Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images
The Astros started a three-game series with the Rangers in Arlington tonight. Here's how game one shook out:
Final Score: Astros 2, Rangers 1
Record: 2-3, fourth in the AL West.
Winning pitcher: Brad Peacock (1-0).
Losing pitcher: Adrian Sampson (0-1).
Star of the game: Brad Peacock made a big impact in his return to the starting rotation, throwing about as efficient and effective of a game as he could. Peacock went six and two-thirds innings, giving up just one run on two hits with five strikeouts on 86 pitches in his 2019 debut.
Notes: George Springer wasted no time, starting the game off with a leadoff solo home run to put the Astros up 1-0 before Drew Smyly could record an out. They stranded a few runners in the following innings, setting up the Rangers to tie the game with a solo homer of their own in the bottom of the third. Robinson Chirinos, in his return to Globe Life Park, broke the tie in the top of the sixth, driving in Carlos Correa on an RBI-double to put Houston ahead 2-1. A.J. Hinch pulled Peacock two outs into the seventh, going to Ryan Pressly to get the final out of that inning. Pressly would continue on in the eighth, keeping the 2-1 lead intact for Roberto Osuna who closed things out in the ninth for his first save of the year.
Up next: Game two of this three-game series will get underway at 7:05 PM tomorrow night. Justin Verlander will get his second start of the season for the Astros, while the Rangers will send out newly signed Shelby Miller for his first start with his new team.
With a new season on the horizon, the Astros have high hopes for 2024 after coming just one game shy of being in the World Series for three consecutive seasons.
If Houston wants to get back to the Fall Classic in 2024, they're going to have to rely on their pitching. Owner Jim Crane believes the club has 8 starting pitchers when Luis Garcia and Lance McCullers Jr. return mid-season.
Which allows several of the starters to move to the bullpen and provide even more depth. Add those guys to Bryan Abreu, Ryan Pressly, and Josh Hader and you have a recipe for success.
Check out the video above as ESPN Houston's Jeremy Branham goes through the entire staff and makes his case for the Astros having the best pitching staff in baseball.
You can listen to The Killer B's with Jeremy Branham and Joel Blank every weekday on ESPN 97.5 & 92.5 from 3 pm - 6 pm!