Astros Walk off With a Win
By Ray Kuhn
A night after there were some dramatics in the bottom on the ninth to tie the game, the Astros were walk off winners this afternoon.
Trevor Crowe (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)
Back in the lineup a day after he was benched mid game for lack of focus on the base paths, Jonathan Villar led off the inning with a single. I like how the Astros handled this. The situation was addressed at the time it happened, and he was right back in the lineup the next day.
Jose Altuve sacrificed Villar to second and that set the stage for Trevor Crowe to drive in the winning run and send the Astros home 6-5 winners.
I know the result this afternoon did not look great for Jordan Lyles, but in reality I thought he had a pretty good start. Granted my expectations for Lyles are kind of on the low side and I still think he might be better suited for the bullpen, but I would be alright with starts like this going forward.
Lyles left the game in the seventh after 108 pitches, and was in line for the win. While you would like to see your starting pitcher get through more than 6.1 innings, the starter really only had two bad innings, one of which was the seventh. Erik Bedard came out of the bullpen and induced an inning ending double play from Chris Herrmann. However, that was after Bedard walked last night’s hero Chris Colabello to load the bases.
Once again the Astros came out of the gates with their bats producing. They scored three runs in the first inning off Minnesota starter Liam Hendriks.
Brett Wallace got things started with a double driving in Jose Altuve. Prior to today’s game, the Astros called up Marc Krauss just to give Bo Porter another position player to work with. Robbie Grossman will likely be out for a few games with his oblique injury from last night, Matt Dominguez is under the weather, and we all know about the situation at catcher.
Krauss singled to make the score 2-0 Houston, driving in Crowe. Crowe is another recent addition from Oklahoma City who has been hitting pretty well since his promotion. Brandon Barnes closed out the scoring as he plated Crowe with a sacrifice fly.
Lyles then got into some trouble in the third inning and at the conclusion of a 13 pitch at bat, Alex Presley made him pay by hitting a three run home run to tie the game. Between the third inning and the seventh, that is where the Twins did the majority of their work off of Lyles as on the afternoon he only gave up four hits and one walk, while striking out four.
A fourth inning RBI single by Crowe, and one in the fifth inning by Barnes put the Astros ahead 5-3. Bedard then gave that advantage back via an RBI grounder in the eighth inning and a Ryan Doumit home run in the ninth inning that tied the score. All that did was set the lefty up for a cheap win and Crowe for some heroics.