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Roy Oswalt, the Houston Astros Opening Day starting pitcher for seven straight years, from 2003 through 2009.

The Houston Astros are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Houston, Texas. They play in the National League Central division. The Houston Astros have used 19 different Opening Day starting pitchers in their 48 seasons. The 19 starters have a combined Opening Day record of 20 wins, 20 losses and 8 no decisions.[1][2] No decisions are only awarded to the starting pitcher if the game is won or lost after the starting pitcher has left the game.[3]

The Astros began to play in 1962 as the Houston Colt .45s (their name was changed to the Astros in 1965 when the Houston Astrodome opened as their home ball park).[4] Bobby Shantz started their first Opening Day game on April 10, 1962 against the Chicago Cubs at Houston's Colt Stadium and was credited with the win.[1] In their first eight seasons, the Colt .45s / Astros used eight different Opening Day starters. In 1970, that streak ended when Larry Dierker made his second Opening Day start.[1]

Roy Oswalt has made the most Opening Day starts for the Astros, with seven such starts from 2003 through 2009.[1][2] Three different pitchers have each made five Opening Day starts for the Astros: J. R. Richard (1976–1980), Mike Scott (1987–1991) and Shane Reynolds (1996–2000). Dierker made four Opening Day starts for the Astros, and Joe Niekro and Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan made three apiece.[1] Dierker has the best record in Opening Day starts with four wins and no losses. Niekro and Don Wilson share the worst record in Opening Day starts with no wins and two losses each. Niekro also had one no decision.[1]

The Astros have played in three home ball parks. Their first home ball park was Colt Stadium. Their starting pitchers had one win and one loss in their two Opening Day games at Colt Stadium. They played 25 Opening Day games in the Astrodome after moving there in 1965, and their starting pitchers had a record of 12 wins, 8 losses and 5 no decisions in those games. They moved to Enron Field (subsequently renamed Astros Field and Minute Maid Park) in 2000. Through 2009, they have played eight Opening Day games there, and their starting pitchers have a record of three wins, three losses and two no decisions in those games. This makes the record of the Astros' Opening Day starting pitchers in home games 16 wins, 12 losses and 7 no decisions. Their record in Opening Day away games is four wins, eight losses and one no decision.[1] The Astros have advanced to the World Series once, in 2005.[5] Oswalt lost to the St. Louis Cardinals as the Opening Day starter that season.[1]

Key

The Houston Astros played 25 Opening Day games in the Astrodome between 1965 and 1999.
Season Each year is linked to an article about that particular Colt .45s / Astros season.
W Win
L Loss
ND (W) No decision by starting pitcher; Colt .45s / Astros won game
ND (L) No decision by starting pitcher; Colt .45s / Astros lost game
Final score Game score with Colt .45s / Astros runs listed first
Location Stadium in italics for home game
Pitcher (#) Number of appearances as Opening Day starter with the Colt .45s / Astros
* Advanced to the post-season
** NL Champions

Pitchers

Nolan Ryan made three Opening Day starts for the Astros.
Minute Maid Park, previously called Enron Park and Astros Field, is the Astros' current home ball park, and the Astros have played seven Opening Day games there through 2008.
Season Pitcher Decision Final
Score
Opponent Location Reference
1962 Shantz, BobbyBobby Shantz W 11–2 Chicago Cubs Colt Stadium [6]
1963 Farrell, TurkTurk Farrell L 2–9 San Francisco Giants Colt Stadium [7]
1964 Johnson, KenKen Johnson W 6–3 Cincinnati Reds Crosley Field [8]
1965 Bruce, BobBob Bruce L 0–2 Philadelphia Phillies Astrodome [9]
1966 Roberts, RobinRobin Roberts L 2–3 Los Angeles Dodgers Dodger Stadium [10]
1967 Cuellar, MikeMike Cuellar W 6–1 Atlanta Braves Astrodome [11]
1968 Dierker, LarryLarry Dierker W 5–4 Pittsburgh Pirates Astrodome [12]
1969 Wilson, DonDon Wilson L 1–2 San Diego Padres San Diego Stadium [13]
1970 Dierker, LarryLarry Dierker (2) W 8–5 San Francisco Giants Candlestick Park [14]
1971 Dierker, LarryLarry Dierker (3) W 5–2 Los Angeles Dodgers Astrodome [15]
1972 Wilson, DonDon Wilson (2) L 0–5 San Francisco Giants Astrodome [16]
1973 Roberts, DaveDave Roberts ND (W) 2–1 Atlanta Braves Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium [17]
1974 Roberts, DaveDave Roberts (2) L 1–5 San Francisco Giants Candlestick Park [18]
1975 Dierker, LarryLarry Dierker (4) W 6–2 Atlanta Braves Astrodome [19]
1976 Richard, J.R.J.R. Richard L 5–11 Cincinnati Reds Riverfront Stadium [20]
1977 Richard, J.R.J.R. Richard (2) ND (W) 3–2 Atlanta Braves Astrodome [21]
1978 Richard, J.R.J.R. Richard (3) L 9–11 Cincinnati Reds Riverfront Stadium [22]
1979 Richard, J.R.J.R. Richard (4) W 2–1 Atlanta Braves Astrodome [23]
1980* Richard, J.R.J.R. Richard (5) W 3–2 Los Angeles Dodgers Astrodome [24]
1981* Niekro, JoeJoe Niekro L 0–2 Los Angeles Dodgers Dodger Stadium [25]
1982 Ryan, NolanNolan Ryan L 3–14 St. Louis Cardinals Astrodome [26]
1983 Niekro, JoeJoe Niekro (2) ND (L) 7–16 Los Angeles Dodgers Astrodome [27]
1984 Niekro, JoeJoe Niekro (3) L 2–4 Montreal Expos Astrodome [28]
1985 Ryan, NolanNolan Ryan (2) W 2–1 Los Angeles Dodgers Astrodome [29]
1986* Ryan, NolanNolan Ryan (3) L 3–8 San Francisco Giants Astrodome [30]
1987 Scott, MikeMike Scott W 4–3 Los Angeles Dodgers Astrodome [31]
1988 Scott, MikeMike Scott (2) W 6–3 San Diego Padres Astrodome [32]
1989 Scott, MikeMike Scott (3) W 10–3 Atlanta Braves Astrodome [33]
1990 Scott, MikeMike Scott (4) ND (L) 4–8 Cincinnati Reds Astrodome [34]
1991 Scott, MikeMike Scott (5) L 2–6 Cincinnati Reds Riverfront Stadium [35]
1992 Harnisch, PetePete Harnisch L 0–2 Atlanta Braves Astrodome [36]
1993 Drabek, DougDoug Drabek L 1–3 Philadelphia Phillies Astrodome [37]
1994 Harnisch, PetePete Harnisch (2) ND (W) 6–5 Montreal Expos Astrodome [38]
1995 Drabek, DougDoug Drabek (2) W 10–2 San Diego Padres Jack Murphy Stadium [39]
1996 Reynolds, ShaneShane Reynolds L 3–4 Los Angeles Dodgers Astrodome [40]
1997* Reynolds, ShaneShane Reynolds (2) W 2–1 Atlanta Braves Astrodome [41]
1998* Reynolds, ShaneShane Reynolds (3) ND (L) 4–9 San Francisco Giants Astrodome [42]
1999* Reynolds, ShaneShane Reynolds (4) W 4–2 Chicago Cubs Astrodome [43]
2000 Reynolds, ShaneShane Reynolds (5) W 5–2 Pittsburgh Pirates Three Rivers Stadium [44]
2001* Elarton, ScottScott Elarton W 11–3 Milwaukee Brewers Enron Field [45][46]
2002 Miller, WadeWade Miller L 3–9 Milwaukee Brewers Astros Field [47][48]
2003 Oswalt, RoyRoy Oswalt W 10–4 Colorado Rockies Minute Maid Park [49][50]
2004* Oswalt, RoyRoy Oswalt (2) ND (L) 4–5 San Francisco Giants Minute Maid Park [51][52]
2005** Oswalt, RoyRoy Oswalt (3) L 3–7 St. Louis Cardinals Minute Maid Park [53][54]
2006 Oswalt, RoyRoy Oswalt (4) W 1–0 Florida Marlins Minute Maid Park [55][56]
2007 Oswalt, RoyRoy Oswalt (5) ND (L) 2–4 Pittsburgh Pirates Minute Maid Park [57][58]
2008 Oswalt, RoyRoy Oswalt (6) L 0–4 San Diego Padres Petco Park [59][60]
2009 Oswalt, RoyRoy Oswalt (7) L 2–4 Chicago Cubs Minute Maid Park [2]

References

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