Lucas Harrell struggles in loss to Tigers


Attempting to secure a spot in the Astros starting rotation, Lucas Harrell was coming off a couple of impressive outings as he took the mound against the Tigers today. Things did not go well for Lucas.

The Astros righty was charged with nine earned runs in only 1 & 2/3 innings of work in Lakeland today. Harrell gave up 12 hits. The silver lining: he didn’t walk anybody.

Lucas Harrell (Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports)

Harrell didn’t waste any time falling back into vintage 2013 form. With Victor Martinez leading off for the Tigers, Harrell gave a long glare in to home plate umpire Jerry Layne after a ball was called. Astros catcher Carlos Corporan promptly went to the mound and scolded Harrell for his body language. It didn’t work.

Martinez lined the next pitch for a hit and the proverbial flood gates were opened. The Tigers would plate six runs before a double-play grounder would mercifully bring the first inning to an end.  The “let’s try Jesus Guzman at 3B” experiment didn’t help. Guzman misplayed a couple of balls in the inning.

Bo Porter was in good spirits before the game.

I wonder how Bo is feeling now — after realizing that he put an infielder out of position with his groundball machine/fragile psyched  right-hander on the mound. Not exactly what I would call the work of a baseball genius. But, hey, it’s only Spring Training.

What Porter hoped would be an 80-pitch outing for Harrell turned into a train wreck. Harrell was unable to get his pitches down and Detroit’s hitters made him pay. You have to hope that, unlike last season, Harrell will be able to put it behind him and bounce back next time.

Correa would go 0 for 3 with two strikeouts in the Astros 14-3 loss. Robbie Grossman hit his first homer of the spring, a solo shot off Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer.

The Astros will host the Nationals tomorrow at 12:05.