Paul Clemens (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)
Have we already reached this point? The calender has not even turned to May yet, and it is already becoming futile to try and give a blow by blow summary of some Astros’ games.
Yes, the Astros are coming off a pretty successful series in Seattle where they came a walk off home run away from sweeping the Mariners, but they took a few step backwards tonight. These games happen from time to time, and they should be expected. And for rebuilding teams like Houston, they are even more common.
But they are happening all too often. Over the past few seasons, fans have become fed up, and they have a right to be. Just as the team makes some progress, it comes screeching to a halt.
And that is what happened tonight as the Astros fell to the Oakland A’s by the score of 10-1.
Lack of base runners was not the issue for the Astros tonight as 14 batters reached base (10 hits, three walks, and one hit by pitch). Four of those came in the bottom of the first inning, but it only warranted one run.
Dexter Fowler and Jason Castro had back to back one out singles and then George Springer was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Jesus Guzman struck out for the second out of the inning and then a Chris Carter walk plated Fowler for Houston’s only run of the game.
This lack of production by the offense needs to improve. On a night when the opposing team scored ten runs, I’m not sure it would have mattered, but it is not a recipe for success to leave 20 batters on base (combined), and go 1-11 with runners in scoring position.
Oberholtzer struggled all night and the book on him was closed after 3.2 innings, and six runs on eight hits and two walks. Before getting himself ejected, Paul Clemens gave the Astros some length pitching 2.2 innings allowing three runs on four hits. Anthony Bass relieved Clemens following his ejection and gave up Donaldson’s second long ball before Jerome Williams closed out the game with two perfect innings.
At this point, I had just assumed that the Jed Lowrie drama from Friday was over with. But, not to Clemens as he hit Lowrie square in the back earning himself an ejection. Now I understand the baseball code and trying to prove a point, but just let it go. Everyone has moved on. Tonight the responsibility of Clemens was to eat as many innings as possible to save the bullpen.