Tuesday night was not a good game for the Houston Astros. There really is not much that you need to know about the game, other than the final score. And that does not even tell the whole picture.
There were parts that were better, yes that is possible. But a lot of the game really was as bad as the 11-4 final. In fact, were it not for three meaningless ninth inning runs, the score could have looked a lot worse.
Four runs in six innings is not the ideal result for Brett Oberholtzer, but it could have been worse. He quite simply did not get any run support, and that needs to change. Also the implosion by Jose Cisnero and Josh Fields certainly did not help.
Houston was facing a starter in Robbie Ray who was making his major league debut. That meant there was the opportunity for success.
Jose Altuve doubled to lead off the game, and after a Dexter Fowler single, things were looking good for the Astros. But two strikeouts and ground out later, ended that rally. Ray did allow five hits and a walk in 5.1 innings and one run, but Houston really did not threaten the rookie starter too much.
The one true bright spot for the night was George Springer. So far, albeit in a small sample size, the move down in the batting order to sixth has worked well for Springer’s confidence and performance.
Yes, a lot has been expected of Springer. And rightfully so at that. But, you have to expect and allow for some struggles from the outfield prospect.
Seeing Springer go 3-4 with a double, run scored, and an RBI Tuesday night had to make Astros fans feel good. There will be a lot more where than came from for Springer. His average is now up to .222 on the season, but the problem is that the rest of team needs to follow in Springer’s success.