Somewhere, somebody thinks that Dallas Keuchel is overrated and that GM Jeff Luhnow should lose his job. Hopefully, that person is not you, dear reader, and is in fact some unenlightened soul over at chron.com.
Because these things happen.
Last year, from May 1st through May 6th, the Astros allowed 33 runs in six games. Sure, that's better than the 40 runs they've allowed during the first six games of 2016, but can't we count Wednesday's 6-16 loss as one of those freakish baseball things?
Today, the Houston Astros fell to the Milwaukee Astros by a score of 2 runs to 3. There's not a whole lot of drama to report here. As was the case during the previous several games, the starting pitching struggled to not stink. In fact, after Astros starter Dallas Keuchel threw 37 pitches and walked four batters in the 1st inning, one felt as if the Brewers should have actually scored 16 runs, rather than the "merely" two that they managed. So if there's a good takeaway in this game, it's this: Keuchel can allow six walks over 5-2/3 innings pitched, and still only give up three runs. Yay?
Better times are ahead folks. We know the starting pitching is better than this. We also can expect the entire team to be better at home than abroad. So coming home with a 2-4 record isn't the end of the world, or even a harbinger of the first gastric rumblings of a long-overdue apocalypse.
Because there's a lot of good here, too!
Sticking with the "Keuchel" theme, the guy with average stuff struck out eight Brewers in his almost six innings. That's a 12.7 K/9! Granted, nine of those eight strikeouts were on Chris Carter, but....I kid, I kid.
The offense had a great start to the season, but fizzled a bit in this game. Milwaukee starter Jimmy Nelson limited the Astros to only three hits in six innings, but one of those hits was a solo home run by pint-sized power plant of pernicious punctuating p-words, Jose Altuve, on the very first pitch of the game. Plate discipline? Pshaw. I'll take a first-pitch launcharoo any day. One of the other hits was a beefy boom by Bam Bam boy Preston Tucker. And now, I promise, no more alliteration.
The Astros bullpen, once they took over for Keuchel, did what the Astros bullpen is supposed to do (and incidentally, what the Brewers' bullpen also did), which was hold the enemy hitless and witless. Pat Neshek cleaned up the sixth inning with five pitches, Josh Fields struck out two of the three batters he faced, and Will "Phil" Harris worked around a walk to set down the rest of his opposing batters.
The Astros face the Kansas City Royals tomorrow in Houston for their home opener. Starting pitcher Collin McHugh looks to rebound from his 1/3-inning, 135 ERA performance last week against the Yankees.