CHIPALATTA

All Things Astros and a whole lot more

Opening night: Astros’ takeaways


One down and … The Astros are first in the AL West.

Manufacturing runs isn’t exactly how the 2015 blueprint was put together, but Houston took the pitching and defense route for its win on opening night.

Here are some quick takeaways.

1. Maybe Dallas Keuchel is a #1 starter.  For one evening at least, there were few better than Keuchel, who out dueled last year’s Cy Young Award winner, Cory Kluber.

2. Jon who? Maybe Chris Carter will block Jon Singleton. Nothing spectacular, but Carter managd first base just fine thank you. Some nice foot work, couple of scoops and, overall, looking the part.

3. Defense! Defense! Defense! The Astros showed some leather. Colby Rasmus — one of three center fielders in Houston’s outfield — will quickly make fans forget the left field play of Carter and Carlos Lee. What a welcome relief!

4. Hinch resists the book. The book may have called for a pinch hitter for Rasmus in the eighth, but new manager A.J. Hinch showed confidence in his starters all the way and kept the bench on the bench. Rasmus came through with a hit. Moreover, Hinch stayed with Tony Sipp for the entire eighth as the bridge to closer Luke Gregerson. Chad Qualls and Pat Neshek will have to wait for another day!

What were your takeaways from opening night?

Advertisements

About Chip Bailey

Chip Bailey lives in Colorado Springs, CO, and is an author and former sports editor and sportswriter who has followed the Astros for more than 40 years. A native of Natchitoches, La., Chip enjoys watching baseball at most any level, especially pro and college. Several years ago, he worked as an associate of Pastor John Bosman, who enjoyed giving nick names to his staff. He came up with Chipalatta, and it’s stuck.

25 comments on “Opening night: Astros’ takeaways

  1. Kevin
    April 6, 2015

    Great game and they actually looked Like a confident, focused, MLB team! They had some good swings that went right at somebody. it was great to see an Astro team where no one had the” deer in the headlight look. 1-0 baby

    Like

  2. tedf1948
    April 6, 2015

    I just told my wife, “This is going to be our year!!!” She smiled and shook her head.

    Like

  3. Dan P
    April 6, 2015

    OK they won their first game the ladt two years too – but I saw a gumbo of outstanding pitching, very good fielding and situational hitting.
    The situational hitting is something they have lacked – I hope this holds together.

    Like

  4. Devin_
    April 6, 2015

    I like Rasmus’ arm in LF. I’m not going to say he will have an Alex Gorden level impact, but all three outfielders will be tough to run on.

    That stop by Valbuena in the seventh was huge!

    Like

    • Chip Bailey
      April 6, 2015

      Devin, I mentioned on the live blog (thanks Dan!) that the play by Valbuena was Brooks Robinson-like. Few — I mean few — players come close to making that play! Probably saved a run even though he didn’t get the out. As you say: H-U-G-E!

      Like

  5. md57
    April 6, 2015

    Would you describe Springer’s hit as clutch? And Marisnick’s sacrifice? Maybe merely described as timely hitting tomorrow, but tonight I’ll call it clutch.

    Like

    • Chip Bailey
      April 6, 2015

      Ummm, clutch maybe, certainly timely. Interesting, the speed guys — Marisnick, Altue, Springer, Rasmus — did all the work tonight. The boppers went pretty silent, though Gattis proved he can flat out stroke the ball!

      Like

    • 1oldpro
      April 6, 2015

      Huge RBI for Marisnick!

      Like

    • Dan P
      April 6, 2015

      Carter hit one deep to right center and got robbed on a line drive to the 3B. Gattis ripped at least one. Castro hit a nice one the other way that got picked. They hit the ball pretty well considering this guy was dealing nasty stuff.

      Like

  6. md57
    April 6, 2015

    And thanks for the live blog. It made for good baseball. It was fun, and kind of like a family get-together.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dan P
      April 6, 2015

      It was fun but I would probably have my wife leave me if I do this very often.

      Like

  7. 1oldpro
    April 6, 2015

    That was a great way to start off the season. Great pitching, good baserunning, perfect defense. and we scored two runs more than the other guys.
    Astros only struck out seven times against one of the best K pitchers in baseball. Last season Kluber struck out 14 in 7 innings against us.
    Tomorrow is an OFF DAY! Do you know what happens on off days?

    Like

    • Chip Bailey
      April 6, 2015

      Ummm. Ahhh. You don’t lose? You play golf? You make trades? An extra day in first place?

      Like

  8. Tim
    April 6, 2015

    Those are the kind of wins, as a fan, you really like. Great pitching, defense and timely hitting all leading to a shutout win. Like everyone else I can’t wait until Wednesday and considering I am a Directv subscriber I finally get to watch the games. That win definitely made me forget I am in Lubbock until Wednesday. 😄

    Like

  9. Tim
    April 6, 2015

    It can’t get much tougher than Kluber. I think a 6-0 start is a possibility. 😊

    Like

  10. Kevin
    April 6, 2015

    My wife laughed at me also as I said World Series here we come (-;

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Becky
    April 7, 2015

    Couldn’t get the game on the radio, were driving back home from LA. Soooo I had my phone to “see” what they did! Dallas Keuchel didn’t seem to have too many opening day nerves……..14 ground balls were a blessing. Nice to get a win, but the guys who were brought in to HIT THE DANG BALL…….took the night off. I love the first three hitters…..Marisnick is quickly becoming my favorite player!

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      April 7, 2015

      Becky, Kluber had this pitch that started off 3-4 inches inside to a lefty hitter and it would move right onto the inside corner. Rasmus saw it once or twice in his first two at-bats and was fooled by it. But that third time up Kluber tried it again and Colby hit it like a rope to RF, getting the runner from first to third, where he scored on Marisnick’s SF. The last six guys Kluber faced hit him hard, but they were right at somebody. Nobody was going to hit those two pitchers hard tonight, but we found a way to win.

      Like

      • Devin_
        April 7, 2015

        It basically looked like Oswalt’s fastball. Lots of late tail, and explosion.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Syd Boone
      April 7, 2015

      Becky Becky Becky. Don’t comment like that if you didn’t see the game. Kluber was tough, but our guys rang some strong shots off him. You would appreciate it more after watching. Some really good AB’s.

      Like

  12. astrocolt45
    April 7, 2015

    Watched tonight and the two games with KC. The team as a group have some hitters. TOR pitchers are going to give us trouble – but what is new. I will be surprised if the starting pitchers hold up, if we are not above .500. No batter looks like he needs to be sent to Corpus right now. I am not ready to declare them playoff bound yet. But pleasantly improved as a team.

    Like

  13. BrianT
    April 7, 2015

    Letting Sipp pitch the whole 8th was a good sign. Let good players play. Sipp can get righties. I’m glad Hjnch agrees.

    Like

  14. Mr. Bill
    April 7, 2015

    Okay, so maybe this IS a team that can scratch out a couple of runs to beat the other team’s ace. No HRs. No EBHs. No quit.

    Like

  15. Devin_
    April 7, 2015

    On the subject of TOR pitchers, Lester, Samardzija, and Scherzer all lost their expensive debuts. Shields was good, but his team lost. Our talked about trade target, Hamel’s, got shelled. 41 year old Bartolo Colon beat the Nationals. I’ll take my chances with inexpensive Dallas Keuchel while we can. When Rick Porcello gets a 4 yr, $82.5 million extension you know pitching is a commodity with pricing out of touch with reality.

    Like

    • Chip Bailey
      April 7, 2015

      Devin, I’d agree with you if I understand where you’re headed here. The Astros should develop their own aces and use trades and other acquisitions (e.g. Feldman) to pick up middle of the road pitchers less expensively.

      Houston did this well under Hunsicker. Oswalt, Miller, Redding, Shane Reynolds, Freddy Garcia, Carlos Hernandez and, even Brad Lidge and Billy Wagner, who developed as starters, then became relievers.

      Then, it’s much easier to keep your top-line pitchers than having to buy them, if that makes sense.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on April 6, 2015 by in Astros.
Follow CHIPALATTA on WordPress.com

Our Team

%d bloggers like this: