Astros pick Brett Myers over Wandy Rodriguez as Opening Day starter

3 Comments

Today the Astros announced that Brett Myers, not Wandy Rodriguez, will start on Opening Day against Roy Halladay and the Phillies.

Myers is coming off a career-year that saw him post a 3.14 ERA and 180/66 K/BB ratio in 224 innings to earn a two-year, $23 million contract extension, but Rodriguez was also plenty effective with a 3.60 ERA and 178/68 K/BB ratio in 195 innings last year.

Rodriguez is also by far the longest-tenured member of the Astros’ rotation, starting at least 20 games every year since 2005, and was the Game 2 starter behind Opening Day ace Roy Oswalt both last season and in 2009 (when he had a 3.02 ERA and 193 strikeouts in 206 innings).

Of course, Rodriguez is currently dealing with mild tendinitis in his shoulder and ultimately everyone in the rotation is going to start 32-34 times if they stay healthy regardless of who gets the Opening Day nod. No big deal either way, but a somewhat interesting call nonetheless.

Astros clinch postseason berth with 11-3 win over Angels

Astros
Getty Images
Leave a comment

No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.

First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.

On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.

Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.