Houston is the fourth largest city in the USA. For some reason, that statistic always surprises me. It’s also home to the Lyndon B Johnson Space Center, and of course, the Houston Astros who are in Minneapolis today for a three game series against the Twins. The Astros played for 30+ years in a dome too. Maybe back in the sixties and seventies that was considered “cool”.
The last time the two teams met was 2006. The previous year, the Astros had their only World Series appearance when they lost to the Chicago White Sox in 2005. Back then, they had Roy Oswalt, Andy Pettitte, and Roger Clemens among their pitching staff, but now, only Roy Oswalt remains. He’s still a great pitcher of course, so tonight’s showdown between him and Kevin Slowey should be a good one. If Slowey gets the win tonight, he’ll join the elite club of ten-game winners so far this year.
Though the Astros have been struggling lately, they certainly have some talent in their ranks. Miguel Tejada currently has a .341 average and recently achieved his 2000th big league hit last week. They also have that perennial favorite Pudge Rodriguez, who achieved a major milestone this week by setting the record for most games played as a catcher. Minnesota will probably seem like favorites on paper, taking their record at the Metrodome into account, but hopefully they’ll not take anything for granted this weekend.
Elsewhere in the AL Central, interleague play continues. The Tigers find themselves entertaining the Milwaukee Brewers, the White Sox are at Cincinnati for three games against the Reds, Cleveland gets to play at Wrigley Field against the Cubs this weekend, and Kansas City remain at home to face the mighty St. Louis Cardinals.