Thoughts of Matt Cain’s perfect game against the Astros were racing through the minds of Astros fans as Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish was closing in on his perfect game, it seemed all but assured that Darvish had the perfect game on lock. Coming to within one out, Astros shortstop Marwin Gonzalez broke up Darvish’s perfect game nod, sending Astros fans into a frenzy of celebration. Up until the final out, it seemed that the Rangers were going to escape Minute Maid Park in celebration on the backs of the Astros, but all is not bad about this game. There were a few positives about tonight’s game, the Astros first loss of the 2013 season is not all doom and gloom. For this year, the positives are important to focus on, especially with such a young club, allowing the negativity to take charge will only be counter-productive.
The main positive point is that Lucas Harrell hung with Darvish for six innings. giving up only one earned run and six hits, keeping the Astros in the game for the most part and had the Astros offense had shown up to a fraction of what it did on Opening Night, this game could have played out a lot differently. The brightest point for Harrell tonight was him getting out of a bases loaded jam, escaping with minimal damage, giving up one one run. Harrell proved he can control his nerves when he gets into a jam, which I feel is one of the most important qualities in a pitcher, and Harrell exhibited that he is the kind of guy that can we can depend on when a situation gets rough. Although the final score indicates a blow out, this game was much closer than the final score dictates. A one run ballgame is never really in anybody’s firm grasp, the Astros hitters came close a few times to breaking up the perfect game bid early on, but they could not get past Darvish’s superb pitching.
Tonight was not necessarily a sign of what is to come, Darvish and the Rangers had a spectacular night in Houston, this isn’t indicative of a bad Astros team, it is more of an outstanding pitcher having an outstanding night. The Astros simply did not have a leg to stand on, striking out left and right, and easily being fooled at the hands of Darvish. Darvish mercilessly brutalized the Astros line-up, making quick work of them every inning. I don’t think the Astros and their fans should be upset about this loss, it is only one game of 162, and one of many against the Rangers. Historically, as Astros fans, we’ve had to deal with worse in recent years. There are plenty of more games for the Astros to avenge this somewhat embarrassing loss, including one tomorrow to close out this series. Besides, we won arguably the most important game between these two clubs on Opening Night, so we should not be too upset about how this season has started.
Chin up, you Houston Astros, things will most certainly look up in the near future.
– Richard Perez