Wow... what a night at Minute Maid Park. The Astros, after having their 12 game winning streak snapped by the Tampa Bay Rays last night, came back tonight in front of 43,000+ and absolutely crushed some baseballs.
Nathan Eovaldi, who was born in Alvin, Texas and went to Alvin HS, certainly did not want to go out the way he did tonight but the 28 year-old right hander seemed to be in control for much of the game.
For those who don’t know, Eovaldi has been really unfortunate over the last couple seasons as he has had not one, but two Tommy John surgeries and then underwent an arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow this past April. We’re always glad to see the Astros win, but it’s nice to be able to root for south Texas natives in the big leagues as well and so we hope Eovaldi bounces back strong in 2018.
Another pitcher very familiar with bounce back stories, Charlie Morton, pitched well in spots tonight for the Astros but still had issues maintaining consistent command of his pitches. Morton certainly had swing-and-miss stuff out there tonight, as his whiff rate was still a very respectable 15.63%. However, CFM got himself into some trouble by handing out free passes to four Rays hitters. It certainly was nice to see Morton not get lit up as much as he has in his last few starts, but the increase in walks allowed is still something to keep an eye on over his next few starts.
On the offensive side, tonight was all about the home run for the Houston Astros. Jose Altuve, a man known for hitting on the road and hitting singles, clubbed two home runs off Eovaldi and added a double for good measure. The leading vote getter in the American League is now hitting .347 (!!!!) on the season and has seven home runs in 2018.
Finally, you just cannot finish wrapping up tonight’s game without mentioning the fact that George Springer, Alex Bregman, and Jose Altuve hit back-to-back-to-back home runs in the sixth inning. This was the first time that the Astros accomplished this feat in over ten years. Unbelievable.
Next up, the Astros will have the day off tomorrow before welcoming the Kansas City Royals to town for a three-game weekend series. Dallas Keuchel will get the start for Houston on Friday night, followed by Lance McCullers Jr. on Saturday night, and then wrapped by Justin Verlander on Sunday afternoon.