Happ Looks to Keep Astros Moving

The Astros starting pitching has been off the charts in the first three games. The starters have combined for a 0.89 ERA with all three starts being quality starts. How does that compare to last year? Starters in the first three games had an ERA of 7.79 with 1 quality start in the first three games. That’s an obvious improvement from a year ago. The record has also improved. 2-1 in this year as opposed to 0-3 last year.

Happ takes the bump today as the Astros look to keep moving forward and winning games. Happ will face off against Brandon Beachy. These two had completely different seasons last year. Happ is looking to have a full bounce back season and show the Houston Astros organization and fans it’s not time to give up on him. While Beachy is trying to show everyone that his surprise rookie season wasn’t a fluke. After watching Happ last year, I’m sure most of you can agree when I say I’d be happy with 5 or 6 innings with 2 runs against Happ. However, I’d like him to go seven and cut down on the number of pitches thrown. His main problem last year was being picky. It looked like he didn’t trust his stuff or defense like he did when he was in Philly. He worked himself into to many hitters counts and got into trouble. If he just goes out there and pitches, he’ll be better off.

“It certainly would be nice to start strong,” Happ said before Sunday’s 3-2 win over the Rockies. “Wandy [Rodriguez] and Lucas [Harrell] have done well the first two and we’re going to try to keep that going. As long as I can feel my body and feel good out there, I feel good about my chances of having success.” Happ notched a 5.79 ERA in 18 2/3 Spring Training innings, but said he felt good on the mound.

Justin Maxwell was picked up by the Astros from the Yankees. A move was made today to make room on the Astros roster. Fernando Abad was sent to AAA OKC. Looks like Abad day for him… Travis Buck makes his first appearance on the starting roster in left field. I’m not real enthused about this start. Brad Mills said he’s looking at giving bench players early starts this year to see what they can do.

QUICK INJURY UPDATE: Jed Lowrie makes his way to Oklahoma City to have a few rehab starts starting on Tuesday and finishing up Wednesday. He looks on track to return to the Astros on Friday as expected.

Michael Bourn makes his return to Minute Maid as a visitor for the first time since playing with the Phillies in 07. I expect he gets a good ovation as deserved. Here’s to another Astros victory as we look for our third W of the season. Follow me on twitter and we can live tweet during the game. Twitter handle is @Moguls73. Stay classy Astros fans!

–Lee White

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