As the Houston Astros ran up eight runs to the Oakland Athletics‘ one on Opening Day, the team looked as if 2020 never happened. With Zack Greinke on the bump, the right-hander went six innings and only surrendering three hits, while fanning four. As one of the oldest players on the pitching staff, Greinke had a little help from Father Time at the plate, while Michael Brantley went 3-for-4 at the dish.
While these two were the best contributors either on the rubber or in the batter’s box, Greinke and Brantley are two trustworthy players heading into a contending season. As both players have slowed from in velocity and in agility, they both showed out for a team relying on a younger core of stars.
As Opening Day comes to a close, the Astros will be able to rely on Greinke and Brantley down the stretch.
While not having many successful Opening Day starts, Greinke dealt a heavy loss to a team looking to contend in the AL West. At 37-years-old, the right-hander has definitely regressed from high velocity pitches on the mound and reserved himself to more off speed work. As one of the most interesting pitchers in relation to work ethic and off the field comments, seeing Greinke deal early in the season is good for an Astros’ rotation that has been banged up.
Although “signing” with the Toronto Blue Jays this offseason, a healthy Brantley was in the lineup for the Astros on Thursday, and he was raking. The left-hander had three hits, a walk, two runs and an RBI to top off his night. While hitting the best to open the season, this is what you like to see from the 33-year-old. Even though he is not in the same age group as Greinke, Brantley has battled his fair share of leg injuries, while one of them kept him as a DH in 2020 with Kyle Tucker in left field.
The Astros creamed the A’s 8-1 with nine total hits, but two errors burn on the box score, as Alex Bregman and Yuli Gurriel had two rusty plays in the field. As these bugs come around, Houston showed they are ready to compete even with fans in the stands.
“We’ve been in the World Series, we’ve been in the playoffs,” Brantley said. “They can boo, they can yell, they can do whatever they want. But at the end of the day we have each other’s backs and that’s all that matters”
The ball club is back on the field on Friday against the A’s at 8:40 p.m. with Cristian Javier facing off against Jesus Luzardo. The booing and chants from fans continued onto Opening Day from spring training, but as the Astros’ bats were alive, their mayhem at the plate silenced the dwellers of the Oakland Coliseum.