Well the good news is that Houston won’t have to head back to Citizens Bank Park this season and don’t have to see the Phillies again until September. However, the Astros next series isn’t much easier as they now have to travel to Cincinnati to take on the defending NL Central Champions. The Reds don’t look they have missed a beat as they swept the Milwaukee Brewers to start the season 3-0. The Reds hit eight home runs in the series and scored on average a little less than eight runs a game. Hopefully the Astros pitching staff is up to the challenge.
Tuesday April 5th, 7:05 PM (ET)
Wednesday April 6th, 7:05 PM (ET)
Thursday April 7th, 7:05 PM (ET)
Game 1: J.A. Happ vs. Mike Leake
Game 2: Nelson Figueroa vs. Edinson Volquez
Game 3: Brett Myers vs. Sam LeCure
Things to Watch
J.A. Happ- He will be the starting pitcher for the Astros in Game 1 of this series as he comes back from a strained oblique injury that pushed his first start of the season back one game. It will be interesting to see how he pitches and how long Brad Mills will let him go in this one. The last thing this team needs is for Happ to re-injure that muscle and be out for an extended period of time.
Brandon Lyon- He only has made one appearance so far this season and it couldn’t have been any worse. He gave up three runs in the first game of the season as the Phillies came back to win 5-4. If the Astros are in another save situation this coming series, it will be interesting to see how Lyon is able to rebound from his first appearance. Hopefully he goes out with confidence and is able to keep batters off balance and makes changes if necessary, something he didn’t do against the Phillies.
The Astros confidence as a whole– This is a young team and sometimes when they don’t have success early on they can lose confidence that sometimes makes it harder to bounce back. It will be interesting to see how the Astros play in these games, if they can show the same type of tenacity and fight they did at the end of the last season. This will fall on Brad Mills to keep the team’s morale up and keep them playing hard each inning of every game.