Apr 6, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; General view of Minute Maid Park on opening day between the Houston Astros and Colorado Rockies. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE
This is one of those ones that a lot of fans will say, "that's your Astros." They would be wrong. These are not your typical Astros. This is the start of something good, if not this year then next year.
This will probably be the most watched game for the Astros in 2012, simple because it's opening day and fans can sometimes become fickle, especially when a team is perceived to of played horrendously. Don't get me wrong the Astros did not play well in this one, and there will be future games when they play just as bad, but this isn't your veteran lineup playing bad. It's a young lineup playing bad.
I think there was a lot of emotion and nervous energy on the field tonight. Unfortunately, it just so happens that it showed up in the box score. There was a lot of good, however, and that's what Astro fans need to focused on if they want to continue to participate in the 2012 season.
Wandy Rodriguez did not have his best stuff on his first Opening Day start, but managed to make it work. He ended up going 6.1 innings allowing three unearned runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out two.
Fernando Rodriguez would follow Wandy and allow another unearned run in 1.2 innings. He would allow a hit and a walk, while striking out one. The other Fernando [Abad] would pitch the ninth and allow a homerun to Troy Tulowitzki, leading to our comment of the game. Go ahead make your jokes I'll wait...
Fernando Rodriguez took the loss in this one, but really it should probably go to the defense.
The Astros would start the scoring with a Carlos Lee single that scored Jose Altuve who had walked and advanced to second on a ground out to the second basemen. In the fourth inning, down 3-1, Carlos Lee and Brian Bogusevic took matters into their own hands, going back-to-back against Jeremy Guthrie.
The Astros would fail to score any runs, though they had a go of it in the ninth. Travis Buck doubled with two outs, followed by an intense Jason Castro at bat that resulted in a walk. This brought up ninth inning specialist Matt Downs, who would ultimately fan against Rafael Betancourt. Both Castro and Downs got pitches to hit in their at bats against Betancourt, but were unable to capitalize.
Five hits isn't encouraging, but four walks is and so two homeruns are. The offense did well, despite only scoring three runs. Had the four errors not occurred who knows what would of happened. There's certainly a good chance it would of been enough.
Chris Johnson, Rodriguez, Jose Altuve and Jason Castro all had errors. Johnson and Altuve's were straight errors, failing to misfield balls they probably should of had. Wandy's on the other hand was a tough play, although throwing the ball to first with no one covering probably wasn't a smart move to begin with.Castro's was an anxious mistake.
In the third, with Marco Scutaro on first Dexter Fowler laid a good bunt down that drew Wandy, Lee and Altuve towards the ball. With Fowler's speed Altuve had little chance to get over to first base in time to get the out. Wandy went ahead and threw it in that direction hoping Altuve was there. The ball ended up being fielded by Bogusevic, witch allowed both runners to advance a base. All three runs allowed to Wandy would be unearned.
Eric Young's speed forced the miscues from the Astros defense in the eighth allowing the run to score. First, he stole second on a close play at second, after replacing Ramon Hernandez who had singled to the Crawford Boxes wall. Castro made a good throw that beat Young to the bag, unfortunately, Marwin Gonzalez failed to apply the tag on Young. Then on a ball in the dirt Young got a little anxious and head towards third only to be caught in what looked to be a rundown, only Castro threw the ball to soon. The throw went towards second, but ended up in center field allowing Young to score.
Comment of the Game Thread
Reillocity moments before Tulowitzki hit his homerun:
Abad + RHB with HR power + Crawford Boxes = A bad situation