Astros' winning streak ends in a blowout

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 14-1 loss

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

With this west coast road-trip winding down, the Astros looked to stay perfect and lock up another series win by getting a win on Wednesday night. Here is how the game went down:

Final Score: Mariners 14, Astros 1.

Record: 42-21, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Mike Leake (5-6, 4.30 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Brad Peacock (5-3, 3.20 ERA).

1) Rough fifth inning for Peacock

Brad Peacock was having a strong night through the first four innings, allowing just one walk and one hit over that span. The fifth inning would give him trouble, though, as he allowed a leadoff walk then back-to-back singles to load the bases with no outs.

He was able to bounce back and retire the next two batters, getting him an out of way from totally getting out of the jam, but instead allowed a two-out two-RBI single to give Seattle the 2-1 lead. He'd get the third out and that would be it for him. Peacock's final line: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 6 K.

2) Mariners tee off against Guduan and Rodgers

With Peacock's night done, the Astros looked to Reymin Guduan to face the lefty-heavy part of the lineup in the sixth inning. Seattle would not go easy on him, getting a walk and two-run home run with one out to extend the lead to 4-1. Guduan would allow a single in the next at-bat before exiting in favor of Brady Rodgers.

Rodgers would also fall victim to Seattle's surging bats, giving up a two-run and three-run home run to make it a seven-run inning for the Mariners and put the game out of reach at 9-1. Rodgers was tasked with finishing the pitching night for Houston, but would not be able to accomplish that task, giving up four more runs in the eighth inning while getting just one out.

Tyler White (that's right, position player pitching) would take over and get the final two outs of the inning, but not without allowing a solo home run to make it 14-1 Seattle.

3) A lone run against Leake 

Offensively for the Astros, they would be able to come out with just one run, a sacrifice fly by Tyler White in the first inning which had them up 1-0 until the fifth inning. Houston would get only six hits off of Mike Leake who would pitch the complete game while allowing just that one run.

Up Next: The Astros and Mariners will wrap up this four-game series with an afternoon game tomorrow at 2:40 PM. Houston will have their ace on the mound as Justin Verlander (9-2, 2.27 ERA) looks to continue his march up the all-time strikeout leaderboard, needing just five to pass up Mike Mussina for the 20th spot. Seattle will start Tommy Milone (1-1, 3.60 ERA).

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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Accountability seems to be lacking. Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Did you catch exiled Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow, starting his "Redemption Tour 2020," doing his best imitation of Sgt. Schultz from the classic sitcom Hogan's Heroes?

"I see nothing. I hear nothing."

Luhnow sat for 37 minutes (the extended director's cut on click2houston.com) with Channel 2 sports reporter Vanessa Richardson and insisted that he played no part in the Astros 2017-18 illegal sign-stealing operation, and didn't deserve to be suspended for one year by baseball, and ultimately fired by Astros owner Jim Crane.

"I didn't know."

"I wasn't aware."

"I wasn't involved."

"Had I known about it, I would have stopped it."

"I was punished for something I didn't do."

Remember, Luhnow wasn't just the Astros general manager, he also held the title of President of Baseball Operations, responsible for every action that took place at Minute Maid Park, on the field, in the dugout, clubhouse, bullpen and boardroom.

Everybody else seemed to know, including field manager A.J. Hinch, who admitted that he knew the Astros were cheating, tried to stop it, but couldn't.

That's some leadership that Astros had in 2017-18. A manager who couldn't get his players to stop cheating, and a general manager who claims he didn't know. The inmates truly were running the asylum.

If Luhnow is telling the truth, that makes him one monkey who saw no evil, heard no evil and spoke no evil.

On one hand, Luhnow takes credit for building a supremely gifted Astros team that has made four consecutive American League Championship Series, won two American League pennants, and captured Houston's first World Series title in 2017.

One commercial break later, he's swearing that he didn't have a clue that his team was committing baseball's crime of the century – which ultimately cost the Astros their manager, general manager, a $5 million fine, and four draft picks.

Which is it, was Luhnow a detached genius, incredibly naïve or unfortunate scapegoat?

Luhnow claimed that an honest investigation by MLB would have determined that he was merely an innocent bystander to the scandal. He told baseball commissioner Rob Manfred that he was willing to take a lie detector test to prove it, but Manfred declined his offer.

OK, Manfred said a lie detector test wasn't necessary. Why didn't Luhnow do it anyway? It might have helped mitigate some of his sentence.

Put it this way, I work at Gow Media World Headquarters in Houston. If the boss brought me into his office and said he was firing me because I was stealing equipment, or missing deadlines or harassing other employees … and I was innocent, I holler to the high heavens that I was fired unjustly. I'd hire Jim Adler, the Tough Texas Lawyer, to sue everybody who ever touched a baseball for wrongful termination, defamation of character and a hundred other things. I wouldn't take a called third strike and wait 10 months to speak up.

Right now, Luhnow's once-brilliant reputation is sullied. He's on the outside of baseball looking in. Luhnow's protestation of innocence reminds me of Jose Canseco's book, Juiced, in 2005, where the slugger claimed that steroid use was rampant in the big leagues. And he named names.

Accused players bleated that they were innocent, that Canseco was a bad apple who made up stories to cover his own use of banned drugs.

Here's when I knew that Canseco, while a rat, was right – when the accused steroid users screamed bloody murder, but didn't sue Canseco. If somebody accused you of a crime that you didn't commit, a crime that cost you your job and legacy, a crime that might keep you out of the Hall of Fame of your profession, would you stay silent for almost a year and take the punishment lying down?

We may never know if Luhnow knew or didn't know that his Astros were cheating. It's possible that he's telling the truth now. His teary-eyed interview was convincing in parts. But accepting punishment for something you didn't do, and not fighting back – it's not a good look.

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