May 24, 2016
Astros 3, Orioles 2 (13 innings)
W: Feliz (2-1) L: Bundy (0-1)
Once again, the Astros got a good-not-great starting pitching performance. Once again, the Astros got a largely shutdown performance from the bullpen. Once again, the Astros allowed only 2 runs.
But this time, they eked out a win.
Well, by producing 2 runs in regulation instead of 1. No, the flip-flop of Springer and Altuve was not responsible for this. Rather, there was actually a runner on when Valbuena(?!?!) homered, despite Moran’s best efforts to remove this via double play.
Foster allowed solo homers to Alvarez and Machado; no shame there – Machado may be ahead of Altuve this year by a nose for the MVP. Hitch decided to lift him in the 6th with 2 out, so he fell just short of a “quality start”, but it was quality nonetheless. The bullpen then locked things down, with a brief hiccup for Gregerson to make things verrrrrrry interesting in the 9th.
Flipping Altuve and Springer seemed to wake up Springer, as he reached 5 of 6 times, but did nothing to shake Altuve from his brief “funk”, as he went hitless.
By the 13th, the typical feeling of “we will never score again” had set in, but Little Tony Kemp knocked one over the head of Adam Jones for a triple. (Note: the look on Kemp’s face as he raced around second was great. Little League excitement there.)
Orioles fans will probably second guess how things proceeded from there; walking Springer AND Altuve to face Correa makes sense on one level (you need the force at home), but with Springer’s free-swinging ways, it may have made more sense to go for the K against Springer, then walk Altuve to set up a DP without loading the bases. But they made their choice, and Correa FINALLY woke up to smack a single up the middle for the win.
Bottom line – a win the Astros absolutely had to have.
PS: Colby, the HPU was absolutely horrible. But you cannot get thrown out of the game. It leaves us with a cleanup hitter whose 2016 performance has shown him as likely to get a hit as an average fan.