Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers Jr.


A Slow Night For McCullers And Company

Lance McCullers Jr. had to work through a tough outing without much help from the Astros lineup.

April 06, 2018 - 10:59 pm

Houston (SPORTSRADIO 610) - The outcome of Friday night's interleague matchup between the Astros and Padres came as a bit of a surprise. With Houston entering the game with a (6-1) record, and San Diego the opposite, many would have chosen the defending World Series champions to handle their business. While not many players on the Padres roster are household names, they were the better team at Minute Maid Park and bested the Astros by a final score of 4-1. 

"We couldn't piece too many things together, so, pretty quiet night," Astros Manager A.J. Hinch said. 

On the mound, Lance McCullers Jr. fought through his 5 innings of work. In the first inning, an unearned run came across the plate thanks in part to his own throwing error on a pickoff attempt at second base. Also, he walked a batter in the first, second and third.

"In the third I felt like I started getting my groove. Felt like my fastball was coming out well. I know I threw more heaters today than I did the other day. I didn't throw any changeups which is on me. I've got to do a better job of making sure I work that in," McCullers Jr. said.

Lance was unable to get a 3-up-3-down inning. His pitch count went up quickly after a 26 pitch 5th inning, putting him at 91 total. Also in the fifth, the Padres put together 5 straight hits and pushed 2 runs across that ultimately chased McCullers Jr. from the game.

"Contact is not super hard. Just, kind of, right now the ball is going where the guys aren't," Lance said.

The lineup did not offer much help on a tough night from the pitching staff. Beginning in the fourth inning, 14 straight Astros were retired, and 16 of 17 to end the game. In comparison, the Padres had a baserunner in every single frame.