I have a multi-part theory regarding the Astros of Houston. The first part is that when it comes to watching them play, I'd rather not. They have, against all odds, replaced the Oakland A's for least-watchable games. I cannot tell why this is, but I think, for me, most of it stems from having to see Luis Valbuena in any context. The second part of the theory is that, somewhere and somehow, Jose Altuve stole the entire power source of not only Dustin Ackley, but also Nick Franklin, and even Brad Miller, too. In his body is the ceiling of every middling prospect, every player who never made it. Jose Altuve stole "it" from them. And he only increases in power. The final piece of the theory is that Houston is the Seattle Mariners version of Final Boss. It is the level that is impossible to beat. Ever since they moved from the NL to the AL and jumped into the waters with the rest of the AL West, they have been our personal shark. Our personal Bowser. Someday, we figure out the level. Not today.
Before we get too deep into the dissection of a 5-2 loss to the Houston Astros, let's begin with a disclaimer: Taijuan Walker pitched four innings hurt. It didn't come out until after the game, when media was allowed in the locker room to speak with Servais and Walker, but his foot issue flared up even during his pre-game warm ups. That's probably a fair amount of the reason why he gave up five runs in four innings, all on the home run, and got touched up by both AJ Reed and Colby Rasums for two-run shots in the fourth. The fifth run was thanks to a Luis Valbuena solo home run in the second.
On the offensive side of things, the M's dropped a big goose egg with runners in scoring positions, scoring only two runs despite chasing Dallas Keuchel after the sixth. Their first run came in the second inning, when Chris Iannetta scored Dae-Ho Lee on an RBI ground out. The second run from the offense came off a mammoth solo shot by Nelson Cruz in the fourth who is Not An All Star but has twenty-two home runs. What stuck out was the lack of clutch hitting, the ten strike outs, but especially, the inclusion of Daniel Robertson as a starter and Shawn O'Malley as a pinch hitter. The roster is currently in a weird flux, and will continue to be with Walker seemingly going towards the DL, but right now there's a lot of head scratching and needed puzzle-solving.
As a bright spot, Mike Montgomery was able to absorb five full innings of relief without allowing a run, keeping the M's in the game despite the offense deciding it really wasn't that interested. There's surely more shuffling to come with the 25 Man, and we could really just do ourselves a favor by getting out of Houston as fast as possible before jetting off to Kansas City. There are five games left before the All Star Break, and this team's pitching staff couldn't get there sooner.
Kyle Seager, who is not an All Star, had himself a great game, smashing a double to the wall in the second, and flashing the leather all night. Let's end with a hell of a play from our shining lizard-man.