After getting off to a 4-1 start this spring the Astros played more like the 2011 squad on Thursday. Houston managed only three hits against starter Edwin Jackson and three Washington relievers. Catchers Jason Castro and Chris Snyder both singled to provide two/thirds of the Astros offense. Castro played behind the plate for a second straight day, successfully passing a personal test of durability of sorts. Snyder has been swinging a hot bat early as he battles Castro for playing time. Carlos Lee and Marwin Gonzalezboth went 0-3 and both have struggled at the plate thus far.
Livan Hernandez lasted 2 & 1/3 innings in his second start, both against the Nats. Hernandez left the game after being hit on the leg by a grounder off the bat of Ryan Zimmerman. Livan didn’t fare as well this time out but said he felt good.
I feel better than the first time. The breaking ball is better today and the changeup breaks very good. The sinker is working very good, too. I’m trying to work every day and am getting better and better. I feel good today.
Lucas Harrell had a good outing but Henry Sosa was roughed up to say the least, allowing five earned runs in two innings pitched. Henry Villar and Fernando Abad each pitched a scoreless inning of relief but the damage was already done. Jimmy Paredes (sore wrist) made his spring debut as a pinch-hitter and is scheduled to play tomorrow. Brett Myers is also scheduled to pitch an inning when the Astros host the Blue Jays at 12:05 CST.