4th and a Mile with Paul Muth

Baseball will be back. But not today.

2019 Opening Day. Photo by Paul Muth.

Today crept up on me.

As with everyone else, a lot of priorities have changed. When I sat down to punch through my weekly writers block, it dawned on me.

Today was supposed to be Opening Day.

After what seemed like the longest off-season in the history of baseball, I'm confident in assuming that most Astros fans were ready to be done with their Queen Cersei-esque walk of shame winter and get back to actual pitches and swings.

Today was supposed to be a fresh start. It's the one day where everyone's team still has a shot to go all the way. It's the day you call in from work, and the day kids play hooky from school.

The return of baseball for me is an annual return to balance. It's my springtime Christmas. It's a resumption of normalcy. A lot of people complain about the length of a baseball season. I am certainly not among them.

But today the gates will remain closed. The lights will stay off. The banners will remain veiled, and the wait will continue.

And it absolutely should. The heartbreaking part of all of this is that it is absolutely necessary. It's ironic how a situation can highlight how much sports are engrained into our culture, while simultaneously showing us how trivial sports can be in the bigger picture.

Baseball will be back. And when it is, we'll welcome it warmly. But in order to ensure that, we all have to be responsible, even if it's uncomfortable.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

Houston is falling down the rankings

Tigers pound Odorizzi, Astros with homers as Houston drops fourth in a row

The Astros have not looked great in their last four games. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

After watching their hot start of 6-1 cool down to a 6-4 record with three straight losses, the Astros returned to Minute Maid Park on Tuesday night, looking to do a better job at home against a beatable Tigers team.

Recent games' woes would continue, though, with Houston's pitching getting blasted by the opposing offense and their own bats primarily quiet.

Final Score: Tigers 8, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 6-5, tied for second in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Matthew Boyd (2-1)

Losing Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (0-1)

Astros score first, then Tigers unload on Odorizzi

Houston looked to have something brewing in the bottom of the second, with three singles in the first four batters of the inning, the third an RBI-single by Myles Straw to put the Astros in front 1-0. However, Matthew Boyd would limit the damage, getting back-to-back strikeouts to end the threat.

After two easy innings for Jake Odorizzi in his regular-season debut for his new team, he would allow a game-tying solo homer to Akil Baddoo, his fourth of the year, in the top of the third. Detroit struck again in the top of the fourth, getting a leadoff double to set up a two-run go-ahead home run to jump ahead 3-1.

They didn't stop there, getting another two-run bomb later in the same inning; a frame that would take Odorizzi 31 pitches to get only one out before Houston would bring in Bryan Abreu to get the last two outs. Odorizzi's final line in his debut: 3.1 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 3 HR, 0 BB, 4 K, 80 P.


Detroit continues home run parade, Houston loses fourth in a row

Abreu would hope to do what Luis Garcia did the night before, eat up as many innings as possible after a poor outing from Houston's starter. The Tigers would get yet another two-run homer, though, in the top of the fifth, extending their lead to 7-1, with all seven runs coming over a three-inning span. For good measure, they'd knock one more out with two outs in the top of the ninth, making it 8-1.

As far as Houston at the plate, other than their string of hits to bring in a run earlier in the second, they were getting nothing done against Boyd, who would go six and two-thirds innings. Detroit's bullpen would finish things off, despite an all-too-late sac fly by the Astros in the bottom of the ninth, with Houston dropping their fourth-straight game and continuing to lose ground in the division.

Up Next: The finale of this three-game set with Detroit will be an hour earlier on Wednesday, getting underway at 6:10 PM Central. Lance McCullers Jr. (1-0, 1.80 ERA) will try to maintain his perfect record and improve upon his two five-inning one-run starts for the Astros, going opposite of Michael Fulmer (0-0, 2.57 ERA) for the Tigers.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome