Brett Oberholtzer (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)
All things considered, this was a pretty successful series for the Astros. They took two out of three games from the New York Yankees, Dexter Fowler got his career to Houston off to a very good start, and the pitching did not disappoint.
But, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a lot to be frustrated about tonight as Houston fell 4-2.
Ivan Nova started the game for the Yankees and pitched the first 5.2 innings to earn the victory. Nova allowed six hits and five walks while only striking out one batter. So far so good. Houston was patient, got on base, worked the count, and didn’t fall victim to the strikeout which was quite common last season. Also in a change from the last two games, the Astros hit consistently and not just in the first inning.
However, they ultimately ended up being empty hits. Of Houston’s six hits, only Jonathan Villar‘s double went for extra bases. Plus, to say the Astros missed out on some scoring opportunities would be an understatement.
The game started off with promise as Fowler and Robbie Grossman led the game off with back to back singles. Jose Altuve then beat out what would have been a double play ball giving him an RBI as Fowler scored. A Carter walk loaded the bases, but Krauss ended that rally.
Fowler struck again in the fifth inning driving in Villar after his double, and that was the end of the Astros’ offense for the night. So far in this young season, the centerfielder is the clear team MVP as he is batting an even .500 on the season.
In his first start of the season, Brett Oberholtzer deserved a better fate then a loss for his efforts. Oberholtzer came one out away from a quality start, allowing 3 runs on five hits and one walk while striking out five before Bo Porter removed him after 5.2 innings. There weren’t many times where Oberholtzer looked over matched although it did help that Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann both got the night off.
As he did with Cosart last night, Porter had a quick hook with Oberholtzer and took him out after 91 pitches bringing in right-hander Brad Peacock. Porter did say that Peacock, who should be in the rotation, would be kept stretched out at least initially, and he was true to his word.
Peacock pitched the last 3.1 innings of the game allowing just one run on two hits and three walks while striking out four Yankees. The right-hander would have kept New York off the scoreboard were it not for a pop up that inexplicably fell to the ground after Carlos Corporan was camped underneath it allowing Ichiro Suzuki to score from second base.
His status notwithstanding, the length Peacock gave the Astros out of the bullpen was huge as it enabled the rest of the relievers to rest up for the weekend series with the Angels.
While there are certainly some causes for concern, Chris Carter stands out for sure, the fact remains that the Astros took two out of three from the Yankees to start the season.