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Astros Fans Introduced to the Scott Kazmir Experience

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Here’s a quick recap of the last 48 hours of Scott Kazmir‘s life:

  • Thursday AM: Traded to the Houston Astros
  • Thursday Afternoon: Learned that he would start Friday night against Kansas City
  • Friday Night: Dominated the Royals for seven innings and get the Astros a 4-0 win
  • After the Game: Celebrated with his new teammates at Club Astros:

If this is what life is going to be like with Kazmir as an Astro, I could get used to it. This was the first game in a long while where I got bored watching because the Astros were making it look so easy out there. In the past, it was the other way around, but last night was totally different.

Kazmir’s style wasn’t exactly filled with a lot of flare, but it was effective, which was all it needed to be. The 31-year-old left-hander only struck out 3 Royals hitters in 7 innings pitched, but he was able to conserve some pitches in the early innings on a sweltering night in Kansas City.

He seemed to get stronger as the game progressed, firing 94 MPH fastballs at Jason Castro throughout the game and then rearing back and reaching 95 MPH on a heater that struck out Drew Butera for the second out in the fifth inning. Kazmir also retired nine batters in a row to finish off his start, getting help from some great defensive plays by Carlos Correa and Jake Marisnick.

After the game, Kazmir said, “I had to conserve a little bit of pitches early on, but it went well. When you have a defense behind you like I had, especially what you saw the first couple innings, I mean you get all the confidence out there, and you want just to pitch to contact.” (MLB.com)

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Pitching to contact was definitely the key for Kazmir today, as he seemed very strategic in his approach but definitely aggressive as well. About his approach, Castro said, “He’s a pro at this, he’s faced these guys a number of times and he knew the lineup pretty well, so going in we had a pretty simple approach. He did a great job of filling up the strike zone, keeping guys guessing with his changeup, and mixing spots with his fastball all night.” (MLB.com)

I think all Astros fans were very encouraged by Scott Kazmir’s performance tonight against one of the best teams in the American League on the road. He seems to be just what the Astros need right now, a veteran pitcher with a very efficient, workman-like approach on the mound to help carry this team down the stretch. I’m perfectly fine with a veteran pitcher pitching to contact as much as he did as long as the location of the fastball is being mixed appropriately and the breaking pitches never really hang.

It will be interesting to see how the Scott Kazmir experience unfolds for the rest of his season with the Astros, but his team will need him rested and ready to go against the Angels in just a few days. All of the AL West games are important, and Astros fans should be confident when Kazmir takes the mound at Minute Maid Park in one of the most important series so far this season.

Next: Astros have Houston Buzzing

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