Results tagged ‘ Spring Training recap ’

Game 10: Relief pitchers shut down Braves

The facts: Astros starter Collin McHugh gave up five runs in 2 1/3 innings as the Braves held off the Astros, 6-5, on Saturday night at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (boxscore)

Analysis:  Take away McHugh’s performance and this was a good night for the Astros. The rest of the pitching staff combined to hold the Braves to one hit — a solo homer off Tony Sipp — over the final 5 2/3 innings, with James Hoyt (two-thirds of an inning), Luke Gregerson (one inning), Chad Qualls (one inning), Michael Feliz (one inning) and Kevin Chapman (one inning) working efficiently.

“I thought Kevin Chapman was fantastic coming in and taking some things he was working on with [pitching coach Brent Strom] in the bullpen into the game,” manager A.J. Hinch said. “Gregerson looked good, Qualls looked really sharp. Tony Sipp gave up the solo homer, but was fine. Michael Feliz was bringing heat tonight. He’s got a good arm. For a young kid who hasn’t got to pitch a ton this spring, it’s good to see him let it loose.”

McHugh also hit a batter, threw a wild pitch, made a throwing error on a pick-off attempt and allowed six hits in his outing. He said he’s still trying to get the feel for his curveball.

“We did a couple of good things, but overall obviously not super pleased with the way it turned out,” McHugh said.  “It’s Spring Training so people are going to say, ‘You’re here to work on things, you’re here to get better or ready for the season to start,’ which is true. Every time I get on the mound, I’m ready to fight and I’m ready to battle. Nobody likes results like this today.”

Said Hinch:”He pitched in a lot of duress tonight, which was a little taxing for him. He had a tough time getting into counts, had a tough time putting hitters away, so he worked through a little bit. As I told him when I took him out of the game, it was a volume day when he got his pitches up past 60 and pitched in duress. That’s all you can take away from this one.”

Offensively, the Astros had 11 hits, with Robbie Grossman (2-for-3) staying hot. Nine other players had one hit, including a triple by Jonathan Villar and homers by Colby Rasmus — his first of the spring — and Minor League Player of the Year Brett Phillips.

Player of the game: RHP Michael Feliz struck out two of the three batters he faced in relief.

Notable: IF Jonathan Villar, who started at third base, left the game after he was hit above the right knee with a pitch, but Hinch said he was fine.

Quotable:

“I’m floating on a cloud right now. It was a great feeling, for sure,” Astros’ Minor League Player of the Year Brett Phillips on his ninth-inning homer Saturday.

“I kind of got singled to death out there, which sometimes is worse because it’s a carousel on the bases,”Collin McHugh on his outing against the Braves

Up next: Asher Wojciechowski, who’s competing for the final spot in the rotation, makes his first start of the Grapefruit League season when the Astros face the Nationals at 12:05 p.m. CT Sunday at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee. Wojciechowski, who missed all of spring camp last year with a strained lat and missed a month later in the season with a strained forearm flexor, is finally healthy. He appeared in 15 games (14 starts) at Oklahoma City and was 4-4 with a 4.74 ERA, including 3-1 with a 3.11 ERA in his final six starts.

Injury report: RHP Mark Appel (mild right forearm strain) will start Monday’s split-squad game in Viera against the Nationals. … RHP Brad Peacock (hip surgery) threw his second live bullpen session Saturday. … RHP Vincent Velasquez (strained right lat) began his throwing program and will begin the day on the DL.

Pictures of the day can be found at my Instagram page: https://instagram.com/brianmctaggartmlb/

Links of the day:

— Story and video: Lowrie looking forward to being part of Astros’ bright future.

Peacock throws a second round of live batting practice.

Hinch effusive for his praise of Deduno.

Former Astros GM Al Rosen passes away.

Called over from Minor League camp, Brett Phillips seizes moment.

Tweet of the day

Game 7: Altuve, Marisnick lead charge on offense

The facts: Gregorio Petit’s single to right field in the bottom of the 10th inning scored Joe Sclafani from third base with the winning run and lifted the Astros to a 4-3 victory over Brad Ausmus’ Tigers at Osceola County Stadium (boxscore).

Analysis: Jose Altuve is probably ready for the season. He went 3-for-3 on Thursday, including a double and an RBI single, and he stole a base. He and Jake Marisnick (2-for-2) accounted for half of the Astros’ 10 hits. Marisnick and Altuve are both hitting .417 after one week of spring games.

On the mound, Dan Straily turned up the intensity a notch and worked three innings, allowing three hits and one run.

“We’ve challenged him to throw strike one and pitch ahead,” manager A.J. Hinch said. “He struggled with that in the third inning, but for the most part he’s mixing his pitches. When he’s right, he’s getting ahead of hitters and expanding with his secondary pitches. I know he felt better today. He told me that. He was a little more synched up with his delivery and his pitches. That’s progress.”

Pat Neshek, who two days ago thought he might have to wear a protective boot on his right foot, threw a scoreless inning, and Joe Thatcher’s strong spring continued when he retired all four batters he faced, even a few lefties, as Hinch tried to use him in a spot that simulated a regular season situation for the lefty.

Will Harris also threw a scoreless inning to keep his scorecard clean, but Alex White allowed three hits and two runs and walked two batters in 1 2/3 innings.

Player of the game: 2B Jose Altuve (3-for-3, double, RBI).

Notable: Hinch said RHP Asher Wojciechowski will start Sunday’s game against the Nationals. “He’s earned a longer look,” he said. It’s Brett Oberholtzer’s day to pitch, and he’ll work in a Minor League game.

Quotable:

“I can sort of tear up like a proud parent when we work on it for 10 straight days and we get one in the game,” — manager A.J. Hinch on RHP Alex White picking off a runner at second base.

“When I first got called up in 2010, Brandon Lyon called me over and asked where I went to school and I told him [Stanford], and he said, ‘Alright, you’re our new player rep.’ I didn’t even know what that meant. I had to find out later what he was even talking about. I welcomed it with open arms,” — catcher Jason Castro on his role as team representative to the MLBPA.

Up next: Right-hander Scott Feldman, who started on Opening Day for the Astros last year, will make his second start of the spring when the Astros travel to Viera, Fla., to face the Nationals at Space Coast Stadium at 12:05 p.m. CT Friday. Feldman will be followed by Roberto Hernandez, a candidate for the fifth spot in the rotation who’s scheduled to throw three innings. Luke Gregerson, Josh Fields and Jake Buchanan are also scheduled to throw.

Injury report: RHP Mark Appel (mild right forearm strain) could return to the mound by the weekend. … OF Preston Tucker (bruised right hand) will take batting practice on the field Friday and could return to action Saturday. … RHP Brad Peacock (hip surgery) has progressed to throwing live bullpens. … RHP Vincent Velasquez (strained right lat) began his throwing program and will begin the day on the DL.

Pictures of the day can be found at my Instagram page: https://instagram.com/brianmctaggartmlb/

Links of the day:

Hinch envisions Valbuena getting plenty of playing time.

Castro had a front-row seat to Will Ferrell’s previous baseball foray.

Straily incorporates tweaked curveball into game plan.

Velasquez starts throwing program.

MLBPA chief Tony Clark addresses Astros.

Day 12: Quick workout in advance of game action

The Astros were on the field for less than two hours Wednesday as manager A.J. Hinch put the team through a quick workout prior to the start of Grapefruit League action on Thursday against the Phillies.

“It was good,” Hinch said. “We did a quick shift drill and then jumped right into BP. We’ve been leaning on these guys pretty hard, so the volume of exercise need to go down a little bit. Give them a long afternoon off and guys can do whatever they need to do. We threw a lot and ran a lot yesterday. It was a good pre-workout to our first game.”

The team will continue to work out in the mornings throughout the spring on game days. On days when the Astros are playing road games in Lakeland (Tigers), Viera (Nationals) and Lake Buena Vista, the Astros will work out at Osceola County Stadium in the morning before traveling for the games.

Quote of the day

“I think we’ve practiced enough. It’s time for us to see where we’re at in games and get a little bit of gauge against competition in game speed,”– A.J. Hinch on the start of Grapefruit League play.

Injury report: RHP Brad Peacock (hip surgery) threw in the bullpen again Tuesday as he progresses towards a live bullpen session. … RHP Vincent Velasquez (strained right lat) still isn’t able to throw off the mound.

The day in photos can be found on my new Instagram page: https://instagram.com/brianmctaggartmlb/

Links:

Dominguez embraces chance to learn first base.

Hernandez obtains visa, will report to camp Friday.

Berkman to be inducted into College Baseball Hall of Fame.

Hinch plans to ease Astros veterans into game action.

Tweet of the day

 

Game 10: Late rally snaps losing skid

The fact:  The Astros rallied for two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to come from behind and beat the Blue Jays, 4-3, on Sunday afternoon at Osceola County Stadium (boxscore).

What we learned: LHP Rudy Owens knows he’s getting a great opportunity to impress the staff by getting to start two games so far in Grapefruit League play, and he made the most of it Sunday by going three innings and allowing one hit and no runs while striking out two against the Jays. He was roughed up in his previous outing Tuesday.

“I knew today was a big day for me,” he said. “I needed to show up and I did. I’m happy that they’re letting me start games. This is my first year actually being able to throw in a game to start and it feels pretty good. It’s comfortable. I’m not used to throwing out of the bullpen. Being able to start the game feels normal. I like it.”

Player of the game: C Jason Castro. After scuffling at the plate to start the spring, Castro went 2-for-3 on Sunday and belted his first home run of the spring, a two-run shot.

What went wrong: RHP Anthony Bass, who was in the mid-90s with his fastball and upper 80s with his slider, struggled in his one inning of work by allowing four hits and two runs. … LHP Raul Valdes didn’t pitch well, giving up two hits and a run in one inning. … 1B Jonathan Singleton went 0-for-3 to fall to 0-for-15 for the season, and RF George Springer went 0-for-3 to fall to 1-for-13 (.077).

Notable: DH Chris Carter, who crushed a pair of balls on Saturday, including his first home run, kept it up Sunday by going 2-for-3 with no strikeouts. … IF Marwin Gonzalez and C Carlos Perez had RBI hits in the eighth inning. … LHP Kevin Chapman added to his fine spring with a one-inning outing. RHP Matt Albers and RHP Peter Moylan also threw an inning each.

Quotable: “I felt like we played a complete game today. Good pitching, good defense, timely hitting. Marwin with the big double late in the game, [and] I felt like the pitchers did a good job with the tempo and attacking the strike zone. It was good to see a clean game.”— Astros manager Bo Porter.

Up next: The rotation turns over with right-hander Lucas Harrell getting the start when the Astros return to Viera, Fla., to play the Nationals at 5:05 p.m. CT at Space Coast Stadium. Harrell has pitched five innings in two starts, allowing four hits and one run. Following him to the mound will be Mike Foltynewicz, Peter Moylan, Josh Fields and Josh Zeid.

Injuries: RHP Mark Appel (recovering from appendectomy), RHP Asher Wojciechowski (lat strain), RHP Jesse Crain (biceps tendon surgery recovery).

Links of the day:

Feature: Robbie Grossman changed his swing and proved his worth

Porter goes 0-for-2 on replay challenges

Astros make first roster cuts of spring

Porter pleased with potential of top three in order

Struggling Singleton is 0-for-15 at the plate

Tweets of the day:

Game 3: Solid day on mound for starting candidates

What happened: The Astros beat the Braves, 7-4, on Sunday in their first home game of the Grapefruit League season at Osceola County Stadium (boxscore).

What we learned: The work LHP Brett Oberholtzer has been doing with his curveball is giving him confidence to be a solid pitch in his repertoire, instead of just a third pitch. He wants to use it as a weapon to left-handers, but his fastball command will also set everything up. He threw two innings in relief Sunday and gave up three hits and one run.

What we learned II: RHP Jarred Cosart’s adjustments are playing off as well. Cosart breezed through two scorless innings against the Braves, and said holding his hands lower prior to his windup has allowed him to get more angle on some of his pitches. It’s a subtle move, but one that could pay huge dividends.

What else: The Astros had nine hits, four of which went for extra bases. RF Marc Krauss and 1B Chris Carter doubled, and 3B Matt Dominguez and 2B Ronald Torreyes had triples. … C Carlos Corporan drove in a run with a hit and a sacrifice fly. … RHP Anthony Bass continues to impress, throwing another scoreless inning. … The Astros drew two walks with the bases loaded in the eighth inning — RF L.J. Hoes and Torreyes. … CF Dexter Fowler had an outfield assist in the fifth by getting Jordan Schafer trying to stretch a double into a triple. … RHP Jerome Williams threw two scoreless innings.

“I was really pleased with the tempo of the game,” manager Bo Porter said. “I felt like guys went out there today and threw strikes and kept the defense on their toes.”

What went wrong: The Astros were 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position. … RHP Chad Qualls got on the mound for the first time and gave up two hits and three runs in one inning.

What they said: “The other guys think, ‘I’m not going to walk this guy. I’m going to throw him a good fastball and hopefully he’ll hit it to somebody,’ but the little man can hit,” Astros manager Bo Porter on 5-foot-9 infielder Ronald Torreyes.

What’s next: Left-hander Dallas Keuchel makes his first start of the spring on Monday afternoon when the Astros travel to Jupiter, Fla., to face the Miami Marlins at 12:05 p.m. CT. Keuchel is battling for a rotation spot, having gone 6-10 with a 5.15 ERA in 31 games (22 starts) last year.

Who’s injured: RHP Mark Appel (recovering from appendectomy), RHP Asher Wojciechowski (lat strain), RHP Jesse Crain (calf strain/biceps tendon surgery recovery), OF Adron Chambers (hamstring strain), RHP Jorge De Leon (quad strain), LHP Raul Valdes (left knee surgery recovery).

Links of the day:

Tweet of the day:

The day in photos

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Cesar Izturis and Jose Altuve play catch

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Chris Carter

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Bo Porter

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Justin Upton and Dexter Fowler

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Fredi Gonzalez, Bo Porter and Justin Upton

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Jonathan Singleton

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