The Astros sure do look like they have taken to this underdog role nicely. They rallied from an early 3-run defiect to beat the Braves 8-3. Lots of heroes tonight but I’ll focus on the 3-hit night by rookie Marwin Gonzalez as he continues to impress in Jed Lowrie‘s absence. J.A. Happ produced a solid 6 inning 3 run performance and looked great after a rough start. Old friend Livan Hernandez saw action out of the Braves bullpen and gave up two important runs thanks to nice baserunning and timely hitting.
The bats certainly enjoyed the evening and have been very solid so far this season. That was a big question mark coming into 2012, would the bats do enough to reward the staff. So far both are clicking nicely and contributions have come from all over the lineup. Gonzalez continued to show the Astros made the right call making him Jed Lowrie’s backup. He’s playing excellent defense after a rough opening game and seems to have some pop in his bat. A bizarre move by Brad Mills paid off somewhat by starting Travis Buck over J.D. Martinez tonight as Buck had a 2-RBI double. I get wanting to get everyone a start but not sure about benching your best hitter. Justin Maxwell made his debut tonight and it was impactful, he drilled a 2-run homer to Galveston. Maxwell looks like a Richard Hidalgo clone, hopefully he’ll hit like him too.
The staff once again had a very nice evening shutting down the Braves. So far all four starters have looked good to great against decent offensive squads. Tonight, Happ had some issues in the 2nd and 3rd innings but settled down nicely. We give him so much grief but when the guy stays aggressive in the zone, he normally does pretty well. Wesley Wright had a nice 5 batter outing, retiring 4 of them as well. Tomorrow Kyle Weiland vs Tommy Hanson on Colt 45 day and also my favorite promotion, dollar hot dog night.