Results tagged ‘ Tweet of the day ’

Game 10: Springer goes deep twice in tie with Nats

The facts: The Astros rallied for two runs in the ninth inning to tie the Nationals, 6-6, on Friday afternoon at Space Coast Stadium in Viera, Fla. (boxscore).

Analysis: The Astros got the chance to practice their base running aplenty Friday by pounding out 14 hits, drawing three walks and watching the Nationals commit three errors. Manager A.J. Hinch was pleased with the aggressiveness on the bases. A good example came in the second when Jed Lowrie walked and went from first to third on a single by Matt Dominguez. Lowrie wound up caught in a rundown between third and home on a Marwin Gonzalez fielder’s choice, but scored when the Nats dropped two throws.

Right fielder George Springer went 2-for-3 with his first two homers of the spring, and third baseman Luis Valbuena continued his strong showing at the plate by doing 2-for-3 with a walk. He’s batting .529 this spring.

Astros starter Scott Feldman retired eight of the first nine batters he faced and was one strike away from pitching a 1-2-3 third inning when he gave up a two-out single to Tony Gwynn Jr. That was the start of an inning where four consecutive batters reached with two outs, with Washington scoring three times on Feldman, who threw 51

“I think that’s just part of getting stretched out here in spring,” Feldman said. “My arm feels pretty good. Hopefully, it’s feeling this good when the season starts.”

Hinch said he was glad to see Feldman and Roberto Hernandez, who followed Feldman and allowed five hits and two runs in three inning, be able to work with some runners on base.

“These guys, it’s good for them to pitch under a little duress and get their adrenaline going and get them more towards season-type outings,” he said.

Darin Downs and Jake Buchanan each pitched one scoreless innings, and Josh Fields was tagged for a solo homer in his one inning of work.

Player of the game: Who else? George Springer, 2-for-3 with two homers.

Notable: Eight of the nine outs recorded by Feldman came on ground outs.


“He can hit the ball out of any ballpark in any location, so he doesn’t have to try to generate or over swing,”— manager A.J. Hinch on George Springer’s two homers.

“I’m going to be the same guy. If he wants me to hit one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight nine, that’s fine,”Springer on his spot in lineup.

Up next: Right-hander Collin McHugh makes his third start of the spring after two scoreless outings when the Astros travel to Lake Buena Vista, Fla., to meet the Braves at 5:05 p.m. CT on Saturday. McHugh led all Major League rookies with a 2.73 ERA lsat year and was named AL Rookie of the Month to cap a breakout season. Lefties Tony Sipp and Kevin Chapman and right-hander Chad Qualls are among those also scheduled to pitch.

Injury report: RHP Mark Appel (mild right forearm strain) will start Monday’s split-squad game in Viera against the Natioanls. … OF Preston Tucker (bruised right hand) hit on the field Friday and could return to game action on Saturday. … RHP Brad Peacock (hip surgery) will throw 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:

Links of the day:

Carter aiming to carry momentum into season.

MLB Pipeline checks in from Astros camp.

Astros have some options when it comes to lefties.

Bidding for rotation spot, Wojciechowski to start Sunday.

Story and video: Santana, Cruz, Flores sent out of camp.

Tweet of the day

Game 6: Stassi’s blast overcomes Cardinals

The facts: Astros catcher Max Stassi blasted a two-run homer off Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal in the seventh inning that snapped a tie and sent the Astros to a 7-6 win on Tuesday afternoon at Osceola County Stadium (boxscore).

Analysis: The Astros’ bats showed some life with 10 hits, including five extra-base hits (four doubles). Luis Valbuena, in the lineup at DH, went 2-for-3 with an RBI double, and Jed Lowrie doubled in each of his first two at-bats. Colby Rasmus had a two-run double in the fourth inning off a left-handed pitcher, which manager A.J. Hinch thought was encouraging.

On the mound, Brett Oberholtzer sailed through two innings before running into some traffic in the third and giving up a pair of runs, but everyone was happy with his day.

“I had to work a little bit, but for the most part I was pretty efficient,” Oberholtzer said. “I felt better today than I did my first start, which is expected of myself. I think the biggest thing I got out of today’s outing is make a better pitch 0-2, 1-2 when I’m ahead put guys away. I threw strikes which is something you always want to do in Spring Training. But like I said, I think I have to do a better job next outing finishing guys off, or at least throwing some balls there to change the thought process for them.”

HInch was asked what Oberholtzer needed to do to lock down the fourth spot in the rotation.

“I think he just needs to continue to pitch,” he said. “There were some good things that happened today, especially early. He ran into a little bit of trouble and gave up some hits. He needs to focus on continuing to throw strike one, work with a good tempo. I trust Obie with the ball every five days. That’s probably all he needs to know at this point.”

Chad Qualls worked a scoreless innings, and Josh Fields and Luke Gregerson each gave up one run, with Fields surrendering a homer to Jacob Wilson. Sam Deduno got the win in relief by allowing three hits and one run while striking out three in three innings.

“I thought Deduno continued to pitch well,” Hinch said. “He had a lot of movement on his pitches, really breezed through his outings. We had a couple of key hits. It’s good to see Lowrie have a couple of key hits. Altuve finished with a positive note with his hit. Colby Rasmus with runners in scoring position against a lefty, that’s a good sign.”

Player of the game: C Max Stassi.

“It’s something I got in the tank,” he said of his power. “I’ve always kind of had it like that, you know? I don’t really try to elevate and hit the ball in the air, that direction. It’s something that it just comes out and, you know, trying to hit the ball hard. That’s it.”

Notable: Jon Singleton has struck out only three times in 14 at-bats so far this spring.


“That’s big-boy territory. It’s hard to rag a guy when he goes dead-center off a guy with a pretty good resume. That’s a big hit,” — manager A.J. Hinch on catcher Max Stassi’s homer off Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal.

Up next: The Astros aren’t scheduled to play in Grapefruit League action on Wednesday, but they have scheduled a “B” game against the Braves for 9 a.m. CT at Osceola County Stadium. Dallas Keuchel will pitch three innings for the Astros. Jonathan Villar, an infielder, is also scheduled to get a look in the outfield during the game. Houston returns to Grapefruit League play Thursday against the Tigers when Dan Straily takes the mound in Kissimmee..

Injury report: RHP Mark Appel (mild right forearm strain) says he’s ready to pitch after being scratched from his outing Monday, but the Astros want him to pitch in the bullpen first. … OF Preston Tucker (bruised right hand) is day to day after getting hit by a pitch and could return to action Thursday. … RHP Brad Peacock (hip surgery) will throw a live bullpen session on Wednesday. … RHP Vincent Velasquez (strained right lat) still isn’t able to throw off the mound.

Pictures of the day can be found at my Instagram page:

Links of the day:

Bagwell lending a hand at Astros camp.

Neshek sidelined with soreness in right foot.

Appel ready to go after bout with tight forearm.

Astros looking to stay active on the base paths.

Tweet of the day

Game 4: Hitless in Kissimmee

The facts: Nine Braves pitchers held the split-squad Astros without a hit for 10 innings in a 2-2 tie on Sunday afternoon at Osceola County Stadium (boxscore).

Meanwhile, in Lakeland, Fla., the other split-squad team racked 20 hits in a 14-9 win over the Tigers (boxscore), but this space will focus on the game in Kissimmee.

Analysis: The Astros went hitless 29 at-bats against the Braves, but did draw nine walks and had the bases loaded at one point, so they had opportunities. Jose Altuve played his longest game of the season and went 0-for-3, as did Jason Castro. Other regulars, Colby Rasmus, Jed Lowrie and Chris Carter, went 0-for-2.

Scott Feldman threw two strong innings in his first game of the season. Michael Feliz and James Hoyt, two players who likely won’t make the club, each looked sharp in two scoreless innings. Meanwhile, newcomer Pat Neshek made his debut with the Astros and pitched out of a bases-loaded jam.

“They put me to work there,” Neshek said. “You had five months off and that’s my first appearance, and you’re hoping just to throw the ball over the plate. … I was very pleased. I felt awesome out there. These early ones, you just want to hope your control is there and you can hit some of your shots and then grow from that. I was more than thrilled with my outing.”

Players of the game: Michael Feliz and James Hoyt each threw two scoreless innings.

Notable: Every Astros pitcher walked at least one batter with the exception of James Hoyt.


“I don’t think anybody would have wanted to wait three minutes to replay that,” — Astros RHP Pat Neshek on allowing an infield hit on a close play.

“I think the thing that matters to me is starting a game in the postseason. I think that would be awesome, but as far as Opening Day, I think we’ve got a bunch of guys that had good years last year and that’s really just in the hands of A.J. and the stuff,”— Astros RHP Scott Feldman when asked about starting on Opening Day again.

Up next: Roberto Hernandez, who reported to camp only late last week after visa issues delayed travel from his native Dominican Republic, will make his first appearance for the club when he comes on in relief in Monday’s 12:05 p.m. CT game against the Blue Jays in Dunedin, Fla. Hernandez is vying for a spot in the Astros’ rotation. Collin McHugh wills start the game and is scheduled to pitch three innings.

Injury report: OF Preston Tucker (bruised right hand) is day to day after getting hit by a pitch. … RHP Brad Peacock (hip surgery) is throwing routinely in the bullpen with the target of facing live hitters in the March 10-12 window. … RHP Vincent Velasquez (strained right lat) still isn’t able to throw off the mound.

Pictures of the day can be found at my Instagram page:

Links of the day:

Feldman working on being quicker to the plate, mixing in a changeup.

Astros pick for utility player going down to the wire.

Tucker day to day with hand soreness.

On-base machine Fontana focused on health.

Game 3: Lack of execution costs Astros sweep

The result: Coming off a pair of rousing victories over the Yankees to begin the season, the Astros squandered early scoring chances, grounding into four double plays in the first five innings, and flubbed in the field to drop a 4-2 decision in the series finale at Minute Maid Park (story and boxscore).

The analysis: The Astros nearly walked out of Minute Maid Park with a sweep of the Yankees, though winning two of three games isn’t bad. Their biggest problem in the series finale was executing in the clutch. They grounded into four double plays in the first five innings, and then the Yankees bullpen absolutely shut them down.

“We had our chances, especially early,” Astros manager Bo Porter said. “We had base runners everywhere. We were probably one big hit away from kind of getting some separation early in the game, but give the New York Yankees credit. They fought and found a way to get out of here with a win.”

The Astros, who have yet to commit an error this season, had a huge flub defensively in the seventh when a two-out pop up between home plate and the pitcher’s mound dropped, allowing Ichiro Suzuki to score from second to make it 4-2. Catcher Carlos Corporan was under the ball before looking towards pitcher Brad Peacock and third baseman Matt Dominguez to his left as the ball fell.

“I went after it because I didn’t want that thing to fall on the ground,” Corporan said. “I saw the pitcher and saw Matty and I kind of was in the middle of everybody. I should have caught it and took charge of the ball. Things happen.”

Starting pitcher Brett Oberholtzer didn’t pitch poorly, coming within an out of a quality start. He’s still working on a curveball, which he threw with confidence. Also, reliever Brad Peacock did a nice job picking up the final 3 1/3 innings, allowing two hits and one run on the dropped pop up.

Player of the game: CF Dexter Fowler once again. He went 2-for-4 for the third consecutive game, this time with two singles a run scored and an RBI. he’s the first Astros player with at least two hits in his first three games in an Astros uniform since Ken Caminiti from July 16-18, 1987 as a rookie.

Stat of the game: Oberholtzer has pitched at least five innings in each of his 11 Major League career starts. That streak ranks second in franchise history behind Mark Lemongello, who went at least five innings in each of his first 14 career starts with the Astros (Sept. 14, 1976-May 29, 1977).

Quote of the day: “We could have communicated better. To give them a free out like that later in the game, it was tough. Like I said, you just learn from it and move forward and chalk it up to a learning experience,” Astros first baseman Marc Krauss on the two-out pop up that dropped to the ground in the seventh inning, costing the Astros a run.

Other stuff: Astros starter have posted a 1.56 ERA through the season’s first three games.


Jason Castro is day to day with a bruised foot

Replay used to check count in Astros-Yanks

Crain heading to Florida to continue rehab work

Porter happy with Astros approach at the plate

Astros have top pool for international signings

Tweets of the day:



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