Breaking down the Astros 2008 season, month by month. Today, April 2008.
At the end of April, the Astros were 13-16 - 5 games back of the Cubs, outscored 131-132. (The Marlins were outscored 121-137 in April and were 15-12, in 1st in the NL East by .5 games).
They were 6-5 at home and 7-11 on the road. After dropping four of five at Philly and home against the Rockies from Apr 15-19 to drop to 6-12, Houston rattled off six straight wins to climb back to .500...and then lost four of five to close the month.
Oswalt had the roughest start, if you remember, starting 0-3 (8 ER - 4 HR vs. Florida) and needing 3.71 pitches per batter faced, ending April with a 2-3 record and a 5.75 ERA
Backe had a pretty good first three starts, and faced some hard luck. In two road starts and one home start, Backe gave up two earned runs in his first 16 innings. In his 4th start of the season - at Philly - Backe lasted just three innings, giving up five earned runs in a 10-2 loss. 3.59 pitches per batter faced in April.
Wandy had a great April - until he got hurt. Four starts, three of them Astros wins, but Wandy only came away with a 1-0 record. 24 Ks to 5 BBs. April 19, Wandy leaves after 4.1 with a sore groin versus Colorado and doesn't pitch again until May 28.
Chris Sampson started out the season in the rotation and started out alright - 2 ER in 6.2 innings @ Chicago (ND), 3ER in 4 innings vs. St. Louis (L). Then came Colorado on April 18 - the day after a 22 inning game between the Rockies and Padres. 6 ER in .2 innings. Then a win at Cincinnati - 7 innings, 2 ER, and then 5 runs in 4 innings five days later at Arizona.
On the offensive side of the ball, Tejada hit .339 in April (.560 SLG) with 4 HR and 22 RBI. Berkman hit .303 with a .657 SLG, 8 HR and 25 RBI - but also 14 BBs to 13 Ks. Lee hit .272 with 6 HR and 16 RBI.
Matsui's anal fissure flared up and he only played in 13 games - hitting .260. Towles and Bourn both hit under .200 (.197 and .195, respectively).
The fact is the Astros were outscored 69-79 in 18 games on the road and were 3-7 in 1-run games in April. Next up...you guessed it...May.