The one strength of the Houston Astros entering the season was suppose to be their starting pitcher but after three games that doesn’t look like the case. Trevor Harris did a great job summing up the team’s pitchingafter the first series of the season. This was the first game that Roy Oswalt got to pitch against his former team and he just did what Astros fans used to expect from him when he was with Houston. He threw 88 pitches in six innings of work, only giving up two earned runs while striking out six.
For the Astros, Bud Norris got the start in place of J.A. Happ, who is coming back from an oblique strain. I am sure the start is not what Norris hoped for to start the season, only going four innings while giving up five runs. He struggled with the long ball today, giving up two home runs in the first inning to Ryan Howard and Ben Fransico. However, he did settle down a bit after the first inning and struck out seven while only walking one.
One bright spot on the offensive side of the ball was right fielder Hunter Pence, who went 3 for 4 and hit his first home run of the season. Another positive was to see Chris Johnson get his first multi-hit game of the season going 2 for 4. But other than that the Roy Oswalt and the Phillies pitchers kept the offense in check, only allowing the Astros to get 4 runners into scoring position. The Astros were not able to capitalize on any of them.
I am sure the Astros will be happy to be heading home as they get a day off tomorrow, however the competition doesn’t get any easier as they head to Ohio to take on the defending NL Central Champs, the Cincinnati Reds. J.A. Happ is expected to get the start on Tuesday and will hopefully be able to help get the team into the win column.