MILWAUKEE -- They're the kind of mistakes that drive Astros manager A.J. Hinch mad, but they're also the kind of mistakes that can be fixed. And Hinch promised following a sloppy 3-2 loss to the Brewers on Sunday afternoon at Miller Park that his team will tighten up things.Astros stars
MILWAUKEE -- They're the kind of mistakes that drive Astros manager A.J. Hinch mad, but they're also the kind of mistakes that can be fixed. And Hinch promised following a sloppy 3-2 loss to the Brewers on Sunday afternoon at Miller Park that his team will tighten up things.
Astros stars Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa each made a baserunning blunder, the team went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position, the defense didn't cover first base on a bunt play and first baseman Tyler White was unable to catch a throw from Correa for an error. That and uncharacteristic control problems by starter Dallas Keuchel sunk the Astros.
"We didn't play very well mentally and made a couple of physical mistakes as well, but we'll clean it up," Hinch said. "The aggressiveness, I still like the mindset. I think we've got to make better decisions in certain aspects of the game, but we made a few mental errors today that ended up hurting us. The one physical mistake they made we didn't capitalize on. It was a close game and small things like that matter."
After Altuve led off the game with a homer on the first pitch, Springer singled on the next pitch and was thrown out trying to steal. Hinch can live with that, but Altuve (third inning) and Correa (fourth) both strayed too far off the bases following walks and were tagged out following rundowns.
In the fourth, no one covered first base after pitcher Jimmy Nelson showed bunt and then hit a sharp grounder to Marwin Gonzalez at third.
"Altuve's responsibility's first base; he knows that," Hinch said. "What changes the play is he gets caught off guard when the pitcher pulls back and swings and then all of a sudden everybody stops, and when everybody stops you naturally go back to your regular responsibilities, which for him would be playing second base. ... We'll clean up these mistakes. Early, in the first week, we made a few mental mistakes that we're better than."
That play -- and White's miscue at first in the fifth -- didn't ultimately cost the Astros any runs, but they were symbolic of the kind of day it was.
"It was a sloppy game overall and we need to fix a lot of things, especially mentally, and eventually get better," Correa said. "Now we go back home and play the Royals, and we have to step up our game and play better baseball."
And what made things worse for the Astros was being unable to capitalize on a throwing error by Brewers pitcher Michael Blazek in the eighth. He came back to retire George Springer on a shallow fly ball to center (Jake Marisnick didn't tag from third and then watched a wild throw go up the line). Correa then grounded out to strand runners at second and third.
"We definitely had a missed opportunity in the eighth after they made a mistake, which is unfortunate," Hinch said.
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.