HOUSTON -- One night after the Astros committed four errors -- leading to four unearned runs -- in their season-opening loss to the Rockies, manager Brad Mills and members of his coaching staff summoned the players involved in the misplays and went over them by watching television replays.
"If it's an experience thing or whatever, you just have to go through it and talk about it, and today we called the guys in our office and put on the TV screen and went through each one and what was going through their mind," Mills said.
Third baseman Chris Johnson made a fielding error, pitcher Wandy Rodriguez was charged with an error when second baseman Jose Altuve was a step late getting to the bag, Altuve was charged with a fielding error in the fourth and catcher Jason Castro made a throwing error in the eighth, allowing the winning run to score.
"[Maybe it was] young guys and Opening Day jitters," Mills said. "Like I said [on Friday], it was really a shock. The guys had played so well and we had the fewest errors in Spring Training, and what's going to be one of our strengths is our defense. To see those things happen last night was kind of shocking."
In hometown, Snyder makes Astros debut
HOUSTON -- Chris Snyder, a native of Houston who signed with his hometown team in the offseason, made his first appearance in an Astros uniform on Saturday night, when he started at catcher against the Rockies.
"I grew up a fan and went to many games in the [Astrodome], went to many games here when it was Enron Field and saw all kinds of cool things throughout the years and in Astros history," said Snyder, who was in the stands for Mike Scott's no-hitter in 1986. "Anyone who plays baseball wants to play for their hometown team, and I get a chance to do that. It's a dream come true."
Snyder thought that his career might have been over last year, when he injured his back while with the Pirates, but he recuperated following surgery and appears to have found the perfect spot to back up starter Jason Castro.
"From the moment I signed here, it was one of those things that with the structure of the contract, nothing was guaranteed up to this point," Snyder said. "One of the main goals was to get to this point and then go from there. I got my jersey, and I got my number. To be here at this point right now is something special."
Bixler gets start in place of Altuve
HOUSTON -- The second game of the season, and manager Brad Mills already tinkered with his lineup. The most notable change on Saturday from Friday's Opening Day lineup was Brian Bixler starting at second base in place of Jose Altuve.
Mills didn't give a specific reason why he started Bixler against 49-year-old left-hander Jamie Moyer, other than saying that Bixler needs to start on occasion.
"Bixler's done a good job for us all Spring Training and has been able to play everywhere and do such a good job," Mills said. "He's a neat guy because he can do so many things. You want to give him a start here and there to see how he's going, and I just thought this would be a good day to start him."
Bixler, a non-roster invitee who made the club after Jed Lowrie was placed on the disabled list, can play pretty much anywhere on the field other than pitcher. With that in mind, he knows to come to the ballpark ready to see his name in the lineup.
"That's the approach I take," Bixler said. "I wasn't surprised [to play on Saturday]. I was ready for any opportunity, and when you can play different positions, there's always a shot to get thrown in there somewhere."