This was going to be a post about a struggling ball club, the Houston Astros. They had looked pretty bad in losing six of eight games, especially losing at home against the lowly (this year) Minnesota Twins. But life intervened and Dan P’s post partially written lingered in writer’s limbo.
When your loyal servant was able to return to his “job” the Astros had turned things around with two solid wins against the lowly Colorado Rockies at home, but so much better than two disappointing losses to the lowly Colorado Rockies at home. So what did we see in the last couple of games from a team that had been floundering?
- Almost flawless starting pitching – Jake Odorizzi, who had been awful lately chasing a mechanics problem was really, really good in five scoreless innings on Tuesday. He gave up three harmless hits in five innings and got back in the win column. Framber Valdez struggled a bit giving up a run in the first inning, but put it in gear after that striking out eight and toughing out six innings for the team.
- Those “other” guys – Tuesday night, Chas McCormick and Taylor Jones came up big with two hits apiece scoring two runs and knocking in three. In the Wednesday matinee, Aledmys Diaz who has been on fire since coming back from the IL had three hits and three RBIs and rookie Jake Meyers in his first MLB start played aggressive small ball to score a critical run in an inning where his single was the only hit.
- That bullpen is rounding into shape – On Tuesday, Cristian Javier, Blake Taylor, Yimi Garcia and Pedro Baez (in his Astros debut) combined for 4 scoreless innings giving up 2 hits and 3 walks. Wednesday Ryne Stanek, Kendall Graveman and Ryan Pressly combined to give up 0 runs, one hit and one walk over three innings.
- The older “coots” – Jose Altuve, Michael Brantley and Carlos Correa combined for 9 hits, 5 runs scored and 2 RBIs over the two game sweep of the Rockies. It was especially good to see Jose and Carlos warming up after being pretty frigid lately.
It was a positive way to bring a 1-3 homestand up to a 3-3 split. Now on to LA and a three game weekend set with the Angels.