In an opening series, the young Houston Astros faced the much older and more experienced Colorado Rockies, behind the power of Carlos Lee, Brian B0gusevic, and other players, the Astros won the series two games to one. The Astros fresh off of one of their best springs in a long while, came into the series against a team that featured players that have played in the league since most of the team had even started primary school.
In the first game, the Astros opened up the baseball season at home, in Minute Main Park in front of a sell out crowd of 43,464, and the crowd got their money’s worth right off the bat in the first inning as Carlos Lee drives in his first RBI of the season, driving in Jose Altuve, who made his Opening Day debut, to put the Astros up early. The Rockies then rallied in the third to put up three quick runs on the Astros, capitalizing on an error made by starting pitcher Wandy Rodriguez.
The Astros would answer to the runs scored in the bottom of the following inning, with back to back home runs from Carlos Lee and Brian Bogusevic the first home runs of the season for both men. The game remained tied until the top of the eighth inning when Eric Nelson of the Rockies would score on a throwing error from Jason Castro in an attempt to throw Nelson out as he stole second base.
The Rockies would score again on a Todd Helton solo home run in the top of the ninth to further add onto their lead as they sealed the fate of the Astros, as the hometown team could not muster any offense in the eighth, nor could the capitalize on a running in scoring postion in the bottom of the ninth, falling to the Rockies and dropping their fifth Opening Day game in a row, losing their seventh Opening Day game in Minute Maid.
In the second game of the three game series, the Astros jumped out to an early lead once again thanks to a lead-off home run from Jordan Schafer, the first home run for him on the season. The Astros poured on the beating as they scored two runs in the fourth inning and one run every inning after, and the defense behind Lucas Harrell. who made his first opening day roster and looks to have earned it, shut out the Rockies for seven innings as Harrell only allowed three hits and struck out four batters.
Harrell earned the win and took to the dugout as the crowd applauded him and as Brandon Lyon replaced him on the mound. Lyon returned to his old ways as he comes off an 11.48 ERA last season, as he gave up a solo home run to Michael Cuddyer, breaking Harrell’s shut out and replaced by Wesley Wright, who gave up two more runs to the Rockies as he was then replaced by Rhiner Cruz who gets Cuddyer to strike out for the final out. The win Saturday evening was the first time the Astros had been at .500 since June of 2009.
The Astros return to action in the third and final series against the Rockies as they tried to carry the momentum from the onslaught of the Rockies the orevious night, the Rockies struck first as they scored in fourth, and the Astros returned fire, scoring Jose Altuve on a Carlos Lee double. The game remained tied and locked in until the eight inning where the Astros scored Altuve and Brian Bixler from clutch hits from both JD Martinez, and Brian Bogusevic who brought in Bixler to take the lead after Altuve scored on an error from the Rockies’ fielders. Reliever Brett Myers came in the ninth to replace middle reliever Wilton Lopez who received the win for the game, and Myers was able to strike out on, walk another and get the other two outs via ground outs to his infielders, earning his first save of the year.
the Astros send the Rockies off losing and welcome in the Atlanta Braves who are being swept in from New York where the Mets swept the Braves in a three game series.
Overall, I’m glad the Astros were able to work out the kinks in the first game and overcome their Opening Day jitters and come through in the second and third games to beat Colorado and win their first opening day series since 2006 where the beat the Florida Marlins two games to one. I feel the start to this season is a promising one of this opening series is a preview of the year to come, as a goal for the Astros, I want to have the team as close to .500 as possible and live up to the honor of Houston Astros baseball in this year, their 50th anniversary as a franchise and the final in the National League.
– Richard Perez