Over the past five games, the Houston Astros starting pitchers have four quality starts, and the other was a great effort from Dallas Keuchel to help keep his team in the game, and eventually got the win. Honestly, this is the best stretch of baseball I’ve seen the Astros play. Yes, the blowouts of the Mariners were fun, but the pitching was bad. I’m not saying it is great, it still needs a lot of work, but the pitchers have been improving, and are looking much better now. However, the Astros are going up against a team that has really had their number this season, the Oakland Athletics.
When you’re in the position that the Astros are in, a lot of teams have your number, but the A’s have really destroyed the Astros in the six games that they’ve played so far this season. In six games, the A’s have outscored the Astros by 26 runs, and that leads to run differential of 45-19 in favor of the A’s. One thing that you can notice from that is the fact that the A’s starting pitchers have obviously outpitched the Astros, and obviously the bullpen played a role in that too.
In this upcoming series, the Astros are going to need strong starting pitching to have any chance.
If I remember correctly, the last time Erik Bedard faced off against the A’s, he couldn’t get out of the first inning. Tonight, Bedard takes the mound and needs another good start to keep his rotation spot. Since being placed in the bullpen, and then placed back into the starting rotation, Bedard has been pitching much better, and another good start tonight could go a long ways for his confidence, and he may be able to pick up that first win of the year. He is 0-2 on the season.
In fact, the Astros starting pitchers will need to have a week much like the week that just passed. If they do that, the Astros have a good chance to pick up at least one game against the A’s. One thing I know, don’t let the Astros have a lead in the ninth because then it is Jose Veras time.
Earlier today, the Oakland Athletics claimed Nate Freiman from the Houston Astros. Freiman is slugging six foot eight inch first baseman. He has never been above Double A, but he he can hit. There wasn’t much room for him on the Astros’ roster with the way Brandon Laird, Rick Ankiel, and Brandon Barnes have played so far this spring. Once the Astros traded for Chris Carter, Freiman’s time was numbered. The best case scenario would have been for the Astros to trade a player to San Diego so they could have kept him, but it just didn’t work out. General Manager Jeff Luhnow said they tried to do so, but it never really got going.