While the Houston Astros dropped their fifth consecutive game, the Detroit Tigers completed the sweep against half of the Sugar Land Skeeters. In the midst of five Astros’ players being added to the injured list, the game was still on, even though Lance McCullers Jr. was also dealing with side effects with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
As the right-hander was hooked up to an IV after Wednesday’s matchup, McCullers only went 3.2 innings surrendering four hits, six earned runs and three walks, while only fanning three batters. He couldn’t find a rhythm on the mound, and like the rest of the pitching staff this past week, McCullers had a regressed start in a game that was controversial of even happening.
As the pitching woes continue, the Astros’ bats freeze with runners on base.
The Astros welcomed five players from the alternate training site on Wednesday, and although not being at full strength, they kept it close (6-4) in what seemed like the same game for the past week. As Ronnie Dawson made his major league debut in the DH spot, the left-hander recored his first major league hit and scored twice for the Astros:
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While the Astros got within striking distance in the end, the bases were juiced all of the ninth inning and a Kyle Tucker strikeout sealed the series sweep for the Tigers. Houston left 26 runners on base, when adding up players’ individual totals, but as a team, it was 10. For a team that’s batting .136 with runners in scoring position through their losing streak, this is a good hint to why they are trending in a negative direction offensively.
For an offense that was red hot for the first two away series, the first home stand did not come in their favor. As the pitching staff has totaled 57 innings from starters and 50 innings from the bullpen, we are starting to sound like a broken record because the bats are cooling off at the wrong time.
As we don’t have timetables on the injured listed players’ returns, it is only mid-April, and the season is not in jeopardy. The Astros have always been a team of progression, and with those coming back from their respected injuries and protocols, this team will look to regroup after the off day on Thursday.
As a .500 team for the first time this season, Houston is now 6-6 and are headed to Seattle for a three game series starting Friday. While the 9:10 p.m. start time returns for the series opener, Jose Urquidy will get the ball first after the off day on Thursday.