J.D. Martinez, Jordan Schafer and Dallas Keuchel led the Houston Astros to a victory on Saturday... What, you weren't expecting to read that?
Could it be because Martinez and Schafer struggled so mightily recently, they found themselves in the seven and eight spots of the batting lineup? Or because Keuchel was making just his second big league start and first at Minute Maid Park?
Houston's 8-1 whipping on Cleveland showed why it's always important to pay attention to what happens at the ballpark, even if your team lost 1-0 to the Indians the night before and had scored only one run in its last three games.
It's not like Houston's starting pitchers hadn't done enough to put the offense in position to make things happen. In the five games before Keuchel's complete game on Saturday, which was a first for a Houston pitcher this season, the starters had a 2.25 ERA through 32 innings.
Not much came of it, since the Astros went 1-4 in those games. That meant the offense was due for a jolt, and would you believe it came in the form of four consecutive extra-base hits, which included back-to-back home runs from Martinez and Schafer?
Then there was 5 foot 5 inch Jose Altuve in the eighth inning hitting his fifth home run of the season. That was when the Astros scored three runs on four hits, all of which came from the homer and three doubles.
All of this added up to nine extra-base hits, three more than the Astros had put up in any game this season. Each club had only one extra-base hit the night before, and we know how bad the Stros have been in a many nights before that.
So where did such a prototypical performance come from? Between Keuchel's poise on the mound, and the kind of hitting the Stros were getting on Saturday, it's like Brad Mills said after the game:
"If we could draw it up, I think that would be a pretty good way to draw it up right there."
It can't be drawn up that way, but they can damn sure try. Fools gold or not, a win is a win is a win. And quite honestly, it doesn't get much more fun than seeing almost every hit go for two bases or four.