It’s been a rough first week for the Astros. Houston fans started off the year with a huge emotional upswing, watching the ‘stros best Phillies ace amongst aces, Roy Halladay, on Opening Day; however, the elation was short lived. Leading by two runs going into the bottom of the ninth, the elation came abruptly crashing down when closer Brandon Lyon gave up three runs to the Phillies and took the loss for the day. The Astros never did recover from that opening day stinger over the next week, and it just got worse from there.
After stumbling to an 0-5 record, the Astros turned to Brett Myers on Thursday to right the ship against the Reds. While Myers settled for a no decision, he pitched well and kept the Astros in the game, which resulted in the first win of the season, a 3-2 victory over the Reds. With Houston’s victory, only one team is still winless in MLB: Tampa Bay. Their AL East rival Boston Red Sox removed themselves from that winless group by notching their first victory today, winning 9-6 over their arch nemesis New York Yankees.
Now that the ‘stros have finally put a W on the board, they hope to keep things rolling with their home opener tonight against the Florida Marlins. Here are some highlights from the week that was for the Astros, and a look forward to the upcoming schedule.
- Can we get some help please? … After one week, the Astros already have the largest runs scored versus runs allowed deficit in baseball. They’ve allowed 43 runs while only scoring 20, for a grand total of -23. Tampa Bay and Boston are tied for second worst at -19, with Tampa Bay sputtering at that plate, scoring a total of eight runs so far. Most analysts predicted that the Astros would struggle offensively this season, but 20 runs scored combined with a team batting average of .219 is downright atrocious. Let’s hope Houston’s bats will feel more comfortable at home.
- Speaking of help … Newcomer Bill Hall forgot that spring training is over and that these games count now. The Astros’ biggest offseason free agent “splash” is stumbling out of the gates, hitting a meek .143 to start the season, with a lowly one RBI and nine Ks in only 21 at bats.
- No place like home? … The Astros dropped the opening game at home this year 4-3 against the Marlins. Brett Wallace hit his first home run of the year in the bottom of the ninth to pull the Astros within one, but the game ended two batters later when pinch runner Jason Bourgeois was caught stealing second.
- Probable pitchers… Here are the probable pitching match-ups for the series against the Marlins and Cubs
Tue. Apri 12: Myers (0-0) v. James Russel (1-0)
- Say What? … In a surprise move, Manny Ramirez of the Tampa Bay Rays announced his retirement from Major League Baseball today. Ramirez was one of the most feared hitters over the last decade, but will be remembered as much for his incredible hitting as he will be for his unique personality. Rocking the dreadlocks, baggy shirt, and oft-tilted cap, Man-Ram was always himself, and his fans loved him for it. Thanks for the memories, Man.
Enjoy what should be a beautiful weekend of baseball. Go ‘stros!