*The Astros couldn't figure out Jason Vargas (!) last night in the series opener against Kansas City, losing 5-1. Mike Fiers threw 6IP, 5H/2R (1ER), 3K:3BB in his first start of the season. Tony Sipp allowed a hit and a walk while recording one out. Jandel Gustave struggled, allowing 3R (2ER), on a four hits and a walk in 1.2IP. Brad Peacock walked one in the 9th. Jose Altuve's five-day struggles continued with an 0x4, 2K 2GIDP night, and the Astros were 0x5 w/RISP.
*Astros starters, one time through the rotation: 1.80 ERA.
*The Astros offense has struggled this week, outside of George Springer's best Tyler White impression, hitting just .217 over the first five games. Hinch:
I don't think there's a definitive answer (as to why they've struggled). We faced a little bit of lefthanded pitching, so I don't know if it's the soft stuff from some of the lefties, the overswinging and anxiousness that some of our hitters have had. A pretty small sample size when you talk about five games.
*Evan Gattis got himself a passed ball and an error on catcher's interference in last night's game.
*Carlos Beltran tied Joe DiMaggio's 1,537 RBIs for 49th all-time in baseball history.
*Collin McHugh left his rehab start on Thursday in Fresno with elbow and bicep tightness.
*The return of Dallas Keuchel's changeup is a good sign.
*David Barron notes that as many people have watched the Astros take on the Mariners this week on Root Sports than watched - on average - seven weeks worth of Astros games on CSN Houston in 2013.
*Jon Heyman has the Astros missing the playoffs this year. Heyman also hasn't heard anything from the Astros about switching Correa and Bregman at SS.
*The County Mountie took a look at the best backup player in Astros' history.
On The Farm
Fresno beat Reno 6-1. Brady Rodgers threw 6IP, 4H/1ER, 4K:0BB; Derek Fisher hit his 2nd homer of the season and Tony Kemp had two hits and a stolen base.
Corpus lost to Arkansas 6-1. Kent Emmanuel threw 4IP, allowing 6H/4ER, 5K:1BB; Jon Singleton was 1x3 with a double and a walk,
Quad Cities lost to Wisconson 1-0. Dustin Hunt threw 3IP, 4H/1ER, 5K:1BB in the loss after starter Carson LaRue threw 5IP, 3H/0ER, 4K:2BB; Stephen Wrenn and Chuckie Robinson had two hits each to account for four of the River Bandits' five hits.
Buies Creek beat Winston-Salem 5-3, trading three runs each in the 8th inning. Alex Winkelman threw 5IP, 1H/0ER, 9K:1BB as the BCA struck out 17 Winston-Salem batters; Dexture McCall was 1x3 with a 2-run triple and a walk.