Either J.A. Happ still thought he was pitching on Sunday (which is minimally funny) or he's got more to worry about than he let on with his strained ab. Maybe he just faced a very good lineup off to a hot start, but any way you slice it, Tuesday's loss to the Reds did nothing good for the Astros.
Happ was absolutely shelled by Cincinnati. For the second straight game, an Astros starter failed to pitch into the fifth inning and after Nelson Figueroa got banged around by the Red Sox, my hopes for him are dwindling.
I know I sound like a broken record at this point, but this team feels a little different than last season, when the Astros also dropped their first four games. This time, there are signs of hope for the offense. Michael Bourn had two hits, including another extra-base hit (double). Angel Sanchez continued his hot start at the plate, going 1 for 3 with a walk and a two-run single in the fifth.
By that point, though, the Reds already had a 7-0 lead. There is a difference between scoring runs at 3-0 and 7-0. I don't want to make the mistake of confusing the two. This offensive performance is encouraging, but it's not enough. Bill Hall needs to start hitting. Brett Wallace needs to start hitting. Chris Johnson needs to start hitting. You get the drift?
It's still just four games into the season and the Astros have faced two of the top offenses in the National League. It's okay to worry about the starting pitching at this point, but if they had started out 20-20 and hit a stretch like this, things wouldn't be so poignant. At least, that's what I have to keep telling myself.
(I can't put up with another April like last year, guys. It killed a part of my soul. Let's win some games and quickly...)