Astro Jordan Lyles's Big League Debut Is Tonight, So I'm Actually Making a Point to Watch

As Tuesdays in the ho-hum, post-Memorial Day part of the calendar go, this one actually has a few juicy television nuggets tonight -- Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Heat and the Mavericks, the season premiere of America's Got Talent and a mini-marathon of Law & Order: SVU are all on the docket.

Let it be known, I won't be watching any of them.

I still haven't seen Hangover 2 yet. I need to, even if the kindest reaction has been "less funny version of the first one." I was going to do that tonight, too, but H2 is not destination viewing. I found some destination viewing.

Tonight, I am actually making plans to watch the Astros on television.

Let me repeat that -- tonight I am actually making plans to watch the Astros on television.

Yes, I am planning out my evening, and for the first time since I moved back to Houston in 2007, I am actually mapping out an evening where the Astros' game in Chicago against the Cubs is the centerpiece for my five hours of couch time. Mark this date down, because there is a very good chance this may not happen again for another four years.

And by four years, I mean ten years. And by ten years, I mean I have no idea when this will happen again.

Why is tonight so important? Because it's the major league debut of Jordan Lyles, the 20-year-old righthander who is the consensus top prospect in the Astros' minor league system and a significant piece of any future hope the Astros have for success. While Lyles probably would have worked his way up to the big leagues at some point this season, his promotion was necessitated by the fluid-filled pitching elbow (and subsequent trip to the disabled list) of Wandy Rodriguez.

It's not overstating to say that when you watch Lyles tonight, you may be watching the only current Astro that should get you excited about what this team could look like three years from now, which coincidentally is the earliest that this team will be competitive again, and that's with completely blind faith in the new ownership.

Brett Wallace is a nice hitter, Bud Norris is a gritty guy who's had his moments, Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn are overall decent major league players, and the fact that I am actually bringing up that group of players (a bunch of average major leaguers) as my "Whoa, slow down, Sean! Is Lyles really the future?" caveat group speaks to how barren a wasteland the Astros have become.

The only thing that speaks to it more is that the debut of a solid, young prospect actually has me excited to watch baseball for a night. Frankly, it's been so damn long since there's been a reason to watch the Astros, tonight I'm gonna sit back and enjoy it. It kind of feels good to stick my jaded feelings on the shelf and get positive about the hometown team for a night.

Because after Lyles gives up six earned runs in four innings (uh oh, skepticism alert!), I can get back to another lost summer. I can get back to the NBA Finals...or America's Got Talent....or Law & Order: SVU.

Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from noon to 3 p.m. weekdays and follow him on Twitter at

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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts afternoon drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the post game show for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast