The Astros have won the first 2 games at Coors Field, 13-7 and 8-5.
I'll just give you a bunch of my impressions:
Brandon Duckworth could eventually be a decent major league pitcher, but it will NOT be in Coors Field (and, unfortunately, probably not Minute Maid Park either). He simply gives up too many fly balls, a fair amount of which turn into the home run variety. I could see him being an effective starting pitcher in Dodger Stadium or Safeco Field or Pac Bell Park, though.
Craig Biggio is locked in. His lack of a high leg kick really stops him from pulling off the ball, resulting in tons of line drives to LF. He looks quick, healthy, and happy. (Unfortunately, he'll never be an average defensive CF.)
Jeff Bagwell and Lance Berkman, although neither is hitting with consistent power, have unbelievable batting eyes. I just don't see either one of them having an extended slump - they simply do not chase bad pitches.
Richard Hidalgo crushes the ball often, but sometimes appears TOO patient. He'll let perfect pitches go by too often.
Similarly, Morgan Ensberg looks a little too patient. One of the main benefits of good patience at the plate is not only to draw walks but to force the pitcher to make a pitch that you can drive. Ensberg does that, and often lets the pitch go by.
Jim DeShaies, Astros play-by-play-man, today: "There have been statistical studies done that suggest that 'protection' in a lineup really doesn't exist." WELL DONE! This is absolutely right. You would think that if you've got Barry Bonds hitting behind you instead of Brad Ausmus, you'll see better pitches, but in reality, this rarely comes into play. Lineup protection is largely a myth.
Lidge and Dotel are pitching about as well as they can right now. This means: DO NOT OVERWORK THEM, JIMY. Save them for when you need them.
Chad Harville is wild. We can't demote him, and if we release him we admit we traded Saarloos for basically nothing, so he needs to learn some control, and fast.
If you can't hit in Coors, you can't hit anywhere. Jose Vizcaino and Brad Ausmus will both post sub-650 OPS this year, and probably use up 700 plate appearances doing so.
WHY IS ORLANDO PALMEIRO THE 4TH OUTFIELDER INSTEAD OF JASON LANE???
C.B. Buckner is a terrible, inconsistent umpire.
Ok, enough random Astros tidbits.
It's been a good few games for the Astros, all in all, and it's been a good weekend for me, as I found out I got into U. of Hawaii for grad school, even though I'm probably not going to go there. Still, it's nice to get accepted.