The Astros only had five hits this game, but that’s enough when two of them are solo shots and the pitchers lock down the opposing offense. This 2-1 victory felt reminiscent of some of the wins commonly seen during the Astros’ last stretch of dominance back in the mid-aughts. I’ll take it!
Lance McCullers looked good, striking out seven over six innings, only getting into a bit of trouble in the fourth when Mitch Haniger scored the Mariners’ only run on a Danny Valencia infield hit. Will Harris and Luke Gregerson pitched uneventful seventh and eighth innings respectively, and Ken Giles struck out two in a nice ninth inning that was interrupted only by a Jarrod Dyson double.
I’ll admit to being perplexed at seeing Marwin Gonzalez starting at first base in the second game of the season, but credit where credit is due, as Margo deposited an Iwakuma fastball into the Crawfish Boxes in the bottom of the sixth to put the Astros up for good.
The Good Guys suit up against the Mariners again tomorrow night at 7:10 PM CT and will try to keep their perfect season in place.
A few observations from the game:
- I was irrationally irked by Seattle’s challenge of Altuve’s “infield hit” in the bottom of the first. It worked out for the Mariners, but is there anything more annoying than a low-stakes, early game manager’s challenge? Nothing like slowing down a game before it’s even really gotten started.
- Brian McCann’s oppo home run into the Crawfish Boxes in the third inning was a thing of beauty. It looked like a routine, lazy fly ball off the bat, but it just kept going! The Astros’ new catcher only had one home run to left field last year, but with Minute Maid Park’s short porch, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a few more of these beautiful cheap shots from McCann in 2017.
- The ball seemed to have it out for Alex Bregman this evening. He was asked to make more than his fair share of challenging plays tonight.