The Astros electrify Minute Maid Park with huge knocks from Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman.
Alex Bregman and big-time hits have become synonymous with each other during his time with the Houston Astros. Whether you are talking about Bregman’s walk-off home run in Game Five of the 2017 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, or his walk-off on a hit that went about five feet in front of the home plate against the Oaklands Athletics in July of 2018, the man just understands how to get it done with the game on the line.
Well, the game was on the line again last night. In the second game of a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners in Houston, Bregman put the team on his shoulders once again. With an offense that has struggled with consistency with runners-in-scoring-position, Bregman hit a two-run home run off the Mariners’ closer, Paul Sewald.
‘The Breggy Bomb’ would tie the game four to four and ultimately keep the Astros alive for extra innings. Due to being on the injured list for 59 days with a hamstring injury, this was Alex Bregman’s first home run since June 9. Bregman finished the night with three hits, a double, a home run, three RBI and no strikeouts.
However, you cannot talk about Bregman’s big moments without discussing the ice water that runs through Carlos Correa’s veins. The soon-to-be free agent was in the rare position of leading off in the bottom of the tenth inning. It didn’t matter to Correa though. As a $30 million player would do, he hit a ground-rule double on a line drive to right field, driving in the automatic runner, Yuli Gurriel, for the win.
Besides the clutch hits from Bregman and Correa, Jose Altuve finally ended his home run drought. In the bottom of the third, Mariners’ Logan Gilbert left a slider right at the heart of the plate. Altuve got a serious hold of the ball and drove out of the park. It went 369 feet with an exit velocity of 102.2 MPH. Many Astros fans hope this is the first step to Altuve getting hot right before the playoffs.
Astros pitching was good enough to win the ball game tonight. Jake Odorizzi cruised through the first four innings of his start before getting in trouble in the fifth inning. He gave up two consecutive hits to lead off the fifth inning.
Odorizzi managed to sit down the next two batters for outs. He was nearly out of the woods with J.P. Crawford chased on a ball outside the zone with a full-count. Unfortunately, Crawford connected with the ball to drive in two runs. Odorizzi would ultimately not come back in, being relieved by Yimi Garcia.
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In the post-game press conference, Odorizzi was not shy in sharing his feelings on the matter. When asked by Brian McTaggart of MLB.com about manager Dusty Baker’s comments on limiting Jake Odorizzi to five innings from now on, Jake Odorizzi responded with “Honestly, I think its bullsh*t.” Playing in his tenth season as a big league starting pitcher, it is not hard to fathom why Odorizzi would be frustrated by those comments.
Over his last four starts, Jake Odorizzi has pitched a little over 20 innings, giving up only six earned runs, six walks and 23 strikeouts and a 2.61 earned run average. With straining together some decent starts, the competitor in Odorizzi obviously wants the support of the coaching to pitch deeper into games.
He has only gone over five innings in one of those starts. So, as much as Astros fans felt like he should have come out for another inning, Baker may have some data to support this limiting Odorizzi at this point.
After last night’s 5-4 victory, the Astros secured the series victory against the upstart Mariners; the Astros now sport a record of 81-57 and last night’s win increased their lead in the division to 6.5 games. Astros look to sweep the surging Mariners in day-game action in Houston tomorrow, starting at 1:10 p.m. with Jose Urquidy against left-hander Tyler Anderson.