only four hits and one walk while striking out five Mariners.
Oberholtzer needed 113 pitches to get through the game, never was really in trouble, and the Mariners struggled to get solid hits off of him. But for the first seven innings of the game, it looked like he would not be getting a victory for his efforts.
Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma kept Houston off the scoreboard for the first seven innings. Charlie Furbush took over in the eighth inning, and that is when the Astros finally put some runs on the board.
Jose Altuve has been struggling lately for sure, but today he put up three of Houston’s nine hits and got things started in the bottom of the eighth inning. Back to back doubles by Altuve and Castro gave Oberholtzer all the run support he needed. Matt Dominguez then moved Castro to third base where he scored on a perfectly executed squeeze bunt by Brandon Barnes.
Aside from a one out Kyle Seager single, the bottom of the ninth inning was free of drama as the Astros were victorious.