Houston Astros' Progress Report: Week Two

Andrew GloverCorrespondent IApril 15, 2008

The Houston Astros have played two weeks of baseball this season. Here is a recap of week two, detailing the performances of different aspects of the team.


Last Week’s Games

The Houston Astros opened the season at home with series against the St. Louis Cardinals and the Florida Marlins. Against the Cardinals, the Astros won 5-3, lost 5-3, and lost 6-4. Against the Marlins, the Astros lost 10-6, won 5-0, and won 5-1.

The Astros went 3-3 last week, which is a tie for third in the Central. Overall, they are 5-8, which is sixth in the National League Central.



The offense has scored 29 runs, with an average of 4.8 runs per game, which was 18th in the major leagues in week two. Lance Berkman led the team with eight runs last week.

As a team, the Astros are batting .263, which is 14th in the major leagues.

Miguel Tejada led the team in batting average last week at .429. Hunter Pence struggled, batting .158.

The Astros are 20th in hits with 52. Tejada and Berkman lead the team with nine last week.

They are fourth in home runs with nine. Berkman led the Astros last week with three.

Houston is 27th in drawing walks with 16. J.R. Towles led the team last week with four. The Astros have produced more runs this week, which has kept them in games. They need to improve on drawing more walks. Overall Grade: C-


Base Running               

The Astros are 13th in stolen bases with four. Bourn led the team with two last week. The Astros have been picked off four times giving them only 50 percent in stealing. In total bases, the Astros are 10th with 95.

Berkman led the team last week with 22. The Astros are ninth in doubles with 14. Berkman led the team with four last week. Pence got the only triple for the Astros last week, which is 16th in the majors.

The Astros have improved in getting more extra base hits, but are taking too many chances on the bases or have the wrong players trying to steal. Overall Grade: B-



The Astros have continued their strong play defensively. Geoff Blum and Tejada have made several tough outs. Carlos Lee had an outfield assist. The Astros are first in fewest errors with only one.

At .994, the Astros are first in the majors in field pct. The defense’s ability to make plays has kept them in the game and the other team from getting things going. Overall Grade: A+


Starting Pitching               

The starting pitching had its difficulties last week. Roy Oswalt struggled again in his start against the Marlins, giving up eight runs. Chris Sampson was rocked against the Cardinals, giving up three runs in four innings.

Shawn Chacon had some control issues and walked four. Wandy Rodriguez had two strong outings, only allowing a home run in 14-and-one-third innings, and got his first win Sunday.

Brandon Backe pitched five scoreless innings and got his first win. The Astros starters’ ERA is 4.05, which was 13th in the major leagues last week. Backe had the lowest ERA last week on the team with 0.00.

The Astros' starting pitching has allowed 15 earned runs, which was 11th overall last week. The Astros gave up 11 walks, which was eighth in the league last week.

The starting pitchers so far have struck out 24, which was 18th in the major leagues last week. Rodriguez led the team with 13 in two starts. Overall, the starting pitching has been strong and weak at times. Overall Grade: C+


Relief Pitching               

Last week, the bullpen had its struggles. Jose Valverde blew a save, allowing three runs in the ninth. Geoff Geary blew a 3-2 lead in the second game resulting in a loss.

The bullpen could not keep the Cardinals off the board in the last game of the series. The bullpen did well against the Marlins, only allowing two runs in three games. The bullpen was 1-1 last week with Valverde getting the win.

The bullpen’s win puts them seventh in the majors. Overall, the Astros' bullpen ERA last week was 4.35, which was 16th overall. Doug Brocail and Wesley Wright led the team with 0.00.

The bullpen has given up 10 earned runs, which is 15th in the majors.  Oscar Villarreal allowed three earned runs last week. Valverde did not allow any runs in either appearance after giving up three against St. Louis.

Houston was 24th in walks given up by the bullpen last week, with 13. Houston relievers struck out 12 last week, which was 25th last week. Overall, the Astros’ bullpen has helped Houston close out opponents in games and has blown games. Overall Grade: C-


This Week’s Games

The Astros travel to Philadelphia for a series lasting Tuesday through Thursday. They return home to play the defending National League Champion Colorado Rockies Friday through Sunday.


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