In case you are wondering, the next game that the Astros play will actually mean something in the grand scheme of things.
Yesterday, the Astros lost an exhibition baseball game to the Chicago Cubs by the score of 6-3. So, it really doesn’t mean anything. Much like the Astros win the previous day.
I have good news for you though as the Astros will play their first meaningful game since last October on this upcoming Monday. That just means we have to get past today and Sunday.
Anyway, Houston should feel confident about one of their starting pitchers heading into the season: Joe Musgrove. The 24-year old threw four scoreless inning allowing just three hits while striking out four. Against the defending World Champions nonetheless. Not too shabby if I may so.
On a discouraging note, Tony Sipp did not pitch like he is being paid $6 million this year.
Sipp allowed three runs in only a third of an inning. His Spring ERA ballooned to 8.10 before his day was done. If there is one area that is fair to criticize the Astros about this past offseason, it has to be their lack of action with their left-handed relief issue.
The offense as a whole didn’t have much luck against the Cubs. To be fair though, only Evan Gattis, Marwin Gonzalez and Jake Marisnick had more than two at-bats all game. The offense will be ready, but yesterday just happened to be an off-game where the result didn’t matter. This lineup that the Astros used will produce, trust me.
As we look forward to Monday, Houston must get off to a better start than last season. I am not saying repeat that incredible April in 2015. But I am saying that starting the season 7-17 is clearly not optimal. Contrary to popular belief, the games in April do matter. I can’t help but wonder how the season last year could’ve been different if it wasn’t for that lackluster start. Don’t forget that the Astros did finish with 84 wins last season despite that April record.
**Statistics courtesy of MLB.com and Baseball Reference**