This was a good one to watch on tape delay -- my preferred method of Astros game intake. Terry Francona made SEVEN pitching changes -- giving the whole affair a spring training tinge that made fast forwarding through the commercial breaks all the more satisfying. In order, the Astros faced: Mike Clevinger (1.2 IP), Jeff Manship (0.2 IP), Perci Garner (2.2 IP), Joe Colon (0.2 IP), Dan Otero (0.2 IP), Bryan Shaw (0.1 IP), Cody Anderson (1.1 IP), and Josh Tomlin (1.0 IP).
The good guys notched at least one hit against every Tribe pitcher they faced, touching Clevinger, Manship, Otero, and Shaw for runs, so Tito can use 100 George Michaels as far as I'm concerned, as long as we get the win. It was particularly important to secure a victory in this series opener, as the Indians will throw Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, and Trevor Bauer the next three games, while the Astros are newly short one Dallas Keuchel.
Mike Fiers was not sharp tonight, scattering 7 hits and 2 walks over 5 innings, but he was able to limit the damage to two runs, including Mike Napoli solo shot in the fifth. The bullpen came up aces, pitching four innings of no-hit ball to close out the game.
Alex Bregman hit his seventh home run of the season in the third inning. After hitting .045 in July, Bregman has raised his season triple slash to .266/.324/.475 -- a very respectable overall line that doesn't even need the caveat of, "if you exclude his slow start blah blah blah."
As mentioned above, the Astros have a tough row to hoe the rest of this series. Next game kicks off at 6:10 PM Central.