CBS Houston – The struggles post all-star break continued for the Houston Astros. The latest coming Wednesday afternoon with the St. Louis Cardinals taking game two and sweeping the short two-game series with an 8-2 win over the Astros.
The offense put up very little resistance to Cardinals starting pitcher Carlos Martinez, who was able to hold them hitless through five innings.
“He had pretty good stuff,” Carlos Correa said of Martinez’s outing, “he had everything working, his changeup was good, his slider was good, he was commanding his fastball, he was tough.”
With the score 5-0, leading off the sixth inning, Astros rookie outfielder Teoscar Hernandez doubled down the third base line ending the no-hit bid.
“I was going out there trying to get a pitch to hit, to hit it hard,” Teoscar Hernandez said of his sixth inning at-bat, “I’m not even thinking about the no-hitter, cause I know they aren’t going to throw the no-hitter against us.”
Fellow rookie Alex Bregman ended up driving Hernandez in, with two outs he’d single finally putting Houston on the scoreboard 5-1.
The Astros would get another run in the eighth inning off of Jonathan Broxton who relieved Martinez after only throwing 79 pitches.
Doug Fister who started the game for the Astros, ran into trouble in the third inning when the Cardinals sent eight batters to the plate, scoring three runs putting them up 3-0.
Fister would allow another run, a solo homer to Jeremy Hazelbaker in the fourth inning. His day would be over at the end of the fourth after throwing 98 pitches.
The Astros would go to the bullpen the rest of the way and the Cardinals would tack on another run in the sixth inning and three more with a Bradon Moss home run in the seventh inning.
With the loss the Astros fall farther back of the second wildcard, now six games back of the Boston RedSox.
Going into the all-star break the team had won 54% of their games and pulled within games of the Texas Rangers. Since then they have only won 42% of their games, and not only have the Rangers increased their lead but the Seattle Mariners have also lead forged the Astros bumping them down to third place in the A.L. West.
“We got to turn things around pretty soon,” Correa said, “it’s been a tough stretch obviously but we have the team to be able to turn it around and finish strong.”
The Astros are still hopeful they can find the magic once again. They started off the season playing poorly, not winning very many games, but they were able to turn it around and became one of the hotter teams in baseball at the all-star break.
“We’ve got the better part of six weeks left of the regular season, and we need to compile some wins,” manager A.J. Hinch said, “we can’t replay the games again, and we don’t have to carry a tough couple of games against the Cardinals to Baltimore with us, we can leave them here in Houston.”
The Astros will now start a road trip playing the Baltimore Orioles and the Pittsburg Pirates both teams over are .500 and fighting for wildcard spots.