The Lees Shall Inherit The Earth: Astros Lose 9-4

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 01: Starting pitchers Brett Myers #39 of the Houston Astros (T) and Roy Halladay #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies (B) warm up in the bullpen prior to the start of opening day at Citizens Bank Park on April 1, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

This is the kind of thing that we should have expected. And yet, it's also something completely unexpected, too.

We should have known that the Phillies, who have been in the National League Championship for three straight seasons, would begood. We knew that Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee would be tough to beat. Lee certainly proved that Saturday, striking out 11 Astros and not really allowing many big rallies. He was as good as expected.

What we didn't anticipate is the pitching staff struggling as much as they have. Sure, the Phillies have a good offense, but this was supposed to be a good group of Houston pitchers, too. Wandy struggled early and often, which is worrisome when added onto his slow spring and shoulder tendinitis. The bullpen also got hit around a bit, as the Phillies scored nine runs on singles and doubles.

At least it wasn't just Brandon Lyon who's struggled. It's still very early and we can't draw too many conclusions from two games, but I can safely say this wasn't the start Astros fans wanted.

Carlos Lee's resurrection? That's been a nice surprise. Who'd have thought Lee would hit a triple in the second game of the season? Again, it's too early to make any strong conclusions, but it seems like Lee is swinging the bat like he did at the end of last season and not how he started the 2010 campaign. That should make a difference in this offense.

Tomorrow, the Astros Past (Oswalt) will meet the Astros Future (Norris). Let's hope there aren't more surprises about this 2011 team.

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