No matter how hard the Astros tried to lose last night, they still came out on top in the 11th. Houston, this is the Rangers, it shouldn’t be this hard.
By my count, the Houston Astros blew the lead over the Texas Rangers seven times in the last two games. The first game of this series they never had the lead, so that was a wash. But in Friday night’s game, the Astros were up four times and lost it every time losing in the bottom of the ninth. Last night they ceded the lead three times finally winning it in extra innings.
In the first three games of this four-game series, the Astros have used eleven relief pitchers for a total of 13.2 innings. Those eleven relievers allowed seven runs in that frame of work. The usually dependable Roberto Osuna lost one game in the bottom of the 9th and almost blew last night’s game in the bottom of the 11th. This bullpen is way overtaxed right now.
Relief pitching aside, Houston’s defense hasn’t been particularly at it’s best lately either. The Astros have committed five errors in this series and the blame has been well shared equally by five different players, Yuli Gurriel, Robinson Chirinos, Jose Altuve, George Springer, and Alex Bregman. That’s not to mention a play or two that probably should have been called errors.
Then there are the eight home runs handed to the Rangers in the last two games. Gerrit Cole gave up three Friday night, he’s been allowing only 1.3 HR/9IP up until that game. I don’t know, maybe he doesn’t want Justin Verlander to outdo him in HRs allowed. Verlander leads the league surrendering 26 four-baggers, and please don’t get him started on the subject of “juiced balls”.
Maybe it’s just me, but it doesn’t seem like the Astros are playing with the same zest as usual, maybe a little lackadaisical. They’ll be back out on the field this afternoon trying to come out of Arlington with an even record in the series. Verlander will be on the mound up against Ariel Jurado. Guys, please let this one be a little easier on the blood pressure.