The Houston Astros and pitcher Gerrit Cole suffer a tough 4-2 loss after the Rays score three runs following an error by Aledmys Diaz.
Cole pitched a quality start for the Astros giving up only one earned run and striking out ten batters. A costly errant throw by Aledmys Diaz in the third inning gave the Rays an extra out and they took advantage scoring three unearned runs. That would be all they would need on the night to walk away with the win.
This would be the second error by Diaz in as many nights. Diaz, the offseason replacement for Marwin Gonzalez, was in for Carlos Correa who missed another night due to neck stiffness. Correa says he’s feeling much better and is very close to being ready. In any case, manager A. J. Hinch plans on keeping him out until the final game of the series on Sunday.
Mike Zunino reached base on Diaz’s error in the third inning on what would have been the second out of the inning. One pitch later Austin Meadows flied out to center which would have been the third out. But seventeen pitches, three singles and a stolen base later, the Tampa Bay Rays scored three unearned runs, enough for the win.
Would Correa or Gonzalez been able to make that play? Probably so, but that’s all speculation. Most likely, Diaz will be back out at short for the third game of the series with something to prove. “I think for me I need to come Saturday and work for the game and try to get better. I think it’s a long season,” said Diaz. “I need to try to improve my defense during the season. I don’t think it will be a problem. I’ll come into Saturday with the same mindset and work to get better.”
In the bottom of the fifth, there was yet another error. The Astros ran off the field after what appeared to be the third out. The Rays challenged the call and the ruling was overturned. The replay showed that Yuli Gurriel‘s foot was off the bag and he was charged with the error. Watching the replay it certainly looked to me like Gurriel was pulled off the bag by another bad throw by Diaz.
Hopefully these defensive missteps are just an anomaly for Diaz, after all, it is only two games into the season. He committed seven errors last season in 95 appearances at short but had the 4th highest number of errors among shortstops in 2016. In the meantime, we don’t want you to rush coming back Correa, but we sure do miss you.