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Astros lose series opener to Angels 11-3

Youth, inexperience, and sloppy baseball rear its ugly head against the best team in baseball.

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

At least Jose Altuve had 2 more hits tonight, adding to his league-leading total of 202, amirite?

That is just about the only positive take away from the 11-3 loss against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim tonight/this morning/I'm tired.

This loss might have been all of my fault too, and for that, I apologize.  The Astros were up 3-0 as the bottom of the 4th inning began, and I just happened to realize that starting pitcher Brett Oberholtzer had given up no hits.  Of course, I didn't dare break any unwritten rules of baseball by saying anything out loud to jinx it (and I was watching the game by myself, so saying something out loud to myself would have been kind of weird anyway), but I at least noticed it.  Of course, as soon as I realized it, he gives up a hit to the leadoff hitter.  Sloppy play on defense, and 11 unanswered runs later, and the Astros walk away losing big.

To expound on the sloppy play, the Astros committed 3 errors tonight.  I am by no means an expert here, but it is probably not a great idea to give your opponents a full extra inning by committing 3 errors.  Especially to the best team in the league.  Errors are going to happen over the course of a year, that is a given.  But what made the first error so frustrating was the fact that I believe it could have been very easily avoided.  In the bottom of the 4th, with one out and Mike Trout at 2nd, there was a lazy pop out to center.  Dexter Fowler nonchalantly catches the ball, and nonchalantly throws a weak toss to the cut-off man, SS Jonathan Villar, as Mike Trout innocently tags to 3B.  But the throw in to Villar was low, and it short-hopped him, and he was not able to come up with it cleanly, so Trout continued around 3rd to score, and trim the Astros' lead to 3-2.  Villar, being a major league SS, probably should have come up with the ball anyway, but he certainly was put in an unnecessarily tough position by Fowler's poor throw.  Maybe I am reading too much into it, but that could have just been the spark to turn the momentum of the game around.  Jake Marisnick committed the second error of the game by dropping a fairly easy catch in RF in the 5th inning.  Lastly, Marc Krauss booted a ball that was hit right to 1B in the 7th inning.  As I try to focus on as many positives as I can, I will say that I was impressed with how pitcher Mike Foltynewicz handled the Krauss error.  He did not let the frustration of the error get to him, he remained focus on making good pitches, and ended up pitching a scoreless inning.  That can be a challenge for young pitchers, so I feel he should be commended for that.

So as I am watching the end of the game, and the clock reads 12:45am CST, Max Stassi comes up to bat with 2 outs in the 9th.  The game is all but over, but I find myself really wanting Stassi to have a good at bat.  I guess I figured that maybe another small positive that can come out of this lost game is if some of the young players can at least get in some good at bats that might get some positive momentum going into the offseason.  He gets ahead of the count 2-0.  Next pitch is low and inside, and not terribly close to being a strike, but he takes a huge cut at it anyway, turning a would-be 3-0 count to 2-1.  Two good fastballs later, and it is game over.  A fitting way to end the game tonight.  Sloppy play and games like this should be expected for a team in the middle of a rebuild, but it still does not necessarily make it easy to digest.  The great thing about baseball is that there is always tomorrow!