The Astros were unable to overcome some early miscues and dropped tonight’s season opener against Colorado. Wandy Rodriguez kept Houston in the game, lasting 6 & 1/3 innings despite not having his best stuff. The game was tied entering the eighth inning but Houston’s fourth error of the night allowed the Rockies to take the lead for good.
Ramon Hernandez led off the eighth with a sharp single to left off Fernando Rodriguez and pinch-runner Eric Young stole second. Jason Castro made a perfect throw but Marwin Gonzalez was unable to apply the tag. Castro then had Young hung up between second and third and threw the ball into centerfield, allowing Young to come all the around to score. Marwin Gonzalez probably should have caught the ball but, then again, Castro should have thrown to third or held onto the ball a little longer to freeze Young.
Troy Tulowitzki added an insurance run for Colorado with a ninth inning homer off gopher-ball specialist Fernando Abad. The Astros tried to mount a rally in the bottom of the inning but Matt Downs struck out with two runners on base giving Colorado the 5-3 win.
It wasn’t all bad though. Jordan Schafer was in the starting lineup and put his sore left wrist to the test early. Schafer made a diving catch of a liner off the bat of Rockies leadoff hitter Marco Scutaro in the top of the first and showed no ill-effects. Carlos Lee and Brian Bogusevic delivered back-to-back homers in the fourth to tie the game. Wandy hung in there for almost 100 pitches and gave the Astros a chance to win.
I didn’t care too much for the defensive play of Marwin Gonzalez, who is billed as a defensive specialist. I would like to see Bixler get a start tomorrow while Gonzalez gets a chance to think about how every play is put under the microscope in the big leagues. I also expect to see Chris Snyder get the start behind the plate against lefty Jamie Moyer.
The CTH staff will be attending tomorrow’s game as a group. We will be there early so stop by section 319, row 6 and say hello. I will award a cold beverage to the first reader who is able to name my all-time favorite Astros player. That information can be found here at the site if you dig deep enough. Good luck, and we hope to see you at the game.