It's been a rough week, but this is an important thing to keep in mind in the early going. Houston is keeping opponents close, and scoring runs. Not a ton of runs, but they are scoring. It's more than can be said for any point last year.
Several young players that were expected to do well (Schafer, Martinez) have done very well; some (Marwin Gonzalez) have surprised in their roles; while others have - Altuve, Castro, Johnson - have been a disappointment in one respect or another Seriously, the Altuve can hit, but it's like he found a way to get worse at second base in the off season. ... Castro falls into the "needs more time/seasoning/salt" category.
It would be nice to see Chris Johnson take a walk once in a while
. No walks so far this season ... Yeesh.
Plus, the veterans are showing up. Matt Downs is a valuable cog off the bench that landed in Houston because the Giants are run by people who still use examine leaves and twigs as a means of predicting the future for a ballplayer. Carlos Lee is playing like he wants another contract, and Travis Buck seems to have found a nice niche as a bench player and pinch hitter.
Second, it also means the pitching is doing its job and more or less keeping runs off the board. Kyle Weiland notwithstanding, the rotation has been in the top 10 in the league so far this season. The bullpen ... too early to tell, but there are some encouraging signs. Brett Myers seems to do well at closing for Houston and the support staff, aside from a few moments, hasn't done anything so blasphemous as to earn them a demotion to the minors.
Houston is still 5-8. It's good for only so much. But remember: This team wasn't supposed to have five wins until mid May, the way everyone predicted it.
So, small victories.