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The Astros’ championship banner unveiling didn’t go as smooth as anticipated

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The Astros kicked off their home opener not too long ago against the Orioles. Prior to the game, the Astros celebrated their 2017 World Series championship by unveiling a banner in left field. The unveiling didn’t go as smoothly as anticipated. A leafblower was involved. Some would say “starred.”

Here’s video:

Fortunately, the Astros’ offense is operating as smoothly as anticipated. After scoring 22 runs in their four-game series against the Rangers, the Astros opened up the first inning Monday night with a pair of doubles from George Springer and Alex Bregman, taking an early 1-0 lead on the O’s.

No, the Astros aren’t being targeted for HBPs in spring training

Alex Bregman
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On Wednesday, Astros third baseman Alex Bregman was hit by Cardinals pitcher Ramon Santos. It marked the seventh time an Astros batter had been hit in spring training exhibition games thus far, the highest total among all teams. As expected, teams are exacting revenge for the Astros’ cheating ways!

Well, not quite. The pitch Santos hit Bregman with was a 3-2 breaking ball that got away. Usually, if a pitcher is going to hit a batter as an act of revenge, he’ll attempt to do it with a first-pitch fastball.

José Altuve was also hit by a pitch against the Tigers on Sunday. The pitch, which looks to be the off-speed variety, appeared to graze his uniform as opposed to hitting him flush, so it was likely unintentional on the part of pitcher Nick Ramirez.

Other Astros to have been hit in spring training thus far: Alex De Goti, Aledmys Díaz, Osvaldo Duarte, Dustin Garneau, and Jake Meyers. Not exactly a who’s-who list of Code Breaker operatives.

Will some pitchers intentionally throw at the Astros this year? Almost certainly, despite commissioner Rob Manfred’s warning. Have they been doing it from the moment exhibition games began earlier this month? Certainly not.