Houston Astros (1-2) at Milwaukee Brewers (1-2)
The Astros opened their season in New York against the Yankees. Monday’s game was rained out, but scheduled off days allowed them to make it up. The Astros spoiled the Yankees’ Opening Day with a 5-3 win. The Yankee bats came alive in the second game as the Astros went down 16-6. The Astros had a 5-2 lead in the top of the fourth in the finale, but the Yankees scored 6 unanswered runs on their way to an 8-5 win.
Carlos Correa has started the season on a hot streak. Last season’s AL Rookie of the Year is hitting .385 (5 for 13) with 3 home runs, 4 RBI, 4 runs scored, and 2 stolen bases.
This game features the return of fan favorite Carlos Gomez. Gomez was traded, along with Mike Fiers, for a stable of prospects that included the Brewers starting right fielder Domingo Santana. Gomez has gotten off to a slow start, getting 2 hit in his first 12 at bats for a .167 average.
The Brewers had a tough task to start the season, facing the Giants starting rotation. They faced Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, and Jeff Samardzija in their first three games. The Brewers got trounced on Opening Day 12-3, but the pitching settled down in the next two games. Jimmy Nelson kept the Giants to just two runs, but the Brewers only managed to score one. The Brewers managed to get the win in the series finale 4-3.
The Brewers are following the model of the Astros, who went from perennial 100-loss seasons to making the playoffs last season. To that end, the Brewers have three former Astros in their starting lineup in Santana, Jonathan Villar, and Chris Carter. They also have David Stearns as their GM, who used to be in the Astros front office.
Scooter Gennett is off to a hot start, hitting .400 so far. He hit a home run off of Bumgarner on Opening Day, his first Major League home run off of a left hander. He has also worked 3 walks and scored 2 runs. Ryan Braun continued the hot hitting that he was doing in Spring Training by hitting .333 in the opening series.
The pitching got off to a rough start, with Wily Peralta giving up 5 runs, 4 earned, in 4 innings. Carlos Torres gave up 2 runs in an inning, then Ariel Pena gave up 5 runs, all with 2 outs, on back-to-back-to-back home runs. After Opening Day, the pitching settled down. Nelson pitched 7.1 innings and only gave up 2 runs in the second game, and Taylor Jungmann gave up 2 runs, 1 earned, in 5 innings. Jeremy Jeffress pitched two scoreless innings, including his first save as a Brewer.
The big story of the season so far is the Brewer defense. Aaron Hill has made a few excellent plays, including doubling off Buster Posey as he tried to score on a popup. Villar has made some stellar plays at shortstop as well. Braun threw out a runner trying to stretch a single into a double and Lucroy has thrown out 2 of 4 potential base stealers.
Astros pitchers are a step down from what the Brewers faced in their opening series. There is a good chance that they will face Dallas Keuchel in the finale, but Feldman and Fister are not of the same caliber as Bumgarner, Cueto, and Samardzija. It is quite possible that the Brewers will score more than one run in an inning during this series.
The Brewers will take two of the three games and get their first series win of the season.