1978 - Timeline
from This Date in Astros History
Feb 12 - Tim Redding is born in Rochester, NY. In four seasons as an Astro (2001-2004), Redding built a career record of 21-28 with an ERA of 4.75 before being traded to San Diego.
Mar 04 - Rodrigo Rosario is born in La Romana, DR. The slender Dominican righthander wins his 2003 big league debut in memorable fashion but lands on the DL after injuring himself in his second start.
Mar 29 - Eric Bruntlett is born in Lafayette, IN. The utilityman bats .250 with nine homers during his five seasons with Houston (2003-2007). His turn of a double play in Game 4 of the 2005 N.L.C.S. seals a pivotal 2-1 victory. He later would make an unassisted triple play as a member of the Phillies in 2009.
Apr 06 - The traditional Opening Day in Cincinnati is an 11-9 loss to the Reds. Terry Puhl begins the season with a leadoff homer against Tom Seaver and is later joined by Cesar Cedeno and Joe Ferguson in the longball department. Ferguson also starts a triple play when he catches strike three from Joe Sambito, throws out George Foster stealing second then watches Joe Morgan get caught in a rundown between third and home.
Apr 21 - A Hollywood ending helps Houston subdue the Dodgers, 8-6. With two on against Ken Forsch in the bottom of the ninth, Ron Cey lines to Bob Watson who steps on first to double off Reggie Smith. Watson spins and throws to Roger Metzger at second who beats Bill Russell to the bag to complete the game-ending triple play. Joe Ferguson's three-run homer in the eighth had given the Astros their lead.
May 12 - Reliever Tom Dixon singles home Julio Gonzalez in the 14th inning for a wild 5-4 victory in New York. It's his first big league hit. Houston scores twice in the ninth to reach extra innings then takes the lead in the 12th on a two-run homer by Enos Cabell. Ken Forsch can't hold the lead, setting up Dixon's heroics.
May 15 - J.R. Richard two-hits Philadelphia in a 5-0 shutout. He fans nine and allows two harmless singles. Bob Watson 's two-run homer paces the offense. Phillie catcher Bob Boone has a rough night, committing two errors and suffering five bruises before being tossed in an argument with umpire Bruce Froemming.
May 20 - J.R. Richard fires his second-straight shutout in a 13-0 drubbing of the Braves. Jose Cruz is the batting star with four hits and six RBIs. Enos Cabell contributes three hits while Denny Walling launches his first major league home run.
May 30 - J.R. Richard tosses three wild pitches in the seventh inning, wasting his own three-hitter in the process. His last errant one allows Larry Herndon to trot home with the only run in a 1-0 defeat by Bob Knepper and San Francisco. The wild pitches tie a record Richard had already tied once that season.
Jun 12 - Despite committing a team-record seven errors, Houston explodes for six runs in the eighth inning to upend the Pirates, 6-5. Jesus Alou begins the frame with a double, his fourth hit of the night. Cesar Cedeno completes the rally with a bases-loaded single. Rick Williams gets the win in his major league debut.
Jul 01 - Catcher Joe Ferguson is traded to the Dodgers for two players to be named later (outfielder Jeff Leonard and infielder Rafael Landestoy). On the field, the Astros split a twinbill against the Padres, winning 9-4 and losing 9-3. Wilbur Howard stars in the opener with three hits and three RBIs.
Jul 14 - Ken Forsch wins a pair of extra-inning contests against the Expos. Jose Cruz singles home the winning run in the 13th for a 4-3 victory in the opener after Reggie Baldwin tied it with a two-out single in the ninth. In the nightcap, Jesus Alou draws a bases-loaded walk for the game-winner in a 5-4, ten-inning triumph.
Aug 25 - Local Houstonians replace striking umpires during a 7-5 victory over Pittsburgh. Murray Strey, a superintendent for Entex, rings up Dave Parker on strikes with the bases loaded in the ninth to kill the last Pirate chance. Parker later admits the last pitch could have been a strike. The union umps are back the next day.
Sep 26 - Joe Niekro outduels his brother Phil in a 2-0 whitewash of the Braves and denies Phil a 20-win season. Joe allows seven hits then gives way to Ken Forsch in the ninth. Jose Cruz and Julio Gonzalez drive in the game's only runs.
Sep 28 - J.R. Richard becomes the first righthander in league history to reach 300 strikeouts during a 4-3 victory over Atlanta. He whiffs six to tally 303 for the season . J.R. also belts a homer off Larry McWilliams in the third. A double by Reggie Baldwin and a single by Rafael Landestoy in the seventh key the winning rally.
Nov 09 - Todd Self is born in Shreveport, LA. The outfielder appears in 21 games during 2005 before being released, batting .200 with one homer.
Nov 22 - Ford Motor Credit Company buys full control of the Astros by purchasing remaining shares from General Electric Credit Company. They intend to look for a new buyer, while rumors swirl that the franchise may be moved out of Houston.
Nov 27 - Alan Ashby is acquired from Toronto for pitcher Mark Lemongello, outfielder Joe Cannon and a minor leaguer. Ashby becomes a stalwart in Houston for the next decade, hitting .252 and providing steady defense behind the plate.
Dec 08 - Lefthander Floyd Bannister is traded to Seattle for shortstop Craig Reynolds. An All-Star in Seattle, Reynolds would become an All-Star again the next year before settling into a long career in his hometown.