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May 25, 2014 at 4:59 PM

Astros 4, Mariners 1 — McClendon not impressed with his team’s offense on Sunday

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BOX SCORE: 05.25.14 Box Score

So manager Lloyd  McClendon has some Astros fans a bit heated with his comments above about Houston lefty Dallas Keuchel, who pitched a complete game, allowing one unearned run on four  hits with no walks and six strikeouts.

“I saw average stuff (today),” McClendon said. “We didn’t swing the bats very good. At some point, you gotta stop giving credit to average pitchers. That becomes a broken record. At some point, you have to start swinging the bats.”

Was it the approach?

“It had nothing to do with the approach, we had four hits,” he said. “You don’t win games with four hits and one run.”

Those comments are a little different than those of Astros’ manager Bo Porter.

“I’ll tell you what, he’s definitely in a groove right now and it’s a joy to watch,”  Porter said. “It’s good just to see the pitch-ability game after game and how he’s making adjustments.”

and …

“The second inning was the only inning where there was a little bit of stress, and from there on, he was pretty much on cruise and in control of the game,” Porter said.

If you watch the video, it’s clear McClendon is upset with a poor offensive show. As for Keuchel being average, well, some might argue with him, particularly Houston fans.

Here’s the gist …

The 26-year-old lefty tossed his second complete game of the season, while winning his fourth straight start.

Keuchel was a seventh-round selection in the 2009 draft out of the University of Arkansas and was never considered a top prospect. Last year in 22 starts and nine relief appearances, he’s posted a 6-10 record with a 5.15 ERA.

This season has been different.

In 10 starts, he’s now 6-2 with a 2.55 ERA and eight quality starts. In his last four starts, Keuchel has allowed four earned runs in his last 34 1/3 innings pitched for a 1.05 ERA with 28 strikeouts and just one walk.

The Mariners got three hits in the second and one of them was a swinging bunt from Cole Gillespie. Keuchel threw the ball away allowing the run to score. But after the Gillespie single, Keuchel retired 14 straight and 21 of the final 22 batters he faced.

From Baseball Reference … Here are Keuchel’s numbers coming into the start. He’s a ground ball guy when things are right.

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“The last couple of times I’ve seen him, he’s thrown the ball really well,” said Mike Zunino, who had one of the hits. “You just have to tip your cap for keeping us off balance and keeping the ball down in the zone cause that’s what his strength is and he did it.”

Hisashi Iwakuma had a fair outing, but two mistake pitches resulted in two two-run home runs, which is all the Astros needed.

“I thought I had good stuff today,” Iwakuma said through translator Antony Suzuki. “It was just those two pitches I left up in the zone that they took advantage of and they scored four runs. Those were the only two mistakes I made today. Giving up those two runs late in the ballgame hurt the team.”

Iwakuma pitched seven innings, giving up all four runs on nine hits with no walks and six strikeouts.

“His breaking stuff wasn’t as sharp today as it had been and they took advantage of it,” McClendon said.

Zunino didn’t fault his starting pitcher, knowing the offense was stymied.

“He had a couple of pitches that got away,” Zunino said. “He’s been so good, you can’t be upset with couple mistakes.”

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