The Astros' terrible start is worsened by Hunter Brown's collapse against the Royals.  

After a terrible performance in Kansas City on Thursday, Hunter Brown's actual performance belies his talent as a pitcher.   

However, the young right-hander's collapse for the Houston Astros comes at a rather unfortunate moment for the team.   

Brown was summoned by Houston in an effort to put a stop to the recent run of bad starts by starting pitchers.  

In Wednesday's third inning, the Royals scored seven runs, blitzing rookie Spencer Arrighetti, who was summoned to the majors to replace the injured Framber Valdez.  

Blair Henley, a rookie with the Astros, had a dismal first inning against the Rangers on Monday, allowing five earned runs on just one hit, three walks, and no outs.  

The bullpen for Houston is solid in the late innings, but it's weak in the middle. Early and often in 2024, the relievers' soft interiors will be tested.   

Just like Henley, Brown got stuck in the first inning on Thursday. Rising star shortstop Bobby Witt Jr.  

blasted a two-run home run, and he gave up nine earned runs on eleven hits. Tayler Scott and Seth Martinez came on as extended relief, continuing a pattern that manager Joe Espada has seen far too often this season.   

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