Friends, fans and countrymen, Houston has a real live, honest to goodness major league baseball team. It’s amazing that winning can cause forgetfulness quickly.
Yes, those Astros are streaky.
But maybe not in the way you were thinking. Dallas Keuchel now has 11 consecutive quality starts going back to August 2014. During that stretch, he’s 4-1 with a 1.81 ERA. Meanwhile, Will Harris stretched his scoreless streak to 23 games despite a challenging inning on Saturday. Harris has not given up a run since August 2014. It’s the second longest active streak in the majors (Aroldis Chapman, 24).
What happened to versatility and flexibility?
During spring training, the watch words for the Astros were flexibility and versatility. Several different players would play multiple positions, allowing A.J. Hinch plenty of room to mix and match his new team. While the batting order has certainly been flexible, few players are playing all over the field. Only two players have played first base (Marwin Gonzalez, Chris Carter) and third base (Jonathan Villar, Luis Valbuena). Of course, Jose Altuve is the only starter at second base and Evan Gattis has only “played” DH this season. Hinch hasn’t run anyone to right field other than George Springer.
Jake Marisnick‘s steady start means he has gotten the lion’s share of starts in center, leaving Robbie Grossman and Colby Rasmus to share time in left. As a result, the defense has been one of the steady — if not stellar — parts of the Astros’ game thus far in 2015.
Players/pitchers of the month.
Keuchel and McHugh each have one more start left in April and should garner consideration for pitcher of the month. Nick Martinez, Trevor Bauer and Scott Kazmir all have sub-1.00 ERAs and you can make arguments for each based on their work so far. McHugh obviously isn’t in the same “class” this month (3-0, 2.41), but he’ll get an opportunity with Monday’s start to improve his position.
In case you were wondering. The Astros…
- Are more games over .500 (10-7) that at any time in any season since July 24, 2009 (50-46).
- Have not had a winning season in April since 2006 (16-8) when they finished at 82-80.
- 9-0 when scoring first and 9-0 when scoring four or more runs.
- 8-0 when either Keuchel or Collin McHugh start, 2-2 when Scott Feldman is the starter.
- Are 7-5 when hitting a home run, 3-2 when not.
- Are off to their best start since 2006 (12-5).
- Are 7-0 when leading after eight, 6-0 when leading after seven, 6-0 when leading after six.
- What is impressing you most at 10-7?
- Will the Astros always have two players hovering around .200 this season?
- Is the 10-7 record real? Or is it smoke and mirrors?
- What would bring the team crashing and burning quicker than anything?
- Sort of rhetorical, but if Marisnick gets today off as well, will a three-day layoff impact his torrid start (remember Dexter Fowler in ’14, longer layoff though)?