So Far So Good… Astros Take Opener From The Mets
Eleven hits, seven innings from Wandy Rodriguez and two scoreless innings from the bullpen was all the Astros needed to take this game 6-1 from the Mets. On a soggy and cool night at Citi Field, the Astros jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning when Carlos Lee drove in Michael Bourn with a single to center. This was after Bourn stole his eighth base of the season and it was third base at that!
Although Mets starter Jonathan Niese had a 6.88 ERA entering this Tuesday contest. He was able to keep the Astros bats at bay for six innings. He would end the night surrendering only two earned runs on seven hits. The Astros would pile on four runs in the seventh and eighth against a Mets bullpen that trotted five different arms out of their Citi Field bullpen. Two of these five were familiar faces that once donned Brick Red and Black. Lefty Tim Byrdak came on in the eighth to face Michael Bourn. Bourn in turn hit a bloop single to left and loaded the bases for the Astros and sent Byrdak to a quick shower after only throwing two pitches. In the ninth, the Astros saw Taylor Buchholz pitch a scoreless inning. Fans might remember Buchholz as a fresh prospect out of the farm system who spent the 2006 season with the ‘Stros as a starter and reliever, before being packaged in an offseason trade to Colorado for Jason Jennings.
As for the Astros pitching, Wandy Rodriguez looked exactly as I said the Astros would need him to be, in order to come away with a win. He pitches a strong seven innings and only gave up three hits. He would get burned for a solo homer by “Rent-A-Player 2004” Carlos Beltran, now playing right field for the Mets. The switch-hitter sent a pitch into the left-center field bleachers from the right side of the plate after the Mets fans stretched it out for the seventh inning stretch. That was the only run that Rodriguez or any Astros pitcher gave up in tonight’s game. However, Wandy did walk three hitters in his outing tonight. All in all an A+ effort from him and it was good enough to get his first win of 2011. It also lowers his ERA almost two whole points. Coming down from 7.31 to its current 5.48.
As for the Astros bullpen tonight, they were able to get two scoreless frames from lefty Fernando Abad and right hander Jeff Fulchino. That is a far cry from the relief performance Astros fans saw on Sunday to close out the home series with the Padres.
Wednesday night at 6:10 our time, the Astros send Bud Norris to the mound looking to record his second win of the year, opposite the Mets RA Dickey. Norris contributed six scoreless innings to the Astros 1-0 win over the Padres last Thursday night. It’s safe to say that Brad Mills and the Astros would like to see the same number 20 taking the mound at Citi Field.