March 7, 2012; Clearwater FL, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Bud Norris (20) pitches in the first inning of the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Bright House Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE
I know some readers were making comments that the Astros faced the Mets B-squad yesterday, well you can't make that same claim today with players like Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Hunter Pence and Jim Thome in the lineup. Of course Astro hitters did miss out on the Phillies big three pitchers, but did get to face Jonathan Papelbon and old buddy Chad Qualls. Still I'd rather them have a good offensive outing against less than stellar pitching than not; they took the Phillies to task in this one.
Six walkouts to six strikeouts. You think Ed Wade is kicking himself going "So that's what we were doing wrong." The stars of this game were Jordan Schafer (3-4), Matt Downs (2-3) and Jason Castro (2-3). Downs hits didn't produce any sort of run or RBI, but Schafer and Castro's did. Schafer, scored two runs and drove in one, while Castro drove in one and scored a run. The walks came from Marwin Gonzalez, Jack Cust, Jed Lworie, Brian Bixler (x2) and Brett Wallace. Oh, and J.D. Martinez continued his good spring with a 2-4 day, both doubles, account for three runs batted in.
The Astros didn't allow the first runs to score until the eight inning. Before that Bud Norris, Kyle Weiland, Lance Pendleton, and Jorge De Leon all pitched scoreless innings. Weiland was the only one of those pitchers to give up a hit, and De Leon was the only one not to allow a walk or hit. Fernando Rodriguez got into a little trouble in the ninth allowing two runs to score on two hits and a walk. Jose Valdez finished off the ninth allowing a solo homerun to Hector Luna for the Phillies final and third run.
Got to see Wallace for a couple plays at third base and in the small viewing I saw he looked like he knew what he was doing over there. Dare I say he may of even looked more comfortable, but only time will tell how well he does. With Wallace at third the Astros had another error-less game, so there's that.
12:05 p.m. CST vs Washington Nationals. This game will be available on the radio: KBME 790. Unfortunately, no more televised games until a week from Friday.