The Astros had some fun on Sunday as they flexed some of their offensive muscle while beating up on their longtime rivals from New York. Even though Livan Hernandez would have his worst spring outing to date, giving up 4 runs in less than 3 innings, the offense would pick him up by scoring nine runs. Jordan Schafer, Jed Lowrie and Carlos Lee would lead the way over a beat up Mets staff. It was very nice to see the offense have a good day, they had been struggling quite a bit recently, for whatever that’s worth. The staff looked solid after Livan, who I wouldn’t be too concerned about, including two solid innings from Aneury Rodriguez. He did allow a homerun but struck out four Mets in the process which is nice to see after a rough outing his last time out. Astros are now 8-7 after today’s impressive offensive showing.
Although Jordan Schafer didn’t record a hit, he did something the Stros would kill to see more of which is get on base. Schafer would walk twice and that would lead to two runs. If he can do more of that during the regular season, the Astros may have found an adequate replacement for Michael Bourn. Jed Lowrie continued his impressive spring with his first homerun and another double, driving in 3 runs. His run production will be key for a squad not expecting to show much homerun power. They will need a strong offensive year from Lowrie who most likely will be hitting from the two spot in the lineup. While we know Carlos Lee will productive during the season, it is nice to see him show some pop during spring training if for nothing else so he can increase his overall value. Carlos hit his first homer of the spring and added another double, plating a total of five runs on the day. Another interesting note was a late double by Brett Wallace, that was his eighth hit of the spring and three of those have been doubles. It’s good to see him getting more extra base hits- but still no homeruns, even if it’s a tiny sample size, is a concern.
The staff would have a good day minus Livan Hernandez, he got hit rather hard against a minor league type lineup for the Mets. I’m not too concerned given the veteran right-hander’s past. Livan is always good for one of these types of games and considering he was probably working on getting his pitches over, it’s not an issue. The rest of the staff pitched well and made strides to earn spots in the bullpen, especially the already noted Aneury Rodriguez. Enerio Del Rosario and Fernando Abad did well in their spots and Brandon Lyon continued his recovery with a strong inning. Lyon could be a key because if he can show he is truly back, it would help the pen and, much like Carlos Lee, increase his trade value for Jeff Luhnow. The ‘Stros face the Miami Marlins tomorrow as Kyle Weiland looks to continue his strong spring and lockup the 5th spot in the rotation.