Jarred Cosart (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)
Jarred Cosart put in another good start tonight for the Houston Astros. The problem though, is that it resulted in a no decision for the Astros as they fell 4-3 to the Washington Nationals in the first game of a short two game series.
If you are looking to find a problem with Cosart’s start, and as a disclaimer that is a stretch, it could be that Cosart only pitched six innings throwing 105 pitches. A Jayson Werth first inning home run and a Jose Lobaton third inning double were the only blemishes on Cosart’s record for the night as he allowed two runs in his six innings of work on five hits and two walks while striking out six Nationals.
Both of Cosart’s walks came in the sixth inning, but he struck out Kevin Frandsen to end the inning and go out on a high note. Cosart also left with a 3-2 lead in hand.
In Gio Gonzalez, Houston was facing a tough starter who shut them down for five of his six innings of work. Once again, it was a quiet night offensively for the Astros as they only managed five hits total for the game with all of them coming off Gonzalez. Four of those five hits came in the third inning.
I don’t think it is a secret that this a problem for Houston. That along with the struggles and inconsistency of the bullpen.
Aside from Cosart, who after tonight as an unfairly inflated 5.52 ERA (the majority of the damage was done in his outing against Oakland two weekends ago), there was a bright spot from George Springer.
It is getting to the point with Springer where I am beginning to question whether or not he needs a day off and whether or not he should be moved out of the cleanup spot at least temporarily to get him going.
Matt Dominguez led the third inning off with a double and scored on Dexter Fowler‘s two out single. After a double by Jason Castro put two men in scoring position, Springer came to the plate and hit a solid single into left field to give Houston the lead. A lead that would stand until the eighth inning.
Anthony Bass relieved Cosart and pitched a perfect seventh inning. After Werth singled to lead off the eighth inning, Raul Valdes replaced Bass to face left-hander Adam LaRoche who promptly drove in Werth with a double to tie the game.
And then the ninth inning once again belonged to Josh Fields who has been having his share of struggles lately. After a Denard Span lead off walk, stolen base, and an Anthony Rendon ground out, Washington had a runner on third with one out. LaRoche came through again with an RBI single and then Fields used an Ian Desmond double play ball to get out of the inning.