Most fans, players, and managers would take a 3-1 record to start the season, but a clean sweep in the opening series against the Mariners was within reach and the Astros offense ultimately came up short. Despite competent starting pitching from Joe Musgrove, the Astros were unable to get the bats going and ultimately fell 4-2.
Do not over analyze it, as it stands, Musgrove is the number four pitcher for the Astros.
Musgrove allowed a solo-homerun to Mitch Haniger in the third inning, and then was pulled in the sixth inning after loading the bases. This subsequently led to a subsequent Kyle Seager RBI fielders choice off Michael Feliz, and the run was attributed to Musgrove.
Still, Musgrove pitched five good innings of two run ball with two strikeouts and three walks. It would have been nice to have seen him get through the sixth inning and register a quality start, but this was a decent outing to build on for the young pitcher. Musgrove will get his shot at revenge next Tuesday, as he will got another shot at beating the Mariners Tuesday in Seattle.
After being forced to hold the Mariners off for seven innings the night before, for the most part this exhausted bullpen did its job - that is, up until the end.
Michael Feliz and Luke Gregerson combined to pitch the 6th-8th innings, allowing no runs and striking out three.
Ken Giles entered the ninth inning looking to thwart off the Seattle bats, but unfortunately for Giles and the Astros that is not what happened. As good as Giles looked in his first two appearances of 2017, he looked just the opposite last night. Giles would strike out three batters to get out of the inning, but that was in the process of walking one, allowing two hits, and two runs to make the score 4-2. “100 Miles Giles” would take the loss in this game.
George Springer and Marwin Gonzalez provided the Astros with their only run support of the night.
As he ended the game the night before with a home run, Springer began this one with another. Springer is the first player in 27 years to hit a walk-off home run followed by a leadoff home run in the next game; the last to accomplish this feat Roberto Kelly in 1990 with the New York Yankees.
Gonzalez would get his second home run of the young season in the third inning.
Outside of these two home runs, the Astros offense could only manage four additional hits, three walks, with 10 strikeouts.
Mike Fiers will open up a three-game series tonight at 8:10 against the winless Kansas City Royals. Fiers went 11-8 last season with a 4.48 ERA. Fiers will take on Royal’s lefty Jason Vargas, who brings with him a lifetime record of 67-70 and a 4.18 ERA
The Astros need some of their major pieces to start driving in runs; primarily, Jose Altuve and Carlos Beltran. At 3-1 the Astros should be very proud of the start they have had to the 2017 season, but that does not take away from the fact that Manager AJ Hinch needs to stop with the seemingly random dart-throw lineups he is putting together. Players like Josh Reddick and Nori Aoki were brought to the team for a reason, and need to be in the lineup on a consistent basis. The series against Seattle easily could have been a sweep, but it's time to move on and focus on Kansas City. If the Astros want to finish the first week of the season strong they must generate more runs outside of the long ball. Even sitting at 0-3, the Royals are not a team to take lightly.