After three straight games that were forfeited by a bullpen with a penchant for blown saves, very little was expected from the Houston Astros in their Sunday afternoon battle with the Minnesota Twins.
A loss is a loss, but in the Astros’ case, it’s always important to look at how they lost. In this case, it wasn’t the bullpen, and for that, Astros nation can breathe a sigh of relief. In this case, they were just simply out-dueled.
Brad Peacock earned himself another call-up after pitching lights-out for Triple-A Oklahoma City. He pitched very effectively, giving up three earned runs in seven innings for a quality start, while racking up 10 strikeouts. From there, the bullpen only had one inning to pitch, and the duo of Josh Fields and Wesley Right combined to make that one inning a scoreless affair.
Peacock is another product of the Jed Lowrie trade, and if Chris Carter continues to sputter and whiff, it’s up to Peacock to prove that the trade with the Oakland Athletics was worth it. He started the season in the Astros rotation, going 1-3 with a 7.00-plus ERA before being moved to the bullpen and eventually down to Triple-A, where he pitched outstandingly.
Astros manager Bo Porter continues to try new things, as he switched Robbie Grossman to the leadoff spot following recent call-up Jonathan Villar hitting his first major league slump.
Grossman has been stellar since returning to the Astros, going 11-23. Any time an Astros prospect comes to the major league level and produces quality numbers, it should feel like a major victory for the franchise, as it is a sign of things to come.
Even though the Astros keep losing, it’s crucial to maintain a positive outlook and find the silver lining in a season that seems so bleak.