HOUSTON -- Those who wonder what is said when a manager goes to the mound to talk to a pitcher should appreciate the insight provided by Astros manager Bo Porter on Sunday.
Jarred Cosart, who won Saturday's game despite battling control problems and lasting five innings, got two outs to start the fifth before giving up two singles. With a 4-3 lead, Porter went to the mound to talk to Cosart, who was one out away from qualifying for a win.
"I normally don't share this, but I'm going to share it because it's good," Porter said.
Before that inning started, Porter told Cosart he understood he was struggling but wanted to give him the opportunity to get three outs and put himself in line for the win. So when he allowed a pair of hits that put the potential tying run on second base, Porter felt it was time for another chat.
"It's becoming a stressful inning, so I walked out to the mound and I said, 'What are you going to tell me to convince me to leave you in the game?'" Porter said. "He said, 'Well, you told me to get three outs before they scored. They haven't scored yet, and I'm going to get three outs.' I said, 'OK, see you in the dugout.'"
Cosart promptly retired Alexei Ramirez on a fly ball to center field and wound up getting the win.
"That's good maturation, though," Porter said. "For him to find a way to make it through five innings, it's huge because there's going to be times when he's going to go out there with his 'A' stuff and he's going to breeze through seven or eight. A day like [Saturday], for him not to have his fastball command and really just scuffle through five innings and only give up three runs and leave us in position to turn the game over to the bullpen, that could boost your confidence."
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.