The Astros blew another lead on Tuesday night to the San Francisco Giants
With the loss, Houston falls to 7-10 and are now 4.5 games behind the AL West-leading Oakland Athletics more than one-fourth of the way through the truncated MLB season.
Roberto Osuna’s injury is looming large with these Astros, as Houston’s bullpen ERA is astronomical compared to the rest of the American League. Per MLB.com, the Houston bullpen has allowed 24 earned runs, seven homers and walked 18 batters in their last 27 innings, which is good for an 8.00 ERA.
The Astros have lost six of their last seven games
After the sixth inning, Houston held a 6-2 lead and seemed entirely in control of the outcome. In some ways they were, but not in a good way. A three-run homer by Hunter Pence narrowed the Giants’ deficit to just one in the top of the seventh.
San Francisco entered the ninth inning needing one run to survive, and they got just that thanks to a single from Darin Ruf. It was another blown save by the Astros’ bullpen.
“They say one of the biggest downers in sports or in baseball is when there’s a blown save — and then the opposition, it gives them energy,” Dusty Baker said after the defeat. Boy, is that the truth and then some.
Extra innings in 2020 is essentially a toss-up, especially with a base-runner starting a second base at the beginning of the frame. Brandon Crawford cemented Houston’s fate in the top of the tenth.
Sure, Jose Altuve is still hitting under .200, and Houston’s lineup fails to have the same turnover with so many struggling stars, but consistently blowing leads is demoralizing.
“A lot of guys are trying to do too much, especially Altuve,” Baker said. “He’s such a great player and used to so much success. This is killing him. It’s killing us to see him feel this way.”
Hitting refresh over and over again is a tough task for a team used to providing crushing losses, rather than taking them.