Remember all that talk about Jarred Cosart and Johnathan Villar? Well Astro fans, we weren’t disappointed. All Cosart did was toss 7 innings of only 1 earned run ball and Villar went 3-4 with two doubles in his second ever Major League game. And score the winning run with his legs alone.
So what was this rare feat? Well, it’s two for one really. One. The Astros have not beaten the Oakland Athletics all season. The A’s were a whopping 10-0 against Houston this year. Two. Grant Balfour, the A’s closer had not blown a save since April 29th of 2012. That is 44 straight save opportunities. Who would that thought he would have his first blown save in that span to the lowly Houston Astros? Baseball is a funny game.
So how did it happen? Well, some luck and some sloppy play propelled the Astros. Justin Maxwell led off the bottom of the 9th by working a deep count and hitting a weak ground ball back to Balfour. It ricochet off his glove and he threw it into right field so Maxwell could advance to secondnd base. Enter Matt Dominguez. 0-3 on the night entering the at-bat. Dominguez worked a 3-2 pitch and made Balfour throw eight pitches before launching a game tying two run homerun to left center field and giving Balfour his first blown save since 2012. Later on in the inning. Johnathan Villar ripped a double to left, followed by a Jose Altuve walk. With Jason Castro at the plate, Balfour bounced one in the dirt. Villar, who was on second, started going to third but realized the ball wasn’t far enough away from the catcher Derek Norris to risk it. Altuve, seeing Villar make an initial break to third, started going to second but was caught in no mans land between first and second base. Norris promptly threw the ball to the first baseman Brandon Moss and the throw was wide which allowed the speedy Villar to race home for the walk off win.
Walk off wins by errors. Just how they drew it up right? Altuve’s stupid base-running is what won the game. Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good. And boy were the Astros lucky.
To see the wacky play, click the link below