Numbers don’t lie: Dan looks back at the 2013 Astros’ ugliness


And you just thought the season was bad. The numbers don’t lie, as Dan Peschong proves with his latest research into the 2013 Astros. Warning: Reader discretion advised. Some of the numbers you are about to see may not be suitable for young children or fair weather Astros’ fans.

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The Houston Astros’ 2013 season was the ultimate train wreck. Just how bad was it?

Here is a quick look at some amazing numbers from this (hopefully) low point in the franchise’s history.

14 – After 49 seasons the most losses the Astros had suffered in a season was 97. In the last 3 seasons they have increased that number by 14 to 111 losses.

37 – In the Astros best two regular seasons 1998 and 1999 – they won 199 games, which is 37 more than they have won the last three seasons.

15 – The Astros offense was 15th and last in the AL in hits, OBP, SLG and OPS. Their pitching staff was 15th in Runs allowed, ERA, Saves, and walks. And the defense was last in fielding percentage. The team was first in striking out and getting caught stealing.

200 – If the Astros beat the Yankees on Opening Day April 1, it will be exactly 200 days since their last regular season win against the Angels on September 13th.

45 / 40 – The Astros finished 45 games out of 1st place in their division and 40 games out of a tie for the second wild card.

11 / 27 – Chris Carter’s 29 HRs and 82 RBIs were 11 HRs more than Justin Maxwell (18) and 27 RBIs more than JD Martinez (55) – the leaders for the Astros in 2012.

98 – Chris Carter’s 212 K’s in 2013 were 98 more than Maxwell’s club worst 114 K’s in 2012. Slightly in Carter’s defense – Maxwell only had 352 PAs in 2012.

11 – Chris Carter fell 11 K’s short of Mark Reynolds’ record of 223 K’s in a season. Of course Reynolds had 77 more PAs back in 2009 – so Carter has plenty of room to grow.

1535 – After grabbing the AL record for most K’s in a season in mid-September (the 2012 A’s struck out 1387 times) – the Astros “dramatically” grabbed the major league record in the 9th inning of the season finale from the 2010 D’Backs (1529 Ks). And since the last game was an extra inning marathon – they added 5 more cherries to the sundae before calling it a season at 1535 Ks. And most impressively – they were able to do this with only 26 pitcher at-bats for the season.

50 – The Astros had 50 different players appear in games this season – matching a team record from 2012. 25 position players and 26 pitchers appeared (Jake Elmore did pitch 1 inning mop-up for the Astros as the 26th “pitcher”).

15 – Fifteen players made their major league debuts for the Astros in 2013 (none of them named Springer). Five position players (Jonathan Villar, Robbie Grossman, Marc Krauss, Cody Clark and Max Stassi) and Ten pitchers (Jose Cisneros, David Martinez, Paul Clemens, Brett Oberholtzer, Kevin Chapman, Josh Fields, Jorge DeLeon, Chia-Jen Lo, Jarred Cosart and Josh Zeid) got the call-up to the big show this year.

44,150 – The Astros sold 44,150 MORE tickets for home games in 2013 than in 2012 – no, that is not a misprint.  The 1,651,883 tickets sold does represent a 47% drop from the peak of 3,087,872 back in 2004.

So, if you have comments on any of these numbers or any numbers you would like to add to the discussion – let ‘er rip tater chip.

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49 comments on “Numbers don’t lie: Dan looks back at the 2013 Astros’ ugliness

  1. Not many surprises here. Dan, we have so much work to do to improve next year.
    Did you notice that it was announced today by a Corpus Christi station that the Astros bought the CC hooks on Sept 30th. Sure kept that quiet.

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    • I sure hope the dots Becky connected on the previous blog post are wrong and Crane & company are not intending to move the team from CC. CC seems like a great minor league atmosphere and is not that far from Houston. I don’t see any reason to move them to the Woodlands.

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      • devin, everything I’ve heard is that they want their AAA affiliate in the Woodlands. They would have to buy a AAA affiliate out and them move them there when the facility is finished. And, of course fulfill their current obligations to OKC. I really think they are going to keep the Hooks right where they are.

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      • I think oldpro is reading the tea leaves correctly. I think they are buying CC – because they really think it is a good investment and don’t want it to wander away like Round Rock did.

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      • No need for them to move from CC. A neat little park with a loyal fan base. Woodlands would get the OKC team, assuming all goes the Crane way.

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  2. This is a cut and paste for a May 17th story in the chronicle.
    “The Astros said Friday they will purchase the Corpus Christi Hooks, their Class AA farm team, from Houston-based Ryan-Sanders Baseball. The sale is expected to close at the end of the 2013 season, and terms of the agreement were not disclosed.”

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    • So you are saying that this is a story that came out last May. Again – I missed it (but May 17th was my wife and my anniversary) so I have an excuse.

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      • I knew it was going to happen. I just am amazed it happened four days ago and the only people to report it was Astros Daily in a link today. Seems weird the club wouldn’t make an annoucement.

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  3. *50* different players? GOOD LORD……..I had no idea. Well, they were nothing less than consistent I guess! I watched the Braves/Dodgers play off game tonight, and the Braves struck out 12 times………but then again, it was Kershaw on the mound. I think Kershaw is better than Cain, DANG he’s good. *sigh*

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  4. Losses: 88, 86, 106, 107, 111. Run differential: -238. And the MOST AMAZING is I checked Baseball-Reference for these stats and under Houston Astros “Player News” is a link to Chipalatta.com and this story by DanP. So that number would be 10/3.

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  5. Yes – Chip has some type of linkage agreement with baseball-reference – it has to do with cross-linking. Players in Chip’s articles are linked to baseball-reference and baseball-reference links to him. Nice.

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  6. Dan, good stuff here. Hey, on the Corpus Christi deal, I believe there ZERO chance that team moves out of CC. Wouldn’t be surprised at all, however, if the AAA franchise moves closer to Houston. It makes quite a bit of sense and that’s why they’ve had conversations about buying the New Orleans franchise. Not sure that will happen either. In my estimation, it would be a PR blunder on multiple levels to move the Hooks.

    That my 2 and a half cents (inflation, you know).

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    • Not too surprised. Dusty teases… wins a lot of games – usually improves poor clubs but wears out his welcome. As much as he has won – only has the one WS appearance with the 2002 Giants.

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  7. The numbers illustrate just how bad the on field product has been. But it should also be easy for Luhnow to improve on such rotten, across the board stats. Like I’ve said, no more free passes should be given to our GM.

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  8. daveb – Totally agree. It is put up or shut up time and it no longer matters going forward that we had a rotten minor league system in the 2000’s. Luhnow and Crane have set things up to have top picks 3 years in a row – and have gutted the team basically. They own that and they own what is happening in the minors and what has not happened in free agency.

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    • Dan, I’m chagrined every time I look over at first and see Wallace still there. And no ready solution at that spot. He might be back!

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    • The only plus dave is that to me 1st base is not the hardest to fill position (though I’m not overwhelmed at the hard to fill positions either).

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  9. Don’t forget about that H U G E 1st. baseman Luhnow got from the Mexican league.
    He will be looking for a spot going into Spring training. I will go out on a limb and say Wallace will be packaged together with a couple of prospects, and Luhnow will make a trade over the Winter.

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    • Becky – in Chip’s previous column I picked Wallace as most likely to be traded. Somebody is going to think they can get him to hit more often. (But he will have to be packaged as you say)

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  10. Having watched Chris Johnson over just two games in the playoffs, it’s pretty obvious that he’s really shortened up his swing. I hate it when guys learn this stuff after leaving town.

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    • You can’t just go get talent you have to develop it and coach it up.
      Not sure if this is just maturity kicking in – finally listening to someone or if no one never told him what to do different….

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  11. BUT……the more things change, the more they stay the same with Chris Johnson.
    He’s been fined at LEAST two times by MLB, and on the last game of the regular season, he didn’t “hustle” down the line, and it ended the inning. He was pushed backward by the 1st. base coach, when he got to the dugout, and some pretty ugly words were exchanged. He might have just caught lightening in a bottle this year, but I totally expect him to regress to his former self. He’s an immature hot head.

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  12. Billy- the coach was Don Baylor, and Johnson threw his helmet in the dugout.
    Johnson has a bad habit of throwing a temper tantrum……a LOT.

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  13. Well folks……I hope some of you watched the Tigers/ A’s game tonight, and got to see a kid named Sonny Grey pitch. Look out Astros……..THIS one is the real deal.

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  14. I never liked Johnson. Still don’t. First time I saw him at third, he looked disinterested, with an arrogance that no mediocre rookie should have. And that was when he was first brought up. But for whatever it’s worth, he has changed his swing and it has paid off. Defensively, he’s also gotten better.

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  15. Becky – I’m waiting for the day when one of out pitchers is must-see-TV (and everyone in the area can actually get Comcast and see them.)

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  16. Chris Johnson – Yes, he has improved his fielding and is hitting for high average – not a very effective run producer – only 54 runs scored in 540+ ABs. No speed – just connecting more consistently.
    He had an attitude and still does. Not saying he would not be an improvement over what we have – but still has deficiencies.

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    • Given a choice, I’d still stay with Dominguez. He had a solid second half at the plate. At 23, I can’t see a reason why he won’t continue to improve offensively. He could end up being a gold glove guy at third. And by all accounts, he’s a good teammate. Johnson has been neither.

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    • I’m with you daveb – I think Dominguez had very good production at a low BA – if he can improve that could be very solid offensively and we already like his glove.

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  17. I think this schooner was finally turned hard to starboard even if the ownership hasn’t. We just put Singleton on the 40 man rooster and picked up some stud reliever from Philly. I don’t think Singleton can be tested for the evil weed now and the pitcher had a 6 or 7 era so he should fit in well.

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    • Yeah we talked about that a few days ago. Some of the guys like his other peripherals and how he had pitched previously. I’m struggling with his age – 36

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      • Please Dan, don’t get me started on signing an old, bad, no-fast-balling, washed up, left-handed reliever. I know, let’s talk about something more uplifting, like Rick Ankiel’s BB/K rate. or sarin gas or okwhatever!

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  18. For 20yrs. we all made fun at the Pirates, losing year after year…..but not anymore.
    I hope they knock the Cards out of it, and even if they don’t make it to the next round
    I’ll be watching and cheering them on! Lord……I miss the NL. *sigh*

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  19. Speaking of Matty D. I fully expect him to get a gold glove in the near future.
    He’s slow as molasses, but he can hit the ball….. and his defense is SUPERB!

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  20. Maybe us Houston fans don’t have a legitimate gripe (given the CSN treatment), but I have always been offended by the early round playoff games that started during the afternoon. Imagine how fans in Oakland must feel right now.

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    • Wise souls in Oakland got home late from the football game last night, slept in, took the day off, and are now sipping a Bloody Mary in front of a big screen.

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