Houston Astros in Need of Improvement: Week One Progress Report

Andrew GloverCorrespondent IApril 7, 2008

The Houston Astros have played one week of baseball this season. Therefore, here is a recap of the first week and how well different aspects of the team did.

The Houston Astros opened the season with two road series against the San Diego Padres and the Chicago Cubs. Against the Padres, the Astros lost 4-0, lost 2-1, won 9-6 and lost 3-2. Against the Cubs, the Astros won 4-3, lost 9-7 and lost 3-2. The Astros are 2-5, which is sixth in the National League Central.


The offense has scored 25 runs an average of 3.5 runs per game that is 17th in the major leagues. Lance Berkman and Miguel Tejada leads the team with four runs each. As a team, the Astros are batting .218, which is third worst in the Major Leagues. Only the Oakland Athletics and the Colorado Rockies have a worst batting average. Darin Erstad and Tomas Perez lead the team in batting average at .333, but Carlos Lee leads everyday players with a batting average of .276. The Astros have three hitters below .200. The Astros are 15th in hits with 51. Lee leads the team with eight. The Astros are 13thin homeruns with seven. Lee leads with two. Houston is 20thin drawing walks with 18. Michael Bourn leads the team with four. The Astros have not scored enough to win games and help their starting pitching. Overall Grade: D+

Base running               

The Astros are 4th in stolen bases with eight. Bourn leads the team with four. The Astros have only been picked off once. In total bases, the Astros are 12th with 90. Lee leads the team with 17. The Astros are 8thin doubles with 14. Berkman and Lee lead the team with three. As a team, the Astros have two triples, which is 5th in the majors. Tejada and Bourn each have a triple. When the Astros have gotten on base, they can be tough to stop. Overall Grade: B+


The Astros have made good plays defensively this season. Ty Wigginton and Miguel Tejada have made several tough outs. Michael Bourn has made two outfield assists. The Astros are 5th in fewest errors with only two. At .992, the Astros are 6th in the majors in field pct. The Astros defense’s ability to make plays has kept them in the game. Overall Grade: A-

Starting Pitching               

Early in the season, this has not been a strong point for the Astros. Their starting pitchers are yet to produce a win and have a record of 0-3. Roy Oswalt has not been effective as far as he has in previous seasons. After Saturday’s start against the Cubs’ Oswalt (0-2) has allowed 21 hits, nine runs, walked two and struck out six. Oswalt has a 6.00 ERA. The three through five pitchers have been solid so far The Astros starters’ ERA is 4.43 that is 20th in the major leagues. Chris Sampson has the lowest ERA on the team with 2.70. The Astros starting pitching has allowed 20 earned runs, which is fourth worst overall. The Astros have given up 13 walks, which is 14thin the league. The starting pitchers so far have struck out 27 that is 9th in the major leagues. Brandon Backe leads the team with 10 in two starts. Teams are batting .304 against the Astros starting pitching which is 29th overall. Only the Marlins have worse batting average against. Overall, the starting pitching has struggled some of those struggles can be credited to the lack of offense. Overall Grade: D-

Relief Pitching               

For the most part the bullpen has been solid for the Astros except for Saturday’s 9-7 loss to the Cubs. The bullpen is 2-2 so far this season with Jose Valverde and Wesley Wright getting wins. The bullpen’s two wins puts them fourth in the majors. Overall, the Astros bullpen ERA is 4.67, which is 19thoverall. Geoff Geary leads the team with 0.00 in three appearances. The bullpen has given up nine earned runs, which is 13th in the majors.  Oscar Villarreal has allowed runs in his last three appearances and has both of the bullpen’s losses. Valverde has allowed runs in both appearances. Houston is 5th in walks given up by the bullpen, with four. Houston relievers have struck out 13, which is 21st overall. The bullpen has allowed runners on base frequently with teams batting .361, which is the worst in the majors. Overall, the Astros bullpen has kept Houston in games and has allowed them to be put out of games. Overall Grade: C

This Week’s Games

 The Astros have their home opener against the Cardinals in a Monday through Wednesday series. Then the Marlins come to Houston Friday through Sunday.