With the end of 2011 approaching, it seems like a good time to reflect on the past year for the Houston Astros organization.
While it was a year of major disappointment for all involved there were also a few highlights during the year.
Here is a brief recap… good and bad!
Drayton McClane enters the year with the sale of the club a priority.
28th-Astros first 2011 spring training game
Jim Crane emerges as front runner to buy club.
2nd-Jason Castro suffers a knee injury while running to first base in a spring training game against Detroit. He has surgery two days later to repair a torn ACL and a damaged meniscus. He missed the entire 2011 season.
31st- last 2011 spring training game
1st- lose opening day in Philadelphia 5-4
6th- start season 0-5 before winning in Cincy 3-2
10th- first home win, 7-1 over Florida
14th- Bud Norris throws six shutout innings leading the team to a 1-0, 3-hit shutout over San Diego
29th-Shutout for the first time on the season, 5-0 against Milwaukee
5th- Reliever Brandon Lyon goes on disabled list; Mark Melancon assumes closer duties
30th- score a season high 12 runs in a 12-7 win at Chicago (Barmes, Towles, Keppinger, Pence) each homer.
31st- 20-year old pitcher Jordan Lyles makes his MLB debut in Chicago and pitches seven innings, allowing only five hits and two runs, while striking out four in a no-decision effort. The Astros score six runs in the top of the ninth against Carlos Marmol to pick up a 7-3 victory. Lyles also singles in the 7th inning off Carlos Zambrano for his first career hit.
Lyon injures bicep, out for season
4th- Astros release infielder Bill Hall
12th- Hunter Pence represents the Astros in the All-Star game
20th- Jose Altuve makes his MLB debut going 1-for-5 in a 3-2 11-inning victory against Washington from Minute Maid Park.
27th-Altuve records a hit in his seventh straight game to start a career, tying a team record previously set by Russ Johnson (1997)
29th- Pence is traded to Philadelphia for pitcher Jarred Cosart, first baseman Jonathan Singleton and two other minor league players.
30th- J.D. Martinez makes his MLB debut in a pinch hitting role in Milwaukee and records an RBI double in his first career at-bat
31st-Martinez gets his first MLB start and goes 0-for-3 with a walk in Milwaukee
31st- Michael Bourn is traded to Atlanta for outfielder Jordan Schafer and three other players.
1st- 22-year old Jimmy Paredes makes his MLB debut playing third base and goes 1-for-4, hitting a two-run triple in his first career at bat, and scores a run, pushing the team to a 10-inning 4-3 win at home over Cincinnati.
3rd-Martinez hits his first career home run, coming off of Dontrelle Willis, capping a three-hit four-RBI effort in a 5-4 Astros victory at home against Cincinnati.
3rd-Lyles picks up his first major league win allowing three runs over seven innings in the 5-4 victory over Cincy at Minute Maid Park.
5th- In his first major league at bat J.B. Shuck delivers a pinch hit single and then steals second base in a 8-1 defeat against Milwaukee at Minute Maid Park.
7th-Shuck gets his first career start leading off and playing right field, he goes 0-for-3 with a walk in a 7-3 loss to Milwaukee in Houston.
9th -15th- team loses seven games in a row.
16th-Brian Bogusevic hits a pinch-hit walk-off grand slam home run off of Marmol to propel the Astros past Chicago 6-5 from Minute Maid.
20th- Altuve goes 3-for-5 and leads off the game with an inside the park home run against San Francisco in a 7-5 Astros victory from Minute Maid Park. It was also his first career home run.
17th- lose 100th game of season (first time in club-history) with a 2-1 loss to Chicago at Wrigley.
24th- Team plays longest game of the year in a 13-inning 4-2 loss at home to Colorado
25th- Following the 13-inning defeat the night before, the team allows a season high 19 runs in a 19-3 loss at Minute Maid park to Colorado
28th- lose to St.Louis 8-0 from MMP to end season 56-106
Crane meets with Bud Selig
4th-Jordan Schafer is arrested in Florida on marijuana possession.
15th-Jim Crane finally approved as new owner and agrees to move team to AL while receiving a $70 million discount.
27th-Tal Smith, Ed Wade dismissed
8th-Jeff Luhnow is introduced as the new general manager
9th-Castro undergoes surgery to remove bone from left foot. He will be inactive through spring training but should be ready for opening day.
14th- Closer Mark Melancon is traded to Boston for shortstop Jed Lowrie and pitcher Kyle Weiland.
In 2012, the Astros will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the franchise. While there will be many days of nostalgia and giveaways there will probably not be much improvement on the field as the transfer to the American League in 2013 looms.
Shane Condon is a small business owner in Katy Texas and a freelance writer in his spare time. He covers Katy Sports and Houston Baseball for lodeplus.com. His writings have been featured in print and online for the local newspaper and also for a local community magazine as wellhttp://lodeplus.com/baseball-76-in-houston/shane-condon as numerous websites. Feel free to contact Shane via email: email@example.com and follow him on Twitter: @ShaneWCondon and on Facebook search Shane Condon.
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