1988 - Timeline
from This Date in Astros History
Jan 01 - Dallas Keuchel is born in Tulsa, OK. The lefthander would become the third Astro to win a Cy Young Award, and the first in the American League, after his 20-win season in 2015.
Feb 05 - Shortstop Dickie Thon, who retired during the 1987 season because of vision problems, is removed from Houston's "unable to perform" list and granted free agency. He later signs with San Diego and resumes his big league career.
Feb 25 - Unwanted in Houston, 40-year-old Jose Cruz signs with the New York Yankees, ending an impressive 13-year run as an Astro. Houston will receive a compensation draft pick for the free agent signing.
Mar 15 - It hits the fan when newspapers publish pitcher Bob Knepper's reaction to the performance of minor league umpire Pam Postema, attempting to become the first woman ump in the majors. Knepper states his religious beliefs that women should not "have authority" over men. Astros public relations say calls in reaction to the comments are running 70% opposed. Postema's career eventually falls short of the big leagues.
Mar 19 - Larry Andersen closes out a 4-1 loss to the Kansas City Royals. It was number 42 but it didn't look like Andy and, in fact, it wasn't. It's Dave Smith, who forgot to pack his jersey for the short bus trip. Andersen bought an unmarked jersey at a concession stand so as to not be missed in the bullpen. The stunt leads to a fine for both players.
Mar 25 - Houston trades catcher Robbie Wine to the Texas Rangers for pitcher Mike Loynd. Selected as the eighth overall pick in the 1983 draft, Wine is never able to produce as he did in college. In 23 games as an Astro, Wine hits .146.
Apr 05 - Kevin Bass' two-run single keys a five-run eighth-inning rally to grab a 6-3 Opening Day win against San Diego. Mike Scott takes the win even though he surrendered two runs in the top half of the frame.
Apr 08 - Glenn Davis drills a two-run shot with two outs in the ninth to tie Cincinnati then Houston explodes for five runs in the 16th to take an 8-3 victory. Winning pitcher Larry Andersen starts the final rally with a single off Jose Rijo then scores on a two-run single by Billy Hatcher.
Apr 14 - Glenn Davis drives in five, including three on his fifth home run of the young season, to slam the Reds, 9-3. It makes for an unhappy 47th birthday for Cincinnati skipper Pete Rose.
Apr 27 - Nolan Ryan takes a no-hitter into the ninth inning against Philadelphia but loses it and the lead. Mike Schmidt singles with one out before Lance Parrish doubles to tie the game. Houston wins it in the tenth, 3-2.
May 13 - Glenn Davis drives in four and Gerald Young provides four hits as Houston pounds the Cubs, 8-2. Nolan Ryan tosses his first complete game in over two years, fanning eleven. Davis leads the league in RBIs (33) while Young leads in stolen bases (22).
May 20 - Billy Hatcher delivers five hits during a 5-3 triumph in St. Louis. His last one snaps a 2-2 tie in the top of the ninth, driving in Terry Puhl. Bob Knepper picks up his sixth win - lowering his ERA to 0.89 for the season. The two sides commit seven errors and even Cardinal wizard Ozzie Smith is not immune.
May 23 - Mother Nature gets the save in a 3-0 victory at Pittsburgh. The game is called in the top of the ninth as swirling gale-force winds stop the action. Rafael Ramirez clings to third base for all he's worth. Dirt and debris litter the field. Mike Scott's eight scoreless innings are good enough.
Jun 12 - Mike Scott's bid for his second career no-hitter ends one out short when Ken Oberkfell delivers a clean single to right with two outs in the top of the ninth . It's the only sour note in a 5-0 whitewash over Atlanta. Scott walks none and fans eight. Terry Puhl, Kevin Bass and Craig Reynolds contribute three hits each.
Jun 18 - Houston tallies nine runs in the seventh inning to topple the Braves, 14-7. Bill Doran has three hits and a homer with four RBIs to pace the Astros attack. His two-run single opens the scoring in the seventh. Glenn Davis adds a two-run blast off Paul Assenmacher in the frame.
Jun 26 - Catcher Craig Biggio makes his major league debut in a 6-0 whitewash of San Francisco. He walks in the fourth and scores the game's final run after stealing second. Houston does all its damage on just three hits, aided by six walks. Jim Deshaies and Larry Andersen combine to blank the Giants on seven hits. Biggio will get his first hit three days later against Dodger ace Orel Hershiser.
Jul 09 - Nolan Ryan wins his 100th game as an Astro, dropping the New York Mets, 6-3. Only Cy Young before him had won 100 games for two teams in two separate leagues. A four-run fifth inning is the difference as RBI singles by Glenn Davis, Buddy Bell and Billy Hatcher surround four walks.
Jul 19 - Glenn Davis belts a blooper pitch from Pascual Perez into the left field seats at Olympic Stadium in a 4-3 victory over the Expos . The 40-mph floater doesn't phase Davis who played slow-pitch softball as a youth. It is his 70th RBI of the season to lead the National League.
Jul 23 - A wild pitch by Bruce Ruffin plates Craig Reynolds with the winning run in the ninth as Houston upends the Phillies, 7-6. Two runs down in the eighth, the Astros rally on a pinch homer by Louie Meadows, a pinch triple by Terry Puhl and a sacrifice fly by Gerald Young. Dave Smith wins in relief.
Aug 07 - Two run-scoring balks help Houston edge Los Angeles, 4-2. Tim Leary is nailed with the first, letting Billy Hatcher score. Two innings later, Brian Holton makes the same mistake, allowing Bob Knepper to walk home. Knepper wins his 12th of the year with a save from Juan Agosto.
Aug 08 - Mike Scott blanks the Dodgers, 10-0, to pull within 1-1/2 games of the division lead. Scott excels despite a black eye caused when a weighted doughnut flew off Denny Walling's bat in warmups and hit Scott in the face. His teammates score four times in the first and six in the eighth to ease his pain.
Aug 22 - In the Astros' first night game at Wrigley Field, Craig Biggio blasts a tenth-inning homer off Rich "Goose" Gossage for a 9-7 triumph over the Cubs. This comes after Rafael Ramirez plates two in the ninth to tie it. Juan Agosto notches his tenth straight win.
Sep 05 - Bob Forsch, Ken's younger brother who was acquired six days earlier for Denny Walling, strokes a three-run double and scatters five hits in his Houston debut, a 3-0 shutout over Cincinnati. Dave Smith takes over in the ninth for the save.
Sep 21 - Bob Knepper fires a one-hitter to stifle Atlanta, 1-0. An infield hit by Dale Murphy in the second and a walk to Bruce Benedict in the ninth are the only baserunners he allows. Gerald Young's single in the eighth scores Ken Caminiti for the game's only run.
Oct 03 - Hal Lanier is fired after three seasons. Having won Manager of the Year honors in 1986, Hal closes his run with a 254-232 record.
Nov 07 - Former player Art Howe is named as manager of the Astros. He's the third Astro skipper in a row to make Houston their first big league managerial spot. Howe indicates he'll be able to lead in spite of players on the roster who were his teammates in days gone by.
Dec 04 - Mark Portugal is acquired from Minnesota for minor leaguer Todd McClure. As a reliever for the Twins, Portugal has an 11-19 record over parts of four seasons and is considered expendable. As a starter in Houston, Portugal would turn around his career.
Dec 07 - The Texas Rangers sign pitcher Nolan Ryan as a free agent, creating a huge fan backlash in Houston. San Francisco and California also had offered more than the Astros did. Owner John McMullen defends his bid saying he wouldn't pay Ryan more than he was paying Mike Scott.
Dec 16 - Toronto pitcher Jim Clancy is signed to a free agent contract. Unfairly, he is viewed as the replacement for Nolan Ryan in the Astros rotation. The 32-year-old righthander is coming off an 11-13 season for the Blue Jays.