Astros: Game 75 Preview-Royals
By Cody Poage
Last night’s slugfest by the Astros, no matter how impressive, was just one game.
Just one game in the whole grand scheme of things. But the Astros 13-4 win over the Kansas City Royals was a little bit more gratifying than others. Just a tad of pay back.
Between George Springer flashing his prowess with the bat and the glove along with Dallas Keuchel showing moderate signs of regaining past form, the Astros looked like a well-oiled machine against Edinson Volquez. In fact, the Astros offensive onslaught led to one of the worst, if not THE worst, start by any major league pitcher ever in the modern era.
Consider this: 15 batters faced, 12 runs (11 earned), 8 hits, a home run, and 3 walks. That is what Volquez did as he got only three outs and didn’t manage to get one in the second inning.
Oh, did I forget to mention that top prospect A.J. Reed receiving a promotion to the majors? Yeah, last night was a good one for the Astros in more ways than one.
Game 2: RHP Mike Fiers (5-3, 4.42 ERA) vs. RHP Chris Young (2-6, 5.61 ERA)
With Reed now on the 25-man roster, it is going to be interesting to see how the Astros handle the situations at first base, third base, designated hitter, and catcher. And that experiment begins tonight with Reed getting the nod at DH.
Astros manager A.J. Hinch has decided to pencil in the former SEC Player of the Year sixth in tonight’s lineup, just ahead of Carlos Gomez, Luis Valbuena, and Jason Castro. That is probably a solid spot for his debut, and he may get a chance to help the team with the way the top portion of the lineup has been performing as of late. Reed may even make a similar impact like Carlos Correa did last year as a young hitter who provides a spark to the team as it heads into the heart of summer. But all of that is just speculation.
On the mound for the Astros tonight is Mike Fiers, who will be making his second start of the season against the Royals. His first outing ended in a loss as the veteran right-hander surrendered three runs over six innings of work. Not great work, but it was a shame that the game ended with the offense only mustering two runs of support. Hopefully this time around will be different.
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Veteran right-hander Chris Young will get the start for the Royals tonight as he is seeking to redeem himself after a rough start to the 2016 season. The 37-year old pitcher hasn’t pitched more than six innings in any given start and he has allowed 19 home runs, which is tied for second-most in baseball. This will also be Young’s second start against the Astros. His previous start in Houston was the only game that the Royals conceded back in their April four-game set in Minute Maid Park.
Next: Astros: A.J. Reed Called Up to Majors, Tony Kemp Optioned to AAA
The Astros have a prime opportunity in Kansas City that could help propel the team in the Wild Card standings. A win tonight will at least guarantee a series win on the road in a tense environment. Hopefully tomorrow we can be talking about a seven game winning streak!
**Statistics provided by Baseball-Reference & Fangraphs**