For the first time in 51 years, the Houston Astros played a season opener as a member of the American League. Houston hosted the state rival Texas Rangers Sunday night at Minute Maid Park. Astros pitcher (and highest paid member of the club) threw a first pitch strike to Texas lead-off hitter Ian Kinsler.
At 40-years-old, Astros manager Bo Porter, one of the youngest major league managers in recent history made his presence known to Astros fans taking to the field in the bottom half of the first inning when Astros 2nd baseman Jose Altuve was called out at second following a steal attempt. Several replays clearly shown the call was blown by the umpire.
The Astros took a 6-2 lead into the bottom half of the 6th inning when center-fielder Rick Ankiel went deep for the first home-run. The Astros held on for an eventual (and surprising) 8 to 2 win over the heavily favored Rangers.
Astros center fielder Justin Maxwell was the game’s MVP going 2 for 3 with two triples and some great defense in the field.
KUDOS: Kudos to Porter’s Astros who showed some defensive brilliance on a number of plays and solid relief pitching. The Astros demonstrated very good run generation and it was great to see fans pack Minute Maid Park to cheer on a team that most baseball pundits predict will occupy the basement all season. Hope springs eternal for baseball fans (at least during the first week).
BOOS: To whomever decided that Lyle Lovett should sing the National Anthem and God Bless America accompanied only by a violin. We are still trying to figure out what Julia Roberts ever saw in him!
Categories: American League Happenings