Archive for April, 2010|Monthly archive page

The World Cup, less than insightful.

In Random Rants on April 28, 2010 at 2:24 pm

The 2010 World Cup is only a couple of months away and fans from every nation will been seen all over your neighborhood. With a total of eight groups, each one has its powerhouse team all the way to the underdog. I am going to admit, I do not much watch soccer and I am just a fan of stats when it comes down to my predictions. I will probably end up being way wrong but that is the fun of creating brackets to judge your knowledge on that sport.

This being said, the toughest group to my eye would be Group A. This loaded group compromises the host country South Africa, France, Uruguay and Mexico. Outside of the host country, the rest of the teams rank in the top 20 according FIFA rankings with France being in the top ten. Group D seems to be the most balanced group with Germany leading the pack. It should be pretty good group to follow to see who may be the 1 and 2 coming out. Maybe the easiest group to be in for a team hoping to advance would be F. Italy who is currently ranked number 3 should walk out unscathed. Obviously the team will be watch is the United States. Paired with England, Algeria, and Slovenia, the U.S. should being able to advance with the second spot.

Also this group may present the best opening day matchup when the U.S and England face off. Right now Wayne Rooney, who is one of England’s main stars, is out with an groin injury but recent news claims he to be ready by the World Cup. I think the U.S. has a good shot to win this matchup, Rooney playing or not. They showed they can compete with the better teams when they knocked off Spain and almost beat but choked to Brazil. If the U.S does make it out, they would most likely face Germany which could end their dreams of making it to the finals. As much as I hate to see this happen, the U.S seems very inconsistent at times and never seems to really perform well on the big stage. But times are changing and the team is getting better. I think the world does know that this ball club isn’t a walk in the park anymore and needs to take them seriously. Offensively this club isn’t bad at all but I am not sure if they could withstand a shootout. Landon Donovan will be the go to guy again but he does have a better corp around him. Defensively, this squad will have to rely on Tim Howard. The defenders are good but not great. They tend to let a lot of deep balls get by them but do have good recovering speed. Overall I am still excited to watch this club. I will be cheering like crazy but won’t be devastated when they lose.

Side note, I love the United States’ uniforms.


Promising Future?

In Uncategorized on April 23, 2010 at 3:57 pm

With the Florida Marlins series over, Houston has been able to prove that they can contend with decent ball clubs. Sitting at 5-10, it isn’t what Houston fans would like to see but I don’t think majority of true Astros fans are shocked. This club isn’t good and on paper they line up can hit but they have to produce as one. Unlike teams such as the Yankees, Cardinals, and Phillies, Houston doesn’t really have two or three players that can just win the ball game by themselves.

With the middle of the lineup still cold, this has made Brad Mills turn to the bench. Luckily for the Astros, their bench has come through. Jason Michaels and Jeff Keppinger have contributed significantly, both batting over .280. Michaels who has stepped in for the struggling Carlos Lee and already has two home runs which leads the team. Lance Berkman is back and has looked good. Since his return, Houston has gone 2-1. My predicted record at this point is 6-9 which is obviously better. It is still early in the season but honestly this team doesn’t seem too different with new coach Brad Mills. Pitching is roughly the same only given up 71 runs compared to 69 at this point last year.

Two more home series against the Pirates and Reds maybe can help get the Astros to the .500 mark. The Pirates were playing well but have dropped three straight and the Reds look like the typical Reds. Despite all three of these clubs being terrible, it will be a good time to make moves within the division. I still think this club can win between 70-80 games but it would be nice to see some changes and improvements going into next season. Lee needs go to and I hate to say it but Oswalt will need to be traded so the Astros can get some young guns. Brandon Lyon has done nothing admirable this season and at this point, I wish he would go. These three players wouldn’t be a bad package to pick up some younger players to help boost Houston’s farm system. People say that Berkman needs to go but he isn’t declining at an astronomical rate and I believe he has three good more seasons left in him. Bourn and Pence shouldn’t have to worry about being traded anywhere but Pedro Feliz could be thrown into the Oswalt package. Five years from now, this team will look completely different top to bottom. What scares people is that we do not know if different means good.

MLB Top Ten Power Rankings

In Around The League on April 20, 2010 at 4:17 pm

April 13-April 20

A good solid three weeks in, there has been some big changes in the rankings. the rays had a huge jump going from eighth place to first while some clubs have fallen completely out of the rankings. the bottom ten is compiled of n.l teams while the top five have four a.l teams.

(8) 1.) Tampa Bay Rays (10-3) – After losing two in a row, the Tampa Bay Rays have won seven in a row. Their entire lineup has been productive and the starting pitching has been phenomenal. Three out of four of their starting pitchers vs Boston were able to notch a win while closer Rafael Soriano has a total of four saves already.

(6) 2.) New York Yankees (9-3) – The Yanks are just as hot as the Rays winning the last 7 of 8 with a recent sweep of the Texas Rangers. Their 1-3 starting pitchers all have a 2-0 record. Derek Jeter has been nearly unstoppable during this stretch batting .338 over the past five games with five runs and 7 rbis. He has also hit three home runs over the past five games.

(4) 3.) St. Louis Cardinals (9-4)- Red Birds were able to jump up one spot to number three. The Cardinals three days ago went twenty innings against to the New York Mets but eventually loss. They did rebound back winning the next two bringing their record to 9-4 and extending their lead in the NL Central to 1.5 games. They also are one of two teams to win all their series.

(2) 4.) Minnesota Twins (9-4)- Even though they have dropped down in the rankings, they are still a very tough team to contend with. Joe Mauer is living up to his million dollar contract and Michael Cuddyer is on a seven game hitting streak. The Twins are probably one of the most consistent teams in the league which will benefit them greatly come to the late playoff run.

(7) 5.) Oakland Athletics (9-5) – Still one of the more surprising teams in all of baseball, Oakland is sitting on top of the AL West with a two game lead. They took the four game series against the Orioles but now have to face the New York Yankees. Even if they lose the series against the Bronx Bombers, their overall performance might determine how they will hold up down the road.

(1) 6.) Philadelphia Phillies (8-4) – Even though they are still a top of the NL East, they have been cold as of lately. Losing the last three of four, the Phillies schedule doesn’t show any relief as they have three straight road series against the Braves, Diamondbacks and Giants. Roy Halladay is 3-0 and the Phillies offense does lead the majors in total runs and rbis.

(3) 7.) San Francisco Giants (8-5) – Just like the Phillies, the Giants have lost the last three of four. Tim Lincecum is still proving why he is ” The Freak” with a 3-0 record, ERA of .094 and already 24 strikeouts which leads the league. Barry Zito has also been pleasantly surprisingly good while Matt Cain has struggled.

(NR) 8.) Florida Marlins (8-5) – The Marlins have played twelve straight games and about to play nine straight starting with the Houston Astros. They haven’t been great during this stretch but they were able to beat some of the better teams during this stretch. Now they head to Houston to face a team that is still struggling to score runs but have won two in a row. Dan Uggla will try to continue his hot run and Josh Johnson will be looking to pick up his second win of the season.

(NR) 9.) San Diego Padres (7-6)- The Padres have won four straight after a terrible 3-6 start. They have been able to score ton of runs during this streak but have given a lot too. They NL West outside of the Giants has been struggling and San Diego is about to face three teams that could knock them to the bottom of the West.

(NR) 10.) Pittsburgh Pirates (7-5)- It is hard to think that the Pirates would ever crack a top ten list but their sweep over the Reds have propelled them into second place in the Central. This recent success might not last long but they shouldn’t fall too far back from the Cardinals. Pitcher Zack Duke is 2-0 with an ERA of 1.21 but only has five Ks.

Astros Win First Series

In Uncategorized on April 18, 2010 at 4:45 pm

Four series into the season and the Houston Astros have finally taken a series against the Chicago Cubs. After dropping the first game 7-2, Houston went to win the next two games bringing their season high winning streak to two. Houston is now 3-9 on the season and currently sitting 1.5 games back of the Reds and 4.5 games back of the first place Cardinals. During the series, Roy Oswalt finally notched his first win of the season as he pitched a solid 7 innings, giving up no runs and striking out six. During my April prediction, I had the Astros being 4-8 so far during the season and to my surprise I am only one game off.

One thing that bothers me so far about this team is when the lose, they get destroyed. They been shut out three times and four games they have lost by five runs or more. The three games they have won, two of them have been by one run. They starting pitching seems to be getting better. Surprisingly fourth man in the rotation Bud Norris was able to secure the first win for the Astros and he even struck out nine Red Birds for that “W.” Lance Berkman has been rumored to return this Tuesday as the Astros will be returning home to face the Marlins. With his eventual return and the bats having more life to them, Houston hopefully can win six of nine of the next three series at home.

Myers, Norris and Paulino will be pitching the Marlins series as they will face against Volstad, Johnson and Sanchez. Florida is 8-5 on the year and just recently took the series against the Phillies. If anything that could help Houston will be the twelve straight games the Marlins have played will maybe burn them out as they continue their road trips. Marlins SS Dan Uggla has been hot as of lately going 6 of 12, with two home-runs and six RBIs in the Phillies series. Lee and Pence are still struggling as their batting avg. are still hovering around the low .100. Bourn is the only consistent bat right now in the lineup though he has gone hitless the last two games.

With this being said, Houston is dead last in the accumulated batting category and only have three home-runs on the year. They have the least amount of runs scored with 28 and tied with the biggest differential with the 1-11 Orioles at -29. Some positive facts that can be taken out of this past few days will be that Houston is no longer the worst team in baseball. There are three other teams in the NL Central under .500 and Oswalt looks like he has returned to his younger form. I think the Stros’ can win the series against the Marlins going 2 of 3 but their bats cannot stay mediocre because their bullpen will be mentally gassed before the All-Star game.

Say It Ain’t So!

In Uncategorized on April 15, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Houston has finally notched their first win of their season to avoid a devastating 0-9 start. Going to Busch Stadium where winning is not part of their repertoire, the Astros started off the series terribly as they were shut out 5-0. I have been able to keep up with most of the games through ESPN Game Cast and Houston isn’t having trouble producing hits, just those timely hits are not coming. There were a few instances where they had men in scoring position and the pitcher against the rope but all they could do is induce a 6-4-3 double play or pop out. Michael Bourn had a very trip in St. Louis going 6 for 11 with three runs. Other than Wandy Rodriguez who was rouged up in his second appearances while only last 4 1/3 inning, Myers and Norris pitched admirably. The pen was extremely solid though the past three games giving up only one run. You can tell that this team knows it is early in the season and there is no reason to feel like their chances to be competitive is impossible. I didn’t think the Stros’ would win the series and I am very ecstatic they didn’t get swept. It is going to be nice when they can get Lance Berkman back in the lineup as there is no fear in the middle of the line up when Lee and Pence are still struggling. Pedro Feliz still is trying to find his stride but isn’t  disturbing bad. Now 1-8, Houston will be on the road again staying in the division when they face the Chicago Cubs April 16-18. If today’s win meant anything, it seems like the offense is slowly coming around. The Cubs are on a two game winning streak and finish their series against the Brewers today. Both teams need to win this upcoming series as their upcoming schedule’s are not easy. I think Houston can win two away with Roy and Wandy pitching the last two games of the series.

MLB Top Ten Power Rankings

In Around The League on April 13, 2010 at 2:06 pm

April 4- April 12

What a first week of baseball it is has been. We have seen highlights that might be already nominated for play of the year. We have seen scores already up in double digits and teams almost being no hit. There are a couple surprising teams that are doing well right now and then you have your typical powerhouse teams at the top of this weeks rankings. Four out of five AL East teams are in the top ten while three NL teams are in the top four.

1.) Philadelphia Phillies (6-1) – Started off real strong winning five straight and sweeping two out of their first three series. Roy Halladay is producing like he should be and Ryan Howard is already putting up MVP numbers.

2.) Minnesota Twins (6-2) – Twins started their season off on the road against two very good ball clubs, L.A. Angels and Chicago White Sox. Everyone of their main studs have produce and even J.J. Hardy is showing signs of life again. The Twins open their new Stadium Target Field this week against the Boston Red Sox.

3.) San Fransico Giants (6-1) – Tim Lincecum is living up to the name ” The Freak” and the rest of the team seems to being doing the same. Edgar Renteria is batting .517 and went 5-5 against the Houston Astros during the first series of the season. Even struggling pitching Barry Zito is off to a 2-0 start and seems to be back to his earlier 2000 form.

4.) St. Louis Cardinals ( 5-2) – Many people predicted the Red Birds to win the NL Central and right now they are sitting a top of it. Albert Pujols has again shown why he is nicknamed ” The Machine” as he is either tied or lead the team in every hitting category. Already with five home runs on the year, Pujols could once again be on pace to hit 55 +.

5.) Toronto Blue Jays (5-2)– One of the surprising teams so far this year, they are sitting on top of the very tough Al East. They started their season off like the Twins with two straight series on the road but now are back home against the Chicago White Sox. They are tied with the St. Louis Cardinals as league leaders in home-runs. Unfortunately as their schedule gets tougher, don’t expect them to be here in the number five spot next week.

6.) New York Yankees ( 4-2)– It is hard to imagine a team as talented as the Yankees to be outside the top five but they haven’t played top-tier ball like they should. Outside their starting pitcher, their bullpen has been rough at times but has been able to manage leads. C.C. Sabathia had a no-hitter going into the eighth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays but still got the win as the Yankees prevailed 10-0.

7.) Oakland Athletics (6-2) – Though they have only faced teams within their division, they have faced probably the two best teams and have done quite well. Taking three out of four from Seattle and winning the series against the Angles, Oakland is up top of the AL West and is the American League leader in runs scored.

8.) Tampa Bay Rays ( 4-3) – The Rays started off their season by taking the first series from the Baltimore Orioles but when the faced they NY Yankees, their bats fell silent. Being outscored by the Yankees 26-6, the Rays are looking to bounce back but have three straight road series against the Orioles, Red Sox and White Sox.

9.) Boston Red Sox ( 3-4)– Despite not starting off extremely hot, the Red Sox are still one of the leagues best teams. They started their season off at home to the Yankees but lost the series and then had to travel to the Royals where they eventually finished at .500. Closer Jonathan Papelbon has started his year off a little rocky but still has managed to close two games.

10.) Detroit Tigers ( 5-2) – Before losing to the Royals last night, the Tigers were winners of four straight and the last five out of six. Miguel Cabrera is batting .481 and seven of their players are batting over .300. This puts them in third overall with a club batting average of .295. New comer Johnny Damon has struggled but their bench has seemed to pick up for his lack of production.

Disturbing Clean Slate

In Houston Astros 2010 Season on April 11, 2010 at 6:40 pm

Two series in and the Houston Astros have loss all six games at home. The offense has been dormant and the pitching has been what many call, terrible. You can blame the tough schedule or maybe Berkman not in the lineup. Whatever it may be, Houston has only been able to produce thirteen runs all season. The Arizona Diamondbacks were able to score thirteen runs in one game vs the Pirates earlier today. The Astros pitching has allowed 37 runs and in four games, more than five runs were scored. Against the Giants and Phillies aces, Lincecum and Halladay, the Stros’ were only able to score one run. I predicted a 1-5 record which I almost got right but the shaky Astros bullpen blew game three vs the Giants. Through six games, the Stros have a batting avg. of .223, 2 home runs, and a slugging percentage of .320. Combined pitching ERA is at 6.80, WHIP if 1.89, and only 29 strikeouts. Starting pitching has a total of 31 innings pitched which isn’t terrible but considering how many runs they give up per inning, makes it worse. Both Brandon Lyon and Matt Lindstrom have struggled mightily since they have debuted, each with a 9.00 ERA.

Houston really needs Lance Berkman back in the lineup. There is just a huge gap in the four spot that Blum cannot fill. Especially with Carlos Lee having zero home-runs and an avg. of .130, there is not power. Michael Bourn started off slow but has seemed to find his swing and surprisingly Jeff Keppinger has done well at the plate. Unfortunately, the three biggest bats in the line up, Lee, Pence, Bourn, all have the highest strike out rates too. In fact, Houston has 45 strikeouts to only five walks. Even though they have faced some of the better pitching in the NL, this doesn’t give them a valid excuse to not generate runs in the weaker part of their opponents rotation. Wandy and Roy have pitched quality games and are racking up strikeouts but cannot notch a “W”.

Losing all six games at home just doesn’t fair well down the road now that Houston has two away series at St. Louis and Chicago Cubs. The Cardinals have started off hot and especially “The Machine” Albert Pujols. Albert has an avg. of .316, two home-runs, six RBIs and five runs. If anything that the Stros’ can look positive out of Albert’s stats is his six strikeouts. Do not be shocked if Albert hits three plus home runs during this upcoming series. I would like to say that the Astros could win a game in St. Louis but they haven’t faired well at Busch Stadium recently. If anything, Houston should hopefully win a game versus the Cubs due to their “poor” performance. Cubs boast a 2-4 record and like the Astros have been struggling with producing runs. The only plus side to their winnings is the pitching. Their ace Zambrano is 1-1 but has a very high ERA with very low inning count.

You can say all you want about what the Astros need to do but eventually with a 162 game season, they will win a game. They are getting hits but not that key ones. The back of the rotation needs to perform better their second time around. Honestly I see a 1-5 road trip to being their record to 1-11. As fans, we should be watching the Cubs series with the Brewers this week to really tell if Houston can take one away. Right now Houston sits 4.5 games back of first and could be 8 half by Thursday.

Sunday Red

In Golf on April 11, 2010 at 12:13 pm

After three rounds at the Masters, Tiger Woods is only four shots back. Many “experts” had Woods finishing outside the top ten and not even contending due to the huge layoff and the other priorities going on in Mr. Woods life. It is really hard to believe that Woods would not be ready for this event despite the whole ordeal and the layoff. We have to remember Mr. Woods was out eight months due to his surgery and when he came back, he was still winning. Being able to go out on the golf course, especially at Augusta is an oasis. It is a place that Tiger can just get away and feel at home. Tiger has won four Masters and now is seeking for his fifth.

From day 1, the reception that Woods received off the first tee couldn’t have made him feel any more relaxed. The huge gallery with cheers in favor for Woods, just made that blast down the middle of the fairway even that much sweeter. Throughout the whole day, Woods seemed to be on his game. The only thing that wasn’t pure was his putting game. Even with that he shot four under and was only two off the lead at the end of the day.

Round two Wood’s scorecard was almost went unblemished if it wasn’t for the one bogie on hole four. Woods ended up with three birdies and once again Woods and one of his player partners,K.J. Choi, had matching scores. Tiger did putt better on Friday as he mentioned he read and hit his lines better but just misjudged the speed a little. The drives were crisp and down the fairway and the approach shots were not bad. Woods talked about how he was going to try to limit his flair ups and become more tame on the course. He also wanted to show more appreciation toward the fans as they congratulated him. Both seem more evident on Friday though you could see Tiger cuss under his breath on some shots. The fist pumps were toned down a lot and he even went out of his way to sign more autographs after the round.

Moving day at the Masters is the most important day for Tiger. It ended up being the most up and down day too when Tiger posted seven birdies and five bogies. But this day definitely highlighted by Phil Mickelson’s play. From hole 13-15, Phil Mickelson had back to back eagles and almost another one on 15. He finished -5 under for the day and one shot off the leader, Lee Westwood. Tiger was able to birder three in row to get back in contention and now sits four shots back.

Now it is Sunday, the day we see Red on Tiger and again possibly one of his famous comebacks. The leaders know he is there and how will they be able to sustain the Tiger pressure. We have seen throughout the years players just buckle due the enormous crowds that follow and the cheers at Augusta can just break a man. Once again paired with K.J Choi for the fourth straight day, will Tiger be able to pull away and be wearing his fifth green jacket? It starts now golf fans and this again will become a historic day.

How sweep it is, Giants start off season 3-0

In Houston Astros 2010 Season on April 7, 2010 at 5:03 pm

Lubbock, TX – -Three games into the season the lack luster Houston offense seems to already be in play. Houston was only to manage to muster up six runs through three games while being outscored by the Giants 12. The first game had one of  the most anticipated match ups of opening week between Roy Oswalt and Tim Lincecum. It didn’t take long for the potent Giants offense to bust out as they were able to score three runs in the top of the second. Bengie Molina single in the top of the second that drove in ex Astros Aubrey Huff. With Mark DeRosa still on base, John Bowker then singled to left that brought DeRosa home and setting up Molina in scoring position. Juan Uribe who finished 2 for 3 with a run and RBI, hit a sac fly which brought Molina home making it 3-0. That is all the Giants needed as Lincecum was flawless through seven innings. Tim only surrendered four hits and striking out seven. Houston was able to eventually get two runs on the board in the bottom of the ninth but it wasn’t enough as the Giants were up by five.

I was able to watch this game and it didn’t shock me that the Astros were not able to manage anything off Lincecum. Houston had a big opportunity in the sixth with a runners in scoring position with Carlos Lee up to bat. Lee anticipated a 2-0 fast ball but instead received a change-up that was popped up that ended the inning. Roy Oswalt pitched well after the 2nd but didn’t seem to have great control of his fastball. I think he actually threw most fastballs than usual and his curveball didn’t seem to have the normal break on it. Houston seem to swing their bats a lot early in the count which becomes a catch 22 situation. They are not going to see many good pitches to hit when Lincecum is pitching. At the same time, early swings that don’t lead to hits just prolongs Tim’s innings. With the Giants having a decent bullpen, Houston really needed those key hits which they were highly unsuccessful.

Game two wasn’t any better for the Houston offense. Just like game one, Giants score three runs before the seventh inning and Zito was also dominate going six very strong innings while not surrendering a run and striking out five. Lead off man Michael Bourn went 1 for 8 with four strikes outs through two games. The Astros only were able to accumulate four hits and had a total of 7 strikeouts combined. Wandy Rodriguez pitched well through five innings before his collapse in the sixth. New closer for the Astros, Matt Lindstrom, saw his first action as he pitched a scoreless ninth inning. I was only able to keep up with this game through ESPN’s Gamecast but it seemed Houston didn’t really have a solid inning where scoring chances seemed promising.

I was kind of surprised to see Matt Cain pitch the third game but I guess either way, the Giants once again shut down Houston. New pitcher Brett Myers officially began his career in a Astros uniform by giving up four runs in six innings and also 12 hits. He did strike out three but did give up a second inning home-run. The Giants bats really came alive especially from top of the order. Aaron Rowand, Edgar Renteria and Pablo Sandoval combined to go 11-17 with four RBI and two runs. Every player on the Giants other than the pitchers recorded a hit and Juan Uribe was the only player to strike out other than pitcher Matt Cain. Houston did double their run total from game two and tied the game in the bottom of the seventh. That was lost in the 8th as S.F. score two runs and then added four more in the ninth.

I predicted S.F. to win the series but had Houston winning at least one game. Houston really needed to win one game as they end their home stand against the Phillies who already have scored 11 runs in their first game. With tomorrow off, maybe Brad Mills can give some type of inspirational speech to boast this offense and help the struggling bullpen. Also with the day off, Oswalt will pitch the 2nd game instead of Paulino. It is really evident that Berkman is needed back in this offense because his replacements have combined to go 2 for 12.

Houston Astros 2010 Opening Day

In Houston Astros 2010 Season on April 5, 2010 at 9:37 am

It has finally arrived for all our Houston Astros fans. Opening Day is here and the first pitch is only a mere nine hours away. Most people are going to be getting off work in time to watch the game which will air on ESPN 2 at 7:05 PM ET and hurry home to throw on their Astros gear. Even some Texas summer BBQ might be commencing for the die-hard fans.

So what do we know now that spring training is officially over? One, Lance Berkman is still hurt and will not be starting today. Two, this will be the debut of Houston’s new manager Brad Mills. Previously a bench coach for the Boston Red Sox, Brad Mills seems to already bring great spirit amongst the organization and also he knows how to win.

“I think we’ve got a lot of talent on this club and we’ve got an exciting ballclub, a club that’s fun,” he said. “We’ve got some speed, some power, a good defensive club if the team is healthy.”

What else do we know about opening day for the Astros. Well Houston hasn’t been one of the best teams to start out of the gate. Since 2002, Houston has had a record of 2-6 and in 2004 when facing the Giants at home to start the season, the Astros lost 5-4. Out of those 8 games, five the teams had a winning record the previous season. Three out of the five were playoff bound teams, one of them being the San Francisco Giants.

With this information, this doesn’t bold to well going into 2010. The Astros will be facing the San Francisco Giants to begin the season. In 2009, the Giants had another winning season while the Astros finished fourteen games under .500. The pitching match up will be between Roy Oswalt and Tim Lincencum. Oswalt will be making his eighth straight opening day start and will be looking to rebound back from a career worst 8-6 record last season. Another thing Oswalt will be trying to avoid is injuries which only limited him to pitch 181 1/3 innings, his lowest since 2003.

“My biggest goal is to try to start every start,” he said. “Hopefully if I can make every start I feel like I’ve still got enough stuff to throw 200 innings and put us in situations to win.”

I don’t expect the Astros to win this game or the series but as Astros fans know, Houston is one of the slower starting teams out of the gate until the All-Star game rolls around.

New third baseman Pedro Feliz will be making his Astros debut. We all hope he can play a big roll as a leader on and off the field. Also the Astros will need him to become a solid number six hitter in the lineup. If things go right tonight for the Astros, we might see two new pitchers in Brandon Lyon and closer Matt Lindstrom. Both are looking to start fresh in their careers and hopefully stick around with their new organization.

All said and done, the Astros might not be winning the World Series in 2010, but they will give us a very interesting season. They will give us hope mid way through by winning 9 straight than completely fall off the map. We know what to expect when it comes to this team but we always want more. This will be a year of rebuilding again and maybe some trades that might disturb us. It is the game of baseball, you either love it or hate it. Welcome to 2010 and enjoy the show.