For the first time this season the Astros are winners of consecutive games with a 4-3 win over the Mets Wednesday night at Citi Field. It also clinches their first series win of this young season.
They would get strong pitching out of Bud Norris and the bullpen crew of Mark Melancon, Fernando Abad, Jose Valdez, & Brandon Lyon. However, we would be short-changing the great defense that was on display all night long. A couple of great examples are the strike out-wild pitch- tag out play in the eighth by Jose Valdez. Valdezentered the game and pitched to Mets pinch hitter Justin Turner. Where he showed off that nasty split-finger that he’s shown in his two appearances, and got Turner to chase strike three with Angel Pagan on third base. The pitch got away from JR Towles, who was able to corral it and toss it toValdezcovering home plate and he was able to put the tag on Pagan to end the frame. Then in the ninth, the Mets Jose Reyes led the inning off with a single to right. Probably had most Astros fans thinking this could be a repeat of Opening Day inPhiladelphia. Not to be! AsLyonwould get the two-hole hitter Josh Thole, to pop up his sacrifice bunt attempt and he was able to double off Reyes at first. These two plays were huge for the Astros to be able to get their second straight win of the year and enter Thursday night with a chance to sweepNew Yorkat Citi Field.
Equally important tonight, was the go-ahead homer in the eighth by Hunter Pence that was sent on a hard line to the left-field bleachers at Citi Field. This was on the heels of the Mets tying the game in the bottom of the sixth with a Daniel Murphy two-run homer that snuck just inside the right field foul pole. There’s a saying in baseball, that it only takes one. In this case, that was all the Astros needed in order to pull off the win.
We cannot let you go for the night without talking about the night that Bud Norris put together for his six innings. He would yield 10 hits, three earned runs, and one walk. Along with notching six strike outs, while throwing on 106 pitches. He looked in control as he would throw 72 of those pitches for strikes. After the game he joined The Odd Couple on SportsRadio610 and had some great insight about himself and the team. Do yourself a favor and give it a listen on the podcast.
An update on Bill Hall, Brad Mills said after the game that he expects him to miss, “a couple of days” with a sprained right ankle. Hall, injured the ankle when he caught a foul ball down the first base line and in the process ran into the short fence lining the field while making the catch in the stands. He did stay on until the fourth inning, when Matt Downs finally replaced him in the field.
The series ends tomorrow with J.A. Happ trying to get back on the winning side of things against Mets lefty Chris Capuano. It’s the battle of lefties and a chance for the Astros to do something else for the first time this season… Get a sweep!