The danger of beginning to write a post on Friday for a Monday delivery is that the world can turn over in 3 days in the majors. Like George Springer going 0 for 4 with 2 strikeouts on Friday night. But even if George goes hitless (he avoided this with 2 hits on Sunday) for the weekend it does not diminish the type of May he has had and the impact he has had on this team.
Let’s face it – George Springer has:
- Brought hope to the hopeless
- Made ESPN and local sports highlights relevant for Astros’ fans
- Made his every at bat “must-see” TV in a cable deal-less world where it is really “might-be-able-to-see”
- Brought (as Becky pointed out) to the dugout and the team “Springer Time” fun like the late Jose Lima brought back in the late 90’s
- Made Bo Porter look like a genius (or at least less dumb) for moving him into the 2nd spot behind Jose Altuve
- Cured cancer, hair loss and bad breath
- Done at least 5 of the 6 items above in about 40 games time
There has been much discussion lately about how Chris Carter‘s 8 HRs and 21 RBIs feel totally non-impactful (Don’t wince at that made up word Chip). I think there are two places that hitting has the biggest impact.
- In late and close situations and second or
- In scoring first and taking the pressure off the whole team especially the pitching.
Let’s take a quick look at Springer’s impact in some of the wins in this fun month of May
May 2 – Springer was 0 for 5 and continuing his poor hitting from April, when he came up in the 11th and won the game 5-4 with a walk off infield single against the Mariners.
May 8 – He was 1 for 3 with a walk and a solo HR in a 6-2 win against Detroit. His dinger brought them back to within one run in the 5th and after his walk he scored the 5th run in the 9th inning.
May 14 – In a 5-4 win over the Rangers he was only 1 for 5, but his 2 run homer in the 7th tied the game at 4-4 and helped fire up the team and the home crowd.
May 17 – Astros beat the W’Sox 6-5 and Springer was 2 for 4 including a triple and a walk with 2 runs scored and an RBI. He knocked in the Astros first run and scored the 2nd in the first inning and then he scored the 6th and eventual winning run in the 7th inning.
May 19 – Springer was 1 for 3 with a walk in a 5-2 win over the Angels and scored the 1st run for the Astros in the 1st inning.
May 24 – The Astros beat the Mariners 9-4 – as Springer went 2 for 5 with 5 RBIs. He hit a 2 run dinger to start the scoring in the 1st and another in the 5th to extend a 4-2 lead to 6-2.
May 25 – In a 4-1 win over the Mariners – George was only 1 for 4 but that one – a 2 Run homer flipped a 1-0 deficit to a 2-1 lead in the 6th and provided the winning run.
May 26 – Springer went bat-chip crazy in a 9-2 win over the Royals as he went 4 for 4 with a walk, 5 Runs scored and 3 RBIs. He scored or drove in 5 of the first 6 runs and ended up with a homer and 2 doubles off the wall at KC.
May 28 – The Astros won 9-3 to sweep the Royals – Springer started them off with a 2 run homer in the 1st and ended up 1 for 3 with 2 walks and 2 runs scored.
May 29 – Springer had a huge 2 run homer in the 7th to take the lead in a 3-1 victory over the Orioles.
- Springer was the first rookie to hit 7 HR in 7 games since 7 time all star Rudy York in 1937. Even Chip, Dan and Brian did not witness those dingers.
- George Springer is the third UConn Huskie to play for the Astros. Both reliever Jeff Fulchino and catcher Brian Esposito came from that program.
- Springer was drafted 11th in the first round back in 2011. Four players drafted ahead of him that round have played in the majors with Gerrit Cole of the Pirates and local boy Anthony Rendon of the Nats being the most successful to date.
- Springer has 10 HR and 25 RBIs in May. In his Rookie of the Year performance in 1991 – Jeff Bagwell had 3 homers in his most productive months (May, July and Sept) and 20 RBIs in August.
- On most lists, Springer would be running third in the ROY running so far – the injured Jose Abreu (15 HR and 42 RBI) and the 7-1 Masahiro Tanaka with a low- 2 ERA would be considered ahead of King George.
- When the end of the season rolls around – what do you think his home run and RBI totals will be?
- What % chance would you give him to win the Rookie of the Year award?
- What position do you think he will be playing at the end of the season?
- What position in the lineup do you think he will be filling at the end of the season?
- Was settling on Altuve / Springer / Fowler into the 1st, 2nd and 3rd spot in the order the move that saved Bo Porter’s job this season?