Results tagged ‘ Tweets of day ’

Game 7: Astros, Cosart can’t overcome mistakes

The result: The Astros dropped the finale of a four-game series against the Angels, losing 9-1 on Monday afternoon at beautifully sunny Minute Maid Park. Jarred Cosart walked four batters and gave up a career-high five runs, including three in the first inning, and the Astros simply were shut down by C.J. Wilson (story and boxscore).

The analysis: This one was ugly. We’ll begin with Cosart, who got himself in trouble early with walks. If you remember, Cosart walked 38 batters in 60 innings last year and came into 2014 looking to cut down on free passes. He didn’t walk any batters in his first outing Wednesday but walked the first batter he faced Monday and three more.

Cosart righted the ship after the three-run first and managed to work six innings and allow five earned runs and three hits.

“It’s not just the walks,” manager Bo Porter said. “When you start to look at the number of pitches per at-bat and the ability to command the strike zone, I feel like we also aided in that with some poor decisions with the baseball that allowed their big innings to kind of open up.”

When Cosart left the game, Porter met him at the dugout steps and had a little talk with the young right-hander.

“I told him I was proud of him,” he said. “After what happened in the first inning and him being a highly talented young pitcher, there’s going to be some growing pains at the Major League level, and I challenged him after that first inning to go out and put up zeroes. I was proud of the job he was able to do to get us through six innings.

“I told him, ‘You want to be a front-of-the-rotation guy in the Major Leagues, you’re not going to have your A stuff all the time. It’s not going to go right all the time. The reason you’re in the front of the rotation is you’re going toc hew up innings, even when you don’t have your good stuff.'”

Now let’s get to the mistakes. The Astros made three mental errors that won’t show up in the boxscore, but sure had an impact on the game.

  • In the first inning, Angels leadoff hitter Kole Calhoun was at first base with one out when Albert Pujols hit a grounder to shortstop Jonathan Villar, who unsuccessfully tried to beat Calhoun to the bag at second instead of trying to throw out Pujols. As a result, Pujols reached first.

“Now, you have two guys on base and it opens up an opportunity for a big inning,” Porter said. “Again, that’s understanding the speed of the ball, the speed of the runners, the men on base, the batter, runner. We had way too man mental mistakes from a standpoint of execution.”

  • In the seventh inning, with Calhoun on second and Mike Trout on first, Pujols hit a fly ball to center fielder Robbie Grossman, who went back and still tried to throw out Calhoun at second, which allowed Trout to take second. He eventually scored.

“He threw the ball to the wrong base,” Porter said. “It doesn’t go into the column of an error. Obviously, you have Mike Trout, who’s arguably one of the fastest guys in the league, and you go back on the baseball and it’s first and second and you have no chance of throwing out the guy third base. Throw the ball to second and he stops. He continued on because the ball went to third base and we had to try to redirect the ball.”

  • In the eighth inning, outfielder L.J. Hoes was on first base when Villar hit a grounder to Angels shortstop Eric, Aybar. He faked a throw to first, and then caught Hoes off second base for an easy out. The Astros were down 8-1 at the time.

“Not smart,” Porter said. “It’s basically fundamental baseball. The scoreboard is the most important object on the baseball field. Your run doesn’t mean anything as it relates to the number of batters we need to get to the plate. Like I explained to L.J., even if he throws the ball to first base you still should have tried to go to third base. The ball is on the field and that’s not when you take a chance or you risk an out when you’re down by seven runs. It’s just not smart.”

Player of the game: C Carlos Corporan kept the Astros from being shutout with an eighth-inning homer off C.J. Wilson.

Stat of the game: The Astros have 41 hits this year, and 10 have been home runs. This is the first time since 2006 the Astros have double-digit homers through seven games.

Quote of the day: “At the end of the day, we go 3-4. That’s not the goal. The goal is to win every series. I feel like we played with a lot of energy. We came out the gate and have played good baseball for the most part, but at the same time this one here hurts because I don’t feel like we played good baseball today,” Astros manager Bo Porter on team’s 9-1 loss to Angels.

Other stuff: Wilson, who started for the Angels, is 3-1 with a 1.99 ERA in 11 career games (five starts) at Minute Maid Park. … Corporan’s homer was only his second of 12 in his career off a lefty. … Some Astros hitters are in slumps: Robbie Grossman (0-for-19), Marc Krauss (0-for-13) and Jose Altuve (0-for-9).

Links:

Astros to activate Zeid as Albers goes on paternity leave

Fowler back with Astros, but not in lineup

Krauss still waiting for his first hit

Dominguez has two hits, and both are homers

Tweets of the day:

Game 2: Albers backs Cosart’s scoreless start

The result: The Astros got five scoreless innings from Jarred Cosart, another big day at the plate from Dexter Fowler and a lock down job by the bullpen to beat the Yankees for the second day in a row, 3-1, on Wednesday night at Minute Maid Park (game story and boxscore).

The analysis: You can’t say enough about the job Matt Albers did by striking out Derek Jeter to end the seventh and then fanning three in a row after Carlos Beltran had started the eighth with a double. This is exactly why the Astros brought him aboard, along with Chad Qualls and Jesse Crain (injured), to give them a fighting chance in key situations.

“We’ve been in these situations before, and when you get put in these situations just be aggressive,” Albers said. “That goes for not only me and Chad, but for everybody in the bullpen. ‘Let’s go after these guys and see what happens and trust your stuff and try not to let the situation overtake you emotionally.’”

Then there was Jarred Cosart, who threw five scoreless innings. You could say he picked up where he left off last year, but that wouldn’t be totally accurate. He didn’t walk anybody. If you remember, walks were a big issue last year for Cosart, who had more walks (35) than strikeouts (33) in his 10-start Major League debut.

“I think you look at the number of curveballs he threw for strikes,” manager Bo Porter said. “He was able to throw his curveball for strikes early in the count. He actually threw a couple of 3-2 curveballs. We all know he has an overpowering fastball, his changeup is coming. But the way he used his breaking ball today really allowed him to keep them off balance and he was able to go five strong innings.”

Player of the game: CF Dexter Fowler, who went 2-for-4 with a pair of extra-base hits for the second night in a row. Fowler homered in the first inning and tripled and scored in the third and has proven to be a huge boost at the top of the lineup through two games.

“Being a leadoff guy, you’re the catalyst,” Fowler said. “That’s all I was trying to do, just get on base and let the other guys do their jobs. We work together as a team and we can win a lot of games.”

Stat of the game: Cosart threw 57 of his 88 pitches for strikes. At 64.8 percent, it was the highest strike percentage for a single game in his brief career.

Quote of the day: “I love coming in any time they call my name. If I get a chance to come in and close a game out, I love that, too. I had a lot of fun out there. It was fun, especially against the Yankees. A team like that, with the type of lineup they have, it was a blessing to be able to get the job done,” Astros reliever Josh Fields, who got the save.

Other stuff: The Yankees were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position. … Fowler is the first player in Astros history with two runs scored in each of his first two games with the team. … Fowler and Robbie Grossman both had triples, marking the Astros’ first game with multiple triples since Aug. 23 against the Blue Jays when they had three. They only one had the rest of that season. … The Astros are 4-13 against the Yankees all-time.

Links:

Astros shower Jeter with applause, gifts

Timing of Springer call-up depends on many factors

Bo Porter explains why Altuve will hit fourth sometimes

Astros unveil Minor League rosters

Krauss, Presley get to start vs. Yanks

Tweets of the day

 

Game 24: Astros break out bats to beat Braves

The fact: The Astros bashed out 13 hits — 11 singles — and rallied from an four-run first-inning deficit to beat the Braves, 7-5, on Monday night in Lake Buena Vista (boxscore).

What we learned: The Astros have some good options at the top of the lineup. Manager Bo Porter has said all along Dexter Fowler would hit first, Jose Altuve would hit second and Jason Castro would hit third, but on Monday he had Grossman hitting second, Castro hitting third and Altuve fourth with good results. Those four went a combined 8-for-19.

“When we look at our lineup, we know the guys that we feel like are going to get on base at a high percentage and want to try to get as many of those guys at the top of the lineup in front of Altuve, Castro — the guys who are the better hitters in the lineup,” Porter said.

What else: We’ve seen the Astros be aggressive on the bases this spring when they can, but they’ve had much of a chance lately considering they’ve had that many baserunners. On Monday, they were going first to third, taking the extra base when they could and pushing the tempo.

“We’ve run the bases outstanding the entire spring,” Porter said. “Tonight it was fun to see. When you start seeing those guys we have at the top of the lineup on base, I think we’re going to put pressure on other teams.”

Player of the game: Red-hot CF Dexter Fowler went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a walk to raise his spring average to .318 and on-base percentage to .412.

“I felt good,” Fowler said. “I came out and in the beginning [of Spring Training] I was trying to experiment with some things and just went back to basics and got locked back in.”

What went wrong: LHP Dallas Keuchel put the Astros in another early hole by allowing four runs in the first inning, but they were able to come back and win this time. … SS Marwin Gonzalez made a fielding error. … C Jason Castro was charged with a passed ball.

Notable: OF L.J. Hoes went 2-for-4. … The Astros only struck out four times in 38 at-bats.

Quotable: “That guy’s unbelievable. I said that ball almost flipped him. I couldn’t believe he had it, but he made a nice play on it,” — Fowler on Altuve’s remarkable defensive play in the fifth on a hard ball hit by Dan Uggla in which he fell down while moving backwards, stopped the ball and threw to first for an out.

Here’s the highlight:

Up next: The Astros are off Tuesday, and manager Bo Porter wants everyone to stay home from the facility and take the day. The close out Grapefruit League play at 5:05 p.m. CT Wednesday against the Mets at Osceola County Stadium. Scott Feldman, Houston’s Opening Day starter, will take the mound in his final game before facing the Yankees on April 1 at Minute Maid Park.

Injuries: RHP Peter Moylan (torn UCL), RHP Asher Wojciechowski (lat strain), RHP Jesse Crain (biceps tendon surgery recovery).

Links of the day:

Astros have all but set the 25-man roster

Gonzalez makes his third consecutive Opening Day roster spot

Izturis’ time with Astros was valuable

Tweets of the day:

Game 22: Wacha dominates Astros as Altuve homers

The fact: Michael Wacha held the Astros to four hits and two runs in seven innings, and the Cardinals jumped on Brett Oberholtzer for four runs in the first inning and got a solo homer from Matt Adams in the third to beat the Astros, 5-2, on Saturday afternoon at Osceola County Stadium (boxscore).

What we learned: It’s late in spring, but pitchers are still ironing out the kinks. LHP Brett Oberholtzer worked his way through a stressful first inning, giving up four hits and three runs, and settled down to give the Astros five innings while throwing 87 pitches. He’ll have one more spring start before taking the ball against the Yankees on April 3.

“Obviously, the first inning the results aren’t what I’m after,” he said. “The overall body of work, I was satisfied in keeping my team in the game. [Matt] Adams hit the home run in the third and I had put up a couple of zeroes in between. Over the course of a season, that’s going to happen to us, and I’m sure it will happen to a lot of us when they jump on you early. But more [importantly] is how you handle yourself over the course of a whole game. There’s still some things I need to work on, but I was pretty satisfied with how I went along after the first.”

Player of the game: CF Dexter Fowler, celebrating his 27th birthday, went 2-for-4 with a run scored.

What went wrong: Oberholtzer struggled in the first inning, putting the Astros in a 3-0 hole they couldn’t escape. After getting the first out of the game, he allowed the next four batters to reach and three of them scored. … SS Jonathan Villar made his sixth error of the spring with an errant throw to first base in the third. … The Astros mustered only five hits, including four singles.

Notable: RHP Josh Fields didn’t allow a run for his fifth consecutive outing. He’s scoreless in his last six innings, allowing four hits in that span. … RHP Ross Seaton, a former high draft pick who was in camp with the Astros last year, worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning. … IF Marwin Gonzalez went 1-for-3 and actually lowered his average to .436.

Quotable: “I’m the fourth hitter, that’s what I’m supposed to do,” — Astros second baseman Jose Altuve on hitting a homer out of the cleanup spot.

Up next: The race for the final two spots in the pitching rotation takes center stage Sunday in Jupiter, Fla., when Jerome Williams gets the start for the Astros against the Cardinals at 12:05 p.m. CT. Williams is battling with Dallas Keuchel, Lucas Harrell and Brad Peacock for the final slots, though either of them could wind up being in the bullpen, as well.

Injuries: RHP Asher Wojciechowski (lat strain), RHP Jesse Crain (biceps tendon surgery recovery), RHP Alex White (Tommy John recovery) and RHP Peter Moylan (torn UCL).

Links of the day:

J.D. Martinez, who tore through the Minor Leagues and was called up to replace Hunter Pence in 2011, was given his release

The Astros roster is taking shape, but middle infield remains key piece

Astros expanding video capabilities in Minor Leagues

Crain among pitchers to start the year on the DL

Jose Altuve wants to play 162 games this year

Qualls, Albers pitch for second day in a row

Tweet of the day:

Picture of the day:

Alderman

Game 21: Bad inning hampers Feldman

The fact: Garrett Jones hit a two-run homer in the first inning off Scott Feldman and added an RBI single in a three-run fifth inning to lead the Marlins to a 7-2 win over the Astros on Friday afternoon at Osceola County Stadium (boxscore).

What we learned: The Astros bullpen should be improved, as we expected considering the additions they made. RHPs Josh Zeid, Matt Albers and Chad Qualls each pitched in relief and were impressive. Zeid went two innings and allowed two hits and one run while striking out four, Albers threw a scoreless inning and Qualls allowed a run in the ninth. Still, they appeared more in control and polished than earlier in the spring.

“Albers threw the ball really well,” manager Bo Porter said. “He had some late life to his fastball. His sinker looked like it was really sinking today and he threw a couple of really good sliders. …  Zeid was tremendous today. He had that one outing where he really got away from his fastball and establishing his fastballs, but he’s gotten back to attacking the strike zone with his fastball and his split-finger and slider have come along as well.”

What else: RHP Scott Feldman retired 13 of the 14 batters after Garrett Jones took him deep to right field in the first inning, but he labored in the fifth as the Astros made a pair of errors behind him. All three runs the Marlins scored in the fifth came after the first two batters were retired. He threw 88 pitches in five innings, giving up  seven hits and five runs (four earned) with one walk and three strikeouts.

“The goal was 90 [pitches],” Feldman said. “It would have been nice to get out of that fifth a little bit quicker and get out there for a sixth. Really overall, the result weren’t there in that fifth inning but I made some good pitches. I think overall on the day, a couple of bad pitches. For the most part I was executing my pitches pretty well. The results aren’t always going to be there. If I can throw the ball like the results will be better.”

Player of the game: RHP Matt Albers. He breezed through the eighth inning, retiring all three batters he faced, with one strikeout.

What went wrong: The Astros made a pair of errors in the fifth. LF Robbie Grossman overthrew third base, which led to a run, and RF L.J. Hoes allowed a ball to roll under his glove for a two-base error. … The Astros went 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

Notable: C Jason Castro was scratched from the starting lineup because of flu-like symptoms.

Quotable: “I’m trying to stay away from both of them. I told Dave I don’t need one of them touching the lineup card.”— Astros manager Bo Porter on coaches Pat Listach and Dave Trembley, both of whom are dealing with flu-like symptoms.

Up next: LHP Brett Oberholtzer, who will start the third game of the regular season, gets the call when the Astros play their third consecutive home game at 12:05 p.m. CT Saturday against the Cardinals at Osceola County Stadium.

Injuries: RHP Asher Wojciechowski (lat strain), RHP Jesse Crain (biceps tendon surgery recovery), RHP Alex White (Tommy John recovery)

Links of the day:

Feature story: You won’t find a more likeable teammate that Carlos Corporan, who’s done a nice job as backup catcher, too

Marc Krauss has put himself in good position to make the club

Darin Downs know how serious a line drive off the head can be

Alex White likely headed to extended Spring Training to continue rehab

Tweets of the day:

Picture of the day:

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Mark Appel throws in Minor League game

Game 17: Relievers on display in rain-shortened loss

The fact: Dan Uggla hit his third home run of the spring in the second inning Monday afternoon and added a two-run triple an inning later to lead the Braves to a 4-0 short-shortened win over the Astros in five innings at Osceola County Stadium (boxscore).

What we learned: LHP Brett Oberholtzer and RHP Jerome Williams are progressing nicely as they battle for a spot in the rotation. Oberholtzer is pretty much a lock to get a rotation spot at this point it appears, and Williams should have a spot on the club as either a starter or a reliever.

Both pitchers started a Minor League intrasquad game between the team’s Double-A and Triple-A affiliates at 9 a.m. ET Monday. Oberholtzer threw 75 pitches in five innings, and Williams threw 75 pitches in six innings.

“The last thing you want in Spring Training is to get your starters backed up and you’re trying to find innings as you go along and you can’t get an opportunity to get them built up,” manager Bo Porter said. “It’s been great to have these camps games and allow these guys to stay on turn and get their work in and get built up.”

More on Oberholtzer and Williams can be found here.

Player of the game: LHP Darin Downs. Starting the game in place of Oberholtzer, Downs worked two innings and gave up a solo homer to Dan Uggla. Regardless, it was a strong outing for the veteran in his quest to win a rotation spot.

What went wrong: LHP Kevin Chapman, who hadn’t allowed a run in his first four spring starts, was hit for three earned runs and five hits in one inning. … The Astros were 2-for-18 with six strikeouts against Braves starter Alex Wood.

Notable: RHP Ross Seaton, who was in Major League camp with the Astros last year, pitched an inning in relief and looked sharp. … IF Jio Mier, the club’s former first-round Draft pick, had a double a single against Williams in the morning intrasquad Minor League game. … CF Dexter Fowler went 1-for-2 with a bunt hit and a strikeout and had a nice diving catch to end the first inning.. … LF Robbie Grossman had the Astros’ only other hit.

Quotable: “Once we talked to the grounds crew and the umpire and myself and Fredi [Gonzalez], we walked out there and it was standing water at third and they had no plans to cover the field. At that juncture, you don’t want to put our players or their players in jeopardy of somebody suffering an injury with the grounds just not being safe,” — Astros manager Bo Porter on decision to call the game after five rain-soaked innings.

Up next: Left-hander Dallas Keuchel, who hasn’t allowed a run in three spring outings covering nine innings, tries to fortify his spot in the rotation when he starts against the Marlins in Jupiter, Fla., at 12:05 p.m. Tuesday. Keuchel is scheduled to throw about five innings.

Injuries: RHP Mark Appel (recovering from appendectomy), RHP Asher Wojciechowski (lat strain), RHP Jesse Crain (biceps tendon surgery recovery).

Links of the day:

Story and video: Feldman named Opening Day starter

Video: Carlos Correa giving his Quad Cities teammates an impromptu speech Sunday

Bass ready for closer role if asked

Chapman bullish on Gators in NCAA Tourney

Tweets of the day:

Picture of the day:

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Jio Mier hitting a single against Jerome Williams

 

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