Houston won tonight 4-3 over the Mets for their 4th win in 5 games. I’m not going to mention all these games have come at home and the first three wins were against the Pirates. We’ll start with the good news…
- Hunter Pence had 2 homeruns, including what would be the game winner in the bottom of the 8th.
- Houston got 5 shaky but good-enough innings from Nelson Figueroa.
- The Astro’s 1 through 3 hitters were a combined 6/12 with all 4 runs and all 4 RBIs
Now, what 2010 Astros fans are more accustomed to, the bad news…
- Hunter Pence was the only Astro to drive in a run.
- Carlos Lee, Chris Johnson, and Brett Wallace (the 4-5-6 hitters) were a combined 1-13.
- Carlos Lee saw just 9 pitches in 4 at-bats.
- Jason Castro went 1-3 to raise his average to .195.
With the Astros in the midst of one of their strongest waves of winning all year, you’d expect an all-positive post. But this is where I mention these 5 games have all come at home and the first three wins were against the Pirates. While I’ve written extensively on some of the Astro’s bright spots and young stars namely Wallace, Pence, Wandy, Happ, and Bud Norris, they have some ugly holes that showed tonight. Carlos Lee is sinking faster and harder than any pitch Stephen Strasburg can throw. And due to his huge contract, he’ll be here for years. Chris Johnson is a streaky hitter and when he’s not hitting over his head, he will be prone to dry spells and power outages. Houston has a glaring weakness at the end of their rotation and in their bullpen. You can survive with a bad 5th starter. You can’t survive with a bad 5th starter and a shoddy bullpen. But tonight isn’t the night to harp on that since Houston came away with a W in large part to a strong bullpen performance (the Killer L’s didn’t pitch, coincidence?). There are two other factors that stick out to me from tonight’s game. The Astros need more consistent production outside of Hunter Pence. While there is a reasonable chance Wallace and Johnson will fill this role in the future, watching them struggle off and on next to the albatross that is Carlos Lee, makes for some painful moments. Lastly, Jason Castro is absolutely, 100%, not ready to be facing big league pitching. Please bring someone in, Wade!!! Arencibia, Doumit, David Ross, anyone!!!