It was definitely an odd night at Minute Maid Park in Houston on Monday night, as the Astros kicked off a homestand with a 4-3 win over the New York Mets.
This was a pitching dual for most of the first few innings. Mets starter RA Dickey even had a no-hit bid going until Jordan Schafer pulled the plug on that in the sixth inning. He drilled a line drive into left field, and later scored when Travis Buck grounded out.
Schafer was the player of note for the Astros on Monday night, going 2-for-4 and scoring the first and last run for Houston. He crossed the plate as the deciding run in the eighth inning, when Jed Lowrie singled into center field. Schafer, who had reached on an infield single and then stole second base, scored and made the score 4-3 in favor of the the Astros. Matt Downs also hit a home run, scoring the other two runs.
But the story of the night came from the Houston bullpen. In the top of the seventh inning, Houston starter Bud Norris had two outs and was trying to get out of the inning. He had just given up a two-run single to Kirk Nieuwenhuis that allowed the Mets to tie the game up at 3-3. Over the course of the next seven batters, the Mets would face an MLB record seven consecutive pitchers. Here’s the timeline of how that happened.
- Top 7 – Bud Norris gives up a two-run single to Kirk Nieuwenhuis. Ike Davis and Andres Torres scores.
- Wilton Lopez replaces Bud Norris, and gets Ruben Tejada to line out to third base to end the inning.
- Top 8 – Wesley Wright starts the inning in place of Lopez, and gets Daniel Murphy to fly out to left field.
- Brandon Lyon replaces Wright, and strikes out David Wright.
- Fernando Abad replaces Lyon, and gives up a single to Ike Davis.
- Fernando Rodriguez replaces Abad, getting Scott Hairston to fly out to end the inning.
- Top 9 – Brett Myers starts the inning in place of Rodriguez, finishes the game for the save.
Myers would finish the game, picking up his fifth save of the season. Rodriguez picked up his first win of the year, during the revolving door of pitchers mentioned above. The Astros picked up four runs on five hits, and played an errorless game.
For the Mets, Manny Acosta was charged with the loss. Nieuwenhuis led the way for New York, going 2-for-4 and driving in two runs. The team logged three runs on five hits, and committed two errors. New York is 27th in total team errors on the season.
These two teams continue their series on Tuesday night, as JA Happ (1-1, 4.70 ERA) goes to the mound for Houston to oppose the Mets’ John Niese. First pitch from Minute Maid Park is set for 7:05 CST.