06/28/12 8:00 PM ET
Altuve out until at least Sunday
By Steven Thomson / Special to MLB.com
Castro enjoys Harrell's gem as spectator
HOUSTON -- Taking a day off after working four games in a row for the first time in two years, Astros catcher Jason Castro got to watch one of the team's best pitched games of the year Wednesday against San Diego.Chris Snyder was behind the plate as rookie pitcher Lucas Harrell blanked the Padres on six hits. Harrell's shutout was the first of his career. The game time of one hour, 58 minutes -- the quickest in the Major Leagues this season -- was a dream work night for a catcher. "To be able to catch a game under two hours is pretty rare," Castro said. "Whenever you can mix those in, that's definitely a game you want to catch, for sure." Castro's hitting has reached a peak over the past several week. His average of .313 over the last month has raised his season mark to .255. Castro has hit safely in 11 of his last 15 games. Not being in the lineup on Wednesday gave Castro a different perspective of Harrell's gem. "The game is a little slower being on the side than being in the middle of it," he said. "You get to process things a little bit more and understand situations. That's why I think missing the whole year last year, I benefited from getting to watch games and I learned a lot through that process. [Wednesday] was a tremendous game thrown by Lucas and enjoyable to watch."
Steven Thomson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.