Early Runs Equate to Victory


Michael Bourn single paves way to Wallace RBI. Now there is a synopsis of the first inning to which I could grow accustom.

The Astros put up a couple of two run innings to start the game, and they never turned back. In the wake of finding out he is in the hunt for starting catcher, Humberto Quintero added one of those runs in the second with a deep double to bring in Jon Gaston. Gaston, the 24 year old left fielder, would strictly be in the lineup for purposes of playing Disney’s Gaston, but that is strictly my opinion.

The Astros had another successful day with runners in scoring position going 3 for 4 at the dish in that given scenario. Over the past two days, that brings the Good Guys to 12 for 33 in three games for a cool .364 batting average with RISP.

But the real story today, from the dish side of things, is Q going 2 for 2 with an RBI. We have been in limbo at the catcher position ever since the departure of Ausmus (which wasn’t much of an offensive presence to begin with), and losing Castro to possible surgery today puts us in the search for an opening day starter. Towles has been tapped for this opportunity prior to this season, and he makes Mendoza’s line seem like a long shot of a goal. Q batted a measly .234 last season, but his defense and durability make him a favorite in my opinion.

Nelson Figueroa gave 2 scoreless innings of work, but gave up a double per inning and walked a batter. Figueroa performed at a level higher than expected for most of last season which secured his place in the five spot of the rotation for the 2010 season. It will take starts with less trouble in order for him to lock down the spot with no given favorite in the race right now other than Rowland-Smith who is receiving fifth starter money.

Wesley Wright had a shaky sixth inning, allowing 1 run on two hits and walk, but it is only worth keeping an eye on as the spring progresses. After starting a few games last year, Wright’s inability to keep an ERA below five on the major league level is concerning, but the Astros are between a rock and hard place looking for left handed arms. Fernando Abad will be looked at as a possible go to left arm if Wright’s reliability becomes less suspect.

In short, just like last year, Bourn getting on base early and scoring runs to give our starters a cushion. The back end of the bullpen mostly got a day off today, but their success will be key in maintaining leads. Explosive late inning offense is not going to be something to expect, so pitching dependency is the way to go.

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