Baseball is back, Houston! The Astros appear ready to “Never Settle.”
The Astros kick off their 2018 season in Arlington this Thursday. The goal is to be the first team this century to win back-to-back World Series since the Yankees in the late 1990’s.
One of these pitchers eventually accepted a trade to the Astros and became a World Series champion. The other, well, reportedly exercised his no-trade clause a few years ago to stop a deal with the Astros. I think we all know who is who in this story. Here are their career numbers against the opposing clubs.
Verlander vs. TEX: 20 G (20 GS), 11-6, 3.02 ERA, 125.1 IP, 32 BB, 127 SO
Hamels vs. HOU: 16 G, (16 GS), 7-4, 4.19 ERA, 103 IP, 29 BB, 97 SO
Anyway, the Astros open up the season on the road for four games before coming home to Houston to take on the Orioles. The opening series at Minute Maid Park will feature plenty of gold, bling, and another opportunity for Houston to express their feelings towards the World Champions. Good times, right? Our own Simon Chahayed lists out which events you should watch in 2018.
The Astros still have one more exhibition game with the Brewers on Tuesday evening. One of the key attractions of these two exhibition games is to catch an up-and-close look at a few of the team’s top minor leaguers. Kyle Tucker has undoubtedly been a notable draw. Seriously, a grand slam in his first at-bat in Minute Maid Park? And if his play last season hasn’t already caught your eye, then Tucker’s showing in spring training should do the trick.
While Tucker is currently blocked in left field by Derek Fisher, it may not be long before we see the former first-round pick make his mark in Houston sometime this summer. Of course, this Astros’ roster is brimming with talent, so Tucker will need to perform at a high level to force the management’s hand.
Links to read:
Tyler Kepner, The New York Times
David Lennon, Newsday
ESPN, Associated Press
Mike Digiovanna, The Los Angeles Times
Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle
Thank you for reading Climbing Tal’s Hill. Check us out here all season long and go ‘Stros!