The Astros didn't seem to take to kindly to getting that can of whoop ass opened up on them last night, but instead of laying down some mighty lumber work, they were prepared to exact revenge from the mound. It would be a battle of arms, one Dallas Keuchel vs. one Jered Weaver, for all the marbles, and a few tiddlywinks.
Jered Weaver's night got off on the wrong foot, as evidenced by the run he gave up from a Carlos Correa groundout. Normally, you absorb that and move on to the second, but that's the price you pay when you allow guys on base. Weaver would end up settling down for a few innings, hitting the likes of 86 MPH on the radar gun in the process and collecting strikeouts and pop-ups alike. Until the sixth, that is.
Meanwhile, Astros starter Dallas Keuchel made it seem like we were going to have another multi-Halo Blitz party night, and I was a happy man. I mean, when you see Mike Trout take him deep in the first, followed by an Albert Pujols bomb, it's quite natural to expect more where that came from. Yes, Trout and Pujols went back to back for the 27th time (Tim Salmon/Garrett Anderson lead the club in the category with 28...legends) and gave the Halos a prompt 2-1 lead, but there was DEFINITELY no more where that came from.
After those two blasts on Keuchel, the former Cy Young award winner dug in and proceeded to trash the entire Angels lineup, retiring batter after batter, making the Angels wish they could go back to the first inning and live there forever. Seriously, Keuchel was on fire; after those homers, Johnny Giavotella hit a single. That was the last Angels player that Keuchel would allow on, until he was finally pulled after 7 innings pitched.
Weaver, on the other hand, may have started off calm and collected, but his night was quite different from his Houston counterpart. He got into a bases loaded jam in the fifth, but was able to minimize the damage by only allowing one run, from a Jose Altuve sac fly. Still, that tied the game up at 2-2 and Weaver The Younger was not down with that.
Then the sixth inning came, and that's when Weaver flew off the rails a bit. Jason Castro was up to the plate, with a guy on base, and also two outs and two strikes on the board. What happened? Worst case scenario happened. Castro sent the ball to the center field batter's eye and the two run show gave the Astros a 4-2 lead. Weaver would get the final out, but the damage had been done. He wouldn't come back out in the seventh, and his final line for the evening was 6.0 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 3 BB and 3 Ks.
From the seventh on, even though the Keuchel Monster was out of the game, the Halos just weren't able to fare any better against Houston's relievers. The bats stayed equally quiet for the bullpen as they were for the starter, and with nary an offensive opportunity served up, that sixth inning homer that Jason Castro hit off Weaver basically became the game winner.
A 4-2 loss after last night's romp is quite the wind taken out of our sails, so to speak, but then again, when a guy like Dallas Keuchel goes into Superman mode like he did tonight, what can you do? The Halos have a good opportunity to get one tomorrow, with NiTro on the mound.
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