The Houston Astros undefeated season ended at 1-0, and was nearly ended in grand fashion by the Texas Rangers and starting pitcher Yu Darvish. After coming up with a big 8-2 win over the Rangers on Sunday night, the Astros were nearly blanked completely by Darvish who had a perfect game going through 8 2/3 innings.
Even without the footnote of perfection, the Astros looked hapless in a 7-0 loss.
As the quirky game of baseball goes, the perfect game was broken up by Astros shortstop Marwin Gonzalez— a career .234 hitter–who hit a ground ball right between Darvish’s legs just as it seemed to be all but in the record books.
The Gonzalez single kept Houston from going in the record books as the only team to have a perfect game thrown against them in back-t0-back seasons, with Matt Cain having tossed one for the San Francisco Giants against the Astros in 2012.
Other than feebly breaking up the bid for a perfect game by Darvish, the Astros didn’t have much in the way of positive things to take away from this game. 15 Astros struck out (14 of them against Darvish), and the only two baserunners the Astros managed to get on were stranded at the end of the game.
Darvish threw 111 pitches (78 of them strikes), as Houston looked absolutely helpless against his arsenal while they were subjected to 14 called strikes and 27 swinging strikes.
The Astros pitching didn’t fare much better than the offense, giving up seven runs and 12 hits (six of them extra base hits), between six Houston pitchers. The 2012 bullpen woes for Houston don’t seem to have improved, as the Astros’ pen gave up six runs in just three innings. Houston is going to need more from their bull pen if they have any hopes on improving on last season’s disaster.
As I said earlier in the week, it’s going to be a long season for Houston.