Astros lefthander J.A. Happ realizes it's way too late to salvage his stained season in any statistical way, shape or form. About all that's left is to restore his good name with the Astros, to bear the burden of proving he's a better pitcher than his unsavory seasonal statistical line shows. Happ took another meaningful step in that direction Tuesday night with a gritty outing that laid the foundation for a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies at Minute Maid Park. With Happ pitching six strong innings and shortstop Clint Barmes providing the offensive pyrotechnics against lefthander Cole Hamels, the Astros (51-97) received another stay from setting a franchise record for losses in a season. Barmes hit a three-run homer and a double off of Hamels, a former World Series Most Valuable Player who was trying to clinch a spot in the postseason for the Phillies (94-51). A crowd of 24,302 saw Happ (6-15) limit the Phillies to a run on four hits in six innings. His 5.59 ERA — the third highest of any Astros pitcher to make at least 25 starts in a season — bears no resemblance to his body of work since a demotion to the minor leagues that lasted nearly three weeks. He walked four and struck out four, running up his pitch count to 112 but getting the outs he needed most.
Astros 5, Phillies 2: Happ's pitching, Barmes' slugging stave off franchise loss record for another day
Houston Chronicle | Sep 14