Surprise! Astros Win Opener Against Royals 9-7

HOUSTON, TX - JUNE 18: J.A. Happ #30 of the Houston Astros takes a moment on the mound against the Kansas City Royals at Minute Maid Park on June 18, 2012 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Today's game was a game of surprises. Can you guess which players are responsible for the following lines? The answers are further on in the recap. No cheating!

6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K _____?_____
0.2 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 0 K _____?_____
3-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 K _____?_____
Save ____?_____

Twas an ugly game near the end, but we won! What more could you ask for? And guess who was the Astros' starting pitcher. Just guess. Who could possibly give up less than two runs? Lucas Harrell? Maybe. Wandy? Yeah sure. J.A. Happ? Ha aha ha ha! Of course not!... But wait!!!... It was J.A. Happ!!! *GASP!* Yes, the magnificent J.A. Happ pitched a pretty good game. He looked pretty well, only walking one and had pretty good command of his pitches. For those hoping Dallas Keuchel gets Happ's spot in the rotation, now is not the time to release J.A. Happ.

Answer: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K J.A. Happ

Here's how the beginning of top of 9th inning began with a 9-2 lead: Groundout, single, single, single, single (run scores), sac fly (run scores, two outs) single, single (2 runs score), single (run scores). Guess who the pitcher was. It was Brett Myers. Myers was definitely pulling his best Brandon Lyon opening day 2011 impersonation as he gave up only singles, but ended up almost costing the game by giving up 5 runs. What does this do to his trade value? That remains to be seen, but I don't think it does anything unless Myers keeps melting down in the future.

Answer: 0.2 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 0 K Brett Myers

Who's that man who was playing SS with 3 hits including a homer and a double? One would logically think Jed Lowrie, right? Wrong! The young stallion was Mista Bixlah (Brian Bixler) who came through in a rare start at SS with Jed Lowrie getting the day off. Lowrie hadn't been hitting well against LHP pitching this season, so Bixler got the start, assuming this was the case. Bixler rocked a homer in the first inning for his first mlb homer and ended up having his first 3-hit game as a major leaguer.

Answer: 3-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 K Brian Bixler

In relief of Brett Myers who was definitely off tonight, Xavier Cedeno came into arguably the highest pressure situation he's been in the major leagues with the bases loaded and the go-ahead run at 1st base in the top of the 9th inning. Facing Mike Moustakas, he was able to get him to pop out to Carlos Lee at first base to secure the win for the Astros and get his first major league save.

Answer: Save Xavier Cedeno

Other notables: Altuve was Al2ve tonight with 2 more singles. Justin Maxwell struckout, but had a double and a homer with 3 RBIs, raising his batting average to .246 and showing he is deserving of more playing time. J.D. Martinez also went 2-4 with 2 singles and 2 strikeouts. Mr. Brian Bogusevic had an excellent defensive play and had a homer to the boxes to boot.

Some notes, but read with caution:

Vincent Velasquez!!! Woo woo!

Jonathan Sanchez with a 3-base error, attempting a pickoff at 1st base, but threw the ball wide and Maxwell was able to advance to 2nd, to 3rd, and went wee wee all the way home. Sanchez also had a similar 2-base error in the same game. Video:

Maxwellscorespa_medium

Brian Bogusevic hit an oppo-taco to the boxes in the 8th inning. But he also had a fantastic throw to 2nd base and got an assist.

Carlos Lee is looking ugly, not solely because I don't like older men, but because he had 2 infield popups and then 2 really bad strikeouts. Is this 2011 again?

Brian Bixler is pulling his best imitation of J.R. Towles / Angel Sanchez with a single, double, and a homer, driving in 3 in today's game. His 1st career 3-hit game, his first career homer.

Maxwell!!!!!!! OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!! 8th homer of the year! Oppo Bologna to RF!

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