Sunday update: Hinch fields fifth lineup in six games

The Astros and Rangers finish up their series in Arlington today. It’s Houston’s sixth game of the season and manager A.J. Hinch rolls out his fifth different lineup.

Of note is Marwin Gonzalez getting a start at  first base (Chris Carter on the bench) and Jason Castro catching a day game, though after another day game of sorts.

Keuchel on the hill.

Some basic notes as the Astros look to win their first series of the year.

  • Houston pitchers have allowed only 10 earned runs this year, resulting in the second best ERA in the American League (2.05).
  • Will Harris  is quietly becoming a nice addition to the bullpen. He made his 18th consecutive scoreless appearance last night, going all the way back to Aug. 19.
  • Altuve, Springer and Lowrie are the only players to start all six games of the season.
  • Two Scotts — Feldman and Kazmir — are scheduled to start Monday in Houston’s home game against Oakland.
  • Two guys with exploding ERAs will be on the mound Tuesday: Asher Wojciechowski (9.00) and Kendall Graveman (18.90) face each other in Game 2.
  • In case you were wondering, Keuchel is 2-3 vs. Texas lifetime; 2-1 in 2014.
  • With Carter out of today’s lineup, Hinch is using his third cleanup hitter in six games. Valbuena hit .310/.403/.759 in 16 starts there for the Cubs last season. Yet, he hit 7 of his 16 HRs during limited action at that lineup position.

22 comments on “Sunday update: Hinch fields fifth lineup in six games

  1. McCullers goes 5 SO innings and three relievers keep the 6 hit shutout as Corpus drills the Tulsa Drillers today in Tulsa, 4-0.
    Kemp w/ 2 hits, Nash with a HR and Meredith w/ 2 hits and 2 RBIs.


  2. One of the few time I get to watch an Astros game and I turn the game OFF.
    Aren’t you glad we gave away the farm for Gattis….GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.


  3. Do y’all remember the Cheers TV episode when Carla explained her husband’s shirt tail sticking out of his fly as “…his family’s statement on their virility? I guess that is the look that Rasmus is going for?


  4. So, my wife comes in and sits down on the sofa in the top of the second and she sees the four run inning and she’s hootin and hollerin. She gets up and goes off to read a book and do some craft work. Over three hours later she yells out and asks if we can watch a movie. I yelled out that she needed to get in here and see something. She gets up and screams when she sees Springer’s catch She sits down to watch the fourteenth inning and watches Congers home run and Springers second bases loaded game saving catch and says, matter of factly, that she is the Astros’ good luck charm.
    God, I love that woman.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I remember back toward the end of the spring when one of the question’s was “what has been the spring’s most pleasant surprise”? My answer was “the pop in Conger’s bat.” My least pleasant surprise is Conger’s glove. My goodness, he is awful!


    • Sarge, I really didn’t have a problem with it. After all, he had only Deduno and Harris left. It’s not unusual to use your closer in that situation…in extras on the road. What will be interesting to see is who is available tomorrow!!!


  6. In the scheme of things the Astros have been a team trying to find itself, so the multiple lineups don’t surprise me. If they had the answers to all the questions they would have a better team and wouldn’t still be moving things around.
    Harris may be a nice addition but is he gone when Fields is ready? I notice Fields did not make that second appearance yesterday for Fresno, like they said he would.
    Gattis’s slump is pretty bad and reminds me of Wallace a couple of years ago. The walk yesterday was the most patient I’ve seen him.
    The Springer catch yesterday was the most meaningful catch made by an Astro since Jeff Luhnow became the GM. It prevented a loss in a game the Astros won in extra innings to remain in a tie for first place, on the road, to win a series and take the lead in the silver boot chase. It may be a very important moment in a rivalry that hasn’t really taken off yet, but moments like that could jump start this cross-state baseball thing.


  7. I don’t really have a problem, this early in the season, with the different lineups. First, Hinch wants to keep everyone fresh after getting consistent playing time during ST and, next, the offense is struggling and some players, like Gattis and Carter, need a mental break to help straighten things out. The pitching, for the most part, has been very good. Considering how bad the offense has been I will take a 3-3 record after the first week. I don’t think Gattis and Carter are this bad, at least I hope not.


    • OP, can’t disagree, but here’s one followup for you. I wonder what the numbers crunchers will recommend to Hinch on Qualls? If you remember, he was horrible against the A’s last year: 7 G, 4 IP, 16 H, 12 ER, 4.50 WHIP, 27.00 ERA. Throw him back up on the horse?


      • Chip, I was purposefully avoiding that topic. It hurts to think about it, but I will go back to Hinch’s motto of things as he sees it.
        Still, Qualls look so shaky last night. I wonder if Fields did not work the game yesterday for Fresno because of what happened in Arlington yesterday. Could we see a fresh Fields in Houston tonight?


      • OP, interesting thought. I’d wondered yesterday who might be available today. The question is, though, who does Fields replace. The obvious “choices” would be Deduno or Harris, but those guys have more than carried their weight, especially Harris.

        Is someone headed to the DL? Would they send down Wojo and give Deduno a spot start? Or is Thatcher the odd man out this early? Hmmm. Interesting thought…


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