Houston Astros Are Kept off the Scoreboard
By Ray Kuhn
George Springer (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)
How many times can I really write this sentence in 2014?
It is simply not fair to Jarred Cosart. Cosart pitched perhaps his best game of the season so far tonight against the Detroit Tigers and has nothing to show for it. This is something that could get old very quickly for Cosart and the Astros. The right-hander deserves a better fate than being the losing pitcher in a 2-0 series opening game with the Detroit Tigers.
There are only so many excuses we can make, but tonight the lack of offense from the Astros can be substantiated. Max Scherzer was on the hill for the Tigers and he continued his dominating ways.
Scherzer pitched eight innings tonight allowing only three hits and one walk while striking out nine batters as his ERA fell to 1.72 on the season. Joe Nathan closed the game out for Detroit allowing just a walk to Dexter Fowler.
Seven innings and seven base runners; four hits and three walks. I think the Astros would be content with that every time out from Cosart who also struck out three batters lowering his ERA to 4.50. For me, that is the biggest take away here. Cosart only struck out three batters because he was comfortable on the mound pitching to contact. That is exactly what you have to do against a solid veteran team like the Tigers.
But after the first two batters of the game, it didn’t look too good for Cosart. After Jonathan Villar kicked the game off with an error, Torii Hunter singled putting runners on the corners with no one out and Miguel Cabrera headed to the plate. Instead, Cosart had other plans as he induced a weakly hit ground ball to first baseman Marc Krauss. Krauss alertly tagged first base and then he caught Ian Kinsler in a rundown to end the threat.
After his first at bat of the game, it looked like the move down in the order worked for George Springer. After hitting a long foul ball , Springer struck a solid single into left field. He then proceeded to get thrown out at second base as the Astros just did not have any luck running the bases tonight.
When the Astros were still just down by a run, Krauss led of the eighth inning with a single. Marwin Gonzalez then pinch ran for him and was promptly thrown out trying to steal second. This came just a half inning after a fielding miscue by Krauss gave Detroit their first run of the game.
Krauss quite simply just missed catching the throw from Matt Dominguez at first base which allowed Nick Castellanos to reach safely. Castellanos then scored on a Rajai Davis single. A Victor Martinez home run off Anthony Bass in the eighth inning gave Joe Nathan an insurance run to work with that he did not need.
Dexter Fowler led off the ninth inning inning with a walk and then was thrown out on a close call as he tried advance on an Alex Avila passed ball. The call was reviewed and upheld, and it looked like the call could have gone the other way. However, that is not the issue as the Astros need to be more disciplined on the bases.
Cosart pitched another very good game in what was a stiff test for him. Too bad he has nothing to show for it.