This is pretty much what any analysis, on paper or through the eyeballs, would have told you how this would go.
Houston is the better team, here, and you didn’t need to watch the 13-4 drubbing they put on the Phillies last night to be educated on that matter. The Astros have a lineup full of celebrated hitters spraying the ball all over the field, and the Phillies have Odubel Herrera, hitting at just about a .350 clip for the month of July, and he was booed as he walked off the field tonight. Herrera didn’t help himself by flipping his bat on a deep fly ball that wound up being an out, and earned himself the mockery of the Astros dugout; a dugout full of players who have lived lives comprised solely of dignified moments.
It was Cameron Rupp who fueled what little Phillies offense we saw tonight - Herrera left the game via a double switch - with two hits. They resulted in no runs.
Nick Pivetta looked startlingly sharp, unleashing an effective fastball and a slider that managed to avoid the bats of the sport’s best team, allowing only one hit, one run, and one walk through five innings, and even struck out the side in the fourth. Beyond Nori Aoki’s sacrifice fly in the third, things were relatively calm until he started leaving his pitches up and the dirty inning emerged in the sixth, when a Jose Altuve double triggered an Astros rally full of singles that made it 5-0 and only ended when Rupp threw out a runner trying to steal second.
So, it was all looking pretty bad, especially with former Phillies starter and disabled list-resider Charlie Morton on the mound for Houston, who of course lasted seven innings, shutting out his old team and permitting only three hits and a walk with nine strikeouts. A.J. Hinch dropped his worst reliever, Tony Sipp (7.71 ERA over the last four weeks), in for a couple of Phillies batters, just to see him smile, and even Sipp managed to get an out. For a special treat, the Astros trotted Ken Giles out there for the ninth - even though it wasn’t a save situation or anything - and let him strike out two Phillies on his way to closing the predictably stifling performance. Tomorrow’s game will hinge largely on the Phillies ability to trap Jose Altuve in a human-sized bird cage, as well as coming up with plans to nullify the other seven players in the lineup.
Round three will see the Astros look to expand the cartoonish amount of outscoring going on in this series, which currently stands at 18-4 through two games.
My man refuses to let the Phillies ruin his night pic.twitter.com/a2b7uVLL2j— ben lukawski (@BenLu15) July 25, 2017
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