You know, Jeff Luhnow and company in Houston can talk all about “the plan” and their path towards success in the future…but let’s be honest here: the Houston Astros still aren’t a good baseball team. Houston had a 3-1 lead going into the ninth inning in Oakland on Saturday afternoon, and Chad Qualls had an epic meltdown, allowing three runs on four hits in the ninth to blow the save and send Houston to their sixth straight loss. Only the Diamondbacks have a worse record than Houston’s 5-13 mark, and while it’s nice to see George Springer in the majors, it’s going to take more than Springer to make Houston anything more than embarrassing in the future.
Game of the Night: Brewers 8, Pirates 7. The NL Central is looking like it’ll be a four team dogfight this year, with only the Cubs not being contenders. The Brewers took an early 4-1 lead on Saturday evening, but the Pirates roared back to go in front 6-4. After the Brewers closed the gap to 7-6, Jason Grilli came in to save the game in the ninth, but ran into difficulties. Grilli struck out Carlos Gomez to start the frame, then allowed a single to Jean Segura to bring up Ryan Braun, who had homered off of Tony Watson in the seventh. Braun proceeded to do the same to Grilli, putting Milwaukee in front 8-7. Francisco Rodriguez plunked Pedro Alvarez to give the Pirates hope in the ninth, but a double play from Jose Tabata ended the game in faovr of the Brewers.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Henderson Alvarez dominated the Mariners in Miami’s 7-0 win, giving up two hits in a complete game shutout while striking out four without a walk. Max Scherzer had a nice day for the Tigers in their 5-2 win over the Angels, allowing one run on three hits in seven innings, punching out nine and walking a pair. Mark Buerhle threw seven shutout innings in Toronto’s 5-0 win in Cleveland, giving up four hits, walking three, and striking out three. Chris Archer pitched well for the Rays in their 16-1 blowout win over the Yankees, allowing one run on three hits in 6 2/3 innings, walking none and punching out four. Ervin Santana once again starred for the Braves in their 7-5 triumph at Citi Field, giving up one run on six hits in seven innings, walking two and striking out seven.
Hitting Lines of the Night: The duo of Wil Myers and Ryan Hanigan starred for the Rays, with Myers going 3/4 with a double, two homers, three runs, four RBI, and walk, and Hanigan going 3/4 with two homers, five RBI, and a walk. Evan Longoria pitched in with a pedestrian 2/3 game that included a homer, two runs, and four RBI.The aforementioned Braun went 3/5 with two homers, four runs, and three RBI for the Brewers. In Atlanta’s win, Justin Upton went 3/5 a homer, a stolen base, two runs, and three RBI.
Other Games: The Cardinals edged the Nationals 4-3, and Bryce Harper was pulled for not hustling. The Cubs doubled up the Reds 8-4. The Red Sox beat the Orioles 4-2. The Royals used a five run fourth to beat the Twins 5-4. The Rockies shut down the Phillies 3-1. The Rangers beat the White Sox 6-3. The Dodgers downed the Diamondbacks 8-6. The Padres bested the Giants 3-1.
Today’s Games: Zack Wheeler and the Mets host the Braves. Shelby Miller and Stephen Strasburg will face off in Washington. Gerrit Cole and the Pirates host the Brewers. Yordano Ventura starts for the Royals against the Twins. Homer Bailey starts for the Reds in Chicago against the Cubs. Ubaldo Jimenez and Jake Peavy will square off in Boston.
National TV: Yankees-Rays (1:30 PM, MLB Network), Cardinals-Nationals (1:30 PM, MLB Network), Orioles-Red Sox (7 PM, ESPN)
MLB.tv Free Game: Blue Jays-Indians (1 PM)
Enjoy your day of baseball, and Happy Easter, everyone.