Home Opener 2011: Morning After

Home Opening Day, Minute Maid Park, Houston, April 8, 2011

The place was packed. The weather was nice. The company was friendly. The food was ballpark. The new giant HD scoreboard was beautiful. And the home season was underway.

But we lost, 4-3. The Florida Marlins spoiled a beautiful seven-inning outing by Astros starter Wandy Rodriquez with two solo-shot homers off relievers Wilton Lopez and Jeff Fulchino in the eighth and ninth innings and the deed was done.

Michel Bourn: Stranded in the Jungle of Failed Clutch.

With the Astros trailing, 3-2, going into the bottom of the eighth, Michael Bourn led off with a single to left to fire home hope. Bourn then moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Angel Sanchez and next stole third with Hunter Pence at bat.


Unfortunately, Pence then fanned on a 3-2 slider in the dirt and Carlos Lee popped to first on the first pitch his way to end the inning.

The Marlins expanded their lead to 4-2 with a two-out  solo homer by Chris Coghlan off Jeff Fulchino in the top of the ninth. Brett Wallace then pulled Houston back to a 4-3 deficit by homering to left as the lead-0ff man to face new Marlins hurler Leo Nunez in the last of the ninth. Two outs later, J.R. Towles kept things going with a single to left, Earlier in the game, Towles had given the Astros a 1-0 lead with a solo shot homer of his own. This time he would be replaced with a speedier pinch runner in the form of Jason Bourgeois. With lefty Jeff Inglett next pinch-hitting for pitcher Fulchino and down to his last strike, the Astros sent Bourgeois in an attempted steal. A Florida pitch out diagnosed the move and gunned down the play to end the game.

Florida had won the game, 4-3. The Astros now hang at 1-6 with the long season still mostly in front of us. To me, the critical point in this game was the eighth inning failure of the club to get Bourn home from third base with only one out. A Bourn homecoming at that point would have tied the game at 3-3 and changed the face of everything that remained out there to happen next.

Who knows? All we know now is – there’s another game to be played later today. Maybe Game Two of the series will turn in our favor.

The new screen is awesome, but I can no longer read the batting averages next to each name in the lineup.

The new HD video screen is awesome, indeed, but I had a very hard squinting time reading the batting averages next to each name in the lineup as they appear in the photo shown here. Maybe it’s just me and my need for a new prescription, but I still wish the numbers could have shown up bigger – even if it were just on the full stat display that appears for the man at bat.

Of course, I don’t really expect the Astros, or anyone else, to account for all the issues facing those of us with age appropriate mobility needs and failing  sensory function problems. If I did, I would have expected the club to provide me with helicopter service to my Opening Day seats and a loaner oxygen mask and air tank for my use while I was there.

I enjoyed Opening Day. I simply would have enjoyed it more, had we won. Maybe today will turn out a different story ending.

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5 Responses to “Home Opener 2011: Morning After”

  1. Bob Green Says:

    it is sad…greenie

  2. Kyle Schultz Says:

    Hello Bill I am a video editor at Soundlink Studio and I was wondering if I could use one of your photos of Minute Maid Park for a promotional video I am making for the city of Houston. It would be featured on cityof.com/houston. I just wanted to make sure I had your permission. Let me know asap if this is okay! Thanks!

  3. David Missonnier Says:

    Hello sir,
    I’m from France and would like to use one of your pics of the minute maid park for a presentation (the one with the flag).
    Would you mind telling me if you agree, and if so with what obligation ?
    (P.S. Sorry for my english, even though I’ve lived for a year in Bethesda (home of of the oreos 😦 ) i kind of lost it)
    fb : https://www.facebook.com/dmissonnier

    • Bill McCurdy Says:

      Dear David,

      You have my permission to use the picture of the flag. Just note the picture with “Photo courtesy of Bill McCurdy, The Pecan Park Eagle.” free of any other charge or obligation. My best to you and your endeavors.

      Vive la France!

      Regards, Bill McCurdy

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