The Astros won two games yesterday. Yes, you read that right. And no, it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme.
Results in the win-loss column this time of the year do not carry much, if any, significance. That is the nature of the beast which is known as Spring Training. However, it is nice to see the Astros pull off the split squad sweep of the Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox. It just gives me that warm, fuzzy feeling. Or is that the green beer?
Anyway, St. Patrick’s Day was a good day for the Astros.
Dallas Keuchel pitched a solid four innings with two strikeouts while surrendering just two hits against the Braves. Jandel Gustave pitched another scoreless inning of relief. Colin Moran has continued to swing the bat well with two more hits. And the offense came alive with four runs in the bottom of the ninth. And two of those runs were courtesy of a walk-off single from Jack Mayfield.
The other game yesterday did not involve any late-game heroics. But the team did receive a quality outing from Brad Peacock as he pitched three innings of one-run ball. Francis Martes also pitched well with three scoreless frames and three strikeouts. Another Astros infielder hitting well is Reid Brignac. The veteran hitter has an 1.006 OPS in 30 at-bats this spring. Only time will tell if he makes the Opening Day roster or begins the season in Fresno. Oh, the Astros won by the score of 6-2 over the Red Sox for those that care about the outcome.
This Spring Training has brought some positive developments to the Astros even though a slew of players are absent with the World Baseball Classic. And while players like Gustave, Brignac, and Moran may not make the Opening Day roster, the depth they provide is enviable. There aren’t many teams with quality talent waiting in the minors.
The next test for Houston is the continued progress of Keuchel and Lance McCullers. If both pitch well and remain relatively healthy entering the season, Houston has to feel good about its chances this upcoming season.
**Statistics courtesy of MLB.com**