The Houston Astros ran up four runs early on the Los Angels Angels, but a sixth inning implosion changed the tide for good. As the ball club drops their first game 5-4 in a three-game set, Brandon Bielak continues to not find a rhythm since his downfall after a hot start in 2020.
As Kent Emanuel showed out in a high-leverage situation against Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout, the left-hander is proving his durability even as a rookie. With the Brooks Raley and Joe Smith experiment continuing, the two veterans allowed three base runners combined but didn’t allow a run, which is progress in the end.
With the six inning implosion evident, the offense wasn’t capitalizing with runners on base.
The sixth inning is where the way the game folded, as the Astros left 10 runners on through this threshold. With everyone other than Jason Castro and Yordan Alvarez getting hits, the two left-handers went quiet at the wrong time. While totaling 10 hits over nine innings, the bats were quiet with runners on once the sixth inning rolled around. One thing to watch out for is Myles Straw, after a 2-for-4 night with two RBIs.
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With Luis Garcia falling out of contention of his major league win, Bielak allowed two earned runs on two hits, as he only sat down one batter. This inconsistency from the right-hander seems to be a reoccurring thing that could lead to more time in the minor leagues.
A bunt back to the mound led to the Angels lead, while Bielak was continuing to be pelted with runners on base. The loss was granted to the right-hander in the end.
The pitching staff is far from complete, and most of these arms would benefit from more experience at AAA or AA. Jake Odorizzi, Framber Valdez and Enoli Paredes are all expected to return at their respected dates in the next month or two, so it will be interesting to see how it all shakes out.
With the ESPN game not going their way on Monday, the Astros are back on the field on Tuesday against the Angels at 7:10 p.m. Lance McCullers Jr. will start in another tough matchup against a dominant arm, but this time, it is Ohtani. In farm system news, the ball club has signed another minor league arm in Michael Kelly.