Astros: First series win in the books

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 01: Gerrit Cole
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 01: Gerrit Cole /

The Astros’ first-ever opening series as the defending World Champions unfolded quite well.

I think it is fair to state that the Astros are a quality baseball team.

Any exceptions?



Looking back for a moment, the Astros had a good weekend in Arlington. This is something no one could’ve stated even two years ago. As you may recall, Houston’s baseball team has had issues against the Rangers dating back to the introduction of interleague play when the Astros were in the NL.

One key to the team’s successful trip into north Texas was quality pitching and timely hitting. George Springer opened the regular season for the second year in a row with a solo home run. He did the same thing to the Mariners on Opening Day 2017. Justin Verlander, in his first Opening Day start as an Astro, was efficient in his 2018 debut.

Dallas Keuchel, who didn’t have his best stuff in the series’ second game, did pitch well enough for the win.

The offense, though, only manage to scratch out a single run against the Rangers. While the one-run showing wasn’t pleasant, it is only the second game of the season. A loss didn’t mean the world was ending.

The next two games, however, were hitting clinics for the Astros.

As a team, Houston tagged the Rangers’ pitching staff for 17 runs and 27 hits. There were many contributors included in this effort. The most notable was Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa. And Jake Marisnick now leads the team with two home runs.

Somewhat lost in the offensive explosion of the last two games was the performance of Lance McCullers and Gerrit Cole. McCullers had a solid 2018 debut allowing two runs with ten strikeouts over 5.1 innings.

And Cole impressed in his first major league start as an Astro.

Next: Astros expect Yuli Gurriel to return sooner than expected

The Astros are now back home for six games in seven days. The upcoming opponents? The Orioles and the Padres. The series against Baltimore is the home opener and it is going to be a “golden” meeting between the two squads.

**Statistics and information courtesy of Baseball Reference and Baseball Savant**