Over the past five games, the Houston Astros starting pitchers have four quality starts, and the other was a great effort from Dallas Keuchel to help keep his team in the game, and eventually got the win. Honestly, this is the best stretch of baseball I’ve seen the Astros play. Yes, the blowouts of the Mariners were fun, but the pitching was bad. I’m not saying it is great, it still needs a lot of work, but the pitchers have been improving, and are looking much better now. However, the Astros are going up against a team that has really had their number this season, the Oakland Athletics.
When you’re in the position that the Astros are in, a lot of teams have your number, but the A’s have really destroyed the Astros in the six games that they’ve played so far this season. In six games, the A’s have outscored the Astros by 26 runs, and that leads to run differential of 45-19 in favor of the A’s. One thing that you can notice from that is the fact that the A’s starting pitchers have obviously outpitched the Astros, and obviously the bullpen played a role in that too.
In this upcoming series, the Astros are going to need strong starting pitching to have any chance.
If I remember correctly, the last time Erik Bedard faced off against the A’s, he couldn’t get out of the first inning. Tonight, Bedard takes the mound and needs another good start to keep his rotation spot. Since being placed in the bullpen, and then placed back into the starting rotation, Bedard has been pitching much better, and another good start tonight could go a long ways for his confidence, and he may be able to pick up that first win of the year. He is 0-2 on the season.
In fact, the Astros starting pitchers will need to have a week much like the week that just passed. If they do that, the Astros have a good chance to pick up at least one game against the A’s. One thing I know, don’t let the Astros have a lead in the ninth because then it is Jose Veras time.
The Houston Astros have been a very tough team to watch. They’ve had good moments, but for the most part, they’ve been terrible. There is bad defense, and terrible pitching. But as of late, the pitching seems to be turning a corner, whether it is the starters or the closer, those two things are getting better. However, they still need to work on a few pieces in the bullpen, and they need to teach Jimmy Paredes not to run everyone over.
One key piece in a bad bullpen is the closer, and after two early blown saves, the closer, Jose Veras, has really settled into his role, and is beginning to become a lock down closer.
Veras has still had shaky outings, like the one in Detroit where he would have allowed a walk off if it weren’t for some great defense from Brandon Barnes, but most inexperienced closers will have those.
Veras brings an intensity like no other. He goes out there and just attacks the hitters, and he is a real leader, on the field, and in the clubhouse. When Veras was signed, there wasn’t an exact feel of what he would bring to this young ball club, but he has certainly settled into the first closers role he has ever been given, and has become a really reliable late inning option for the Astros and Bo Porter to turn to.
Over his past 14 outings, veras has pitched 14.2 innings and allowed two runs while recording eight saves. Opponents are only 4 for 44 (.091) against Veras in those outings.
While the Astros are rebuilding, and ultimately improving as the season has gone on, Veras has been a pleasant surprise for this Astros fan. If the game is headed into the ninth with the Astros leading, there is probably a good chance the Astros ride out of that game with a win due to Veras locking it down.
Richard is joined by the newest members of the Stros Bros, Brian Hamilton and Alex Sandoval, and they discuss Carlos Pena’s spot in the batting order, potential trade bait, prospects, and Reid Ryan joining the Houston Astros as the new President and CEO.
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- The Stros Bros
Fernando Martinez, whom the Astros acquired off waivers from the New York Mets in January 2012, will be joining the AAA Oklahoma City RedHawks. He was designated for assignment by the Astros last week. Martinez did not have any options remaining, meaning that he would have to clear waivers and be placed on an MLB teams active roster in order for the Astros to lose him. He went unclaimed and has been assigned to AAA.
It was announced earlier today via twitter from several different people, that Reid Ryan, son of Hall of Famer and former Houston Astro, Nolan Ryan, will become the next President of the Astros. This, of course, follows the resignation of Geoge Postolos this past Monday from the same position. Ryan will be introduced at a news conference at Minute Maid Park tomorrow at 1pm CST.
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- The Stros Bros (more…)
It seems that the only thing that you hear about the Astros in 2013 is that they are bad, really really really bad. Most of what you hear about the Astros is how they are bad enough to out do the 1962 expansion New York Mets’ worst record in the modern baseball era. Most recently, Buster Olney (whom I revere and respect) on the Baseball Tonight podcast simply trashing the Astros, saying that they were “non-competitive” in their most recent sweep at the hands of the Detroit Tigers, the defending American League champion Detroit Tigers. Olney went on to talk about exactly how bad this team is, listing every possible statistic the Astros are on pace to set a new season worst record for, and summarized how they simply had their butts handed to them on a silver platter by the best team in the American League. (more…)
A day that I that would have come much later than this early on, but Rick Ankiel was designated for assignment, along with Fernando Martinez, by the Houston Astros, and I feel this may be Ankiel’s final hurrah. Both players were hitting below the Mendoza Line (.200 BA in layman’s terms), Ankiel hitting five home runs and took only one walk in 65 plate appearances, and shockingly, he struck out a total of 35 times. Ankiel won the hearts of a few Astros fans early on in the Spring, captivating plenty more, including myself, with his Opening Night home run en route to defeat the Texas Rangers, but it has been all down hill for Ankiel and the Astros alike since that beloved Opening Night. (more…)
Already we’re in May, the first full month of the Major League Baseball season is in the books and the Houston Astros, the team that everybody though was going to tank, is unfortunately tanking, but they are not alone in the Major League cellar. As of May 3rd, the Houston Astros are sitting at an overall record of 8-22, tied with the Miami Marlins for the worst in the league. A tale of two different teams, heading in opposite directions, yet are on congruent territory, last place in their respective leagues. I compare the Marlins to the Astros for a reason, I feel that the Marlins went through what the Astros did from 2006 to 2010 in one year, collapsing and having management trying to buy a World Series title; contrast to the Marlins however, the Astros did not have an owner whom single-handedly ruined baseball for the entire city of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, but Loria’s horrid past is unrelated. (more…)