GAME 4 - April 5: Reds 8, Astros 2
GAME 5 - April 6: Reds 12, Astros 4
GAME 6 - April 7: ASTROS 3, Reds 2
In a season when the die-hard fans are tweeting "Does this look like a minor league team?" and "Hey, Spring Training's over!" one has to work hard to look for the silver lining. I maintain that there's virtually always something to like in every game -- except perhaps that time that the Astros had to play a "home game" against the Cubs in Milwaukee during a hurricane and were the victims of a no hitter.
So here's today's thing to like about the Astros: After losing their first 5 games of the season, they WON today! Think about how much better we are than last year, when we lost the first eight games of the season!
After four pretty dreadful performances by Astros starters, we rotated back to Myers. Happily, his start today was solid -- he gave up 2 runs in 6 1/3 innings, on 6 hits, 3 walks, and 4 strikeouts. Last time Myers pitched, on Opening Day, the Astros went into the ninth inning 2 runs ahead, but our closer Lyons blew the save on half a dozen singles. Today, the Astros scored the tie breaker in the top of the ninth on a RBI double by Matt Downs, giving Lyons a one-run lead to protect. He got two quick outs, then gave up a couple of singles just to keep things interesting, before getting the save.
The only disappointment in today's game was the mlb.tv coverage -- the game was only covered by Fox Sports OHIO, so I had to watch the other guys' broadcasting of our mighty win. They were somewhat less than euphoric over the occasion, as it coincided with the Reds' first loss of the season. So I went back after watching the game and listened to the recording of the last inning on KTRH, the Astros radio broadcast: "A heart-stopper -- but a win!" Much better!
We don't need to dwell on the other games in the Cincinnati series. There were a few minutes of euphoria in the middle game, when the Astros benefited from a shaky start from the Reds' Volquez. On a weird combo of walks and balks and hits and strikeouts, the Astros managed to get a 4 run lead in the first inning. But they didn't ever score again, while the Reds scored a dozen runs on a lot of hits and five (!!!) Astros errors. Lots of tweets with reference to "minor leagues."
Face it -- if the Astros weren't "rebuilding," a number of their roster players would be playing in Oklahoma City this year. So, yeah, this is going to be a season with lots of minor league moments, embarrassing flubs, and losses. It's probably going to look like Spring Training for most of the season. Maybe there will be some exciting moments, as our kids start demonstrating the potential that got earned them a chance to play in the bigs. There will probably be at least 10 or 12 more wins this season! :-)
Here's something else to like about today's game: The Astros are NOT the worst team in the big leagues. Their 1-5 record is better than the mighty Red Sox and the team formerly known as Devil Rays, who have lost their first 6 games. So, okay, the Astros are the worst team in the National League. But not for long -- we're going home to Houston on a winning streak!