With Wandy Rodriguez taking the mound tonight for the stRangers, it’s time to start a new winning streak.
The Astros’ 10-game win streak came to an end last night with a little luck — good for the Rangers, the bad kind for the H-Town nine — giving Texas a 2-1 win. Ah well, you can’t win them all. Don’t believe me? Ask the Kentucky men’s basketball team.
Anyway, there were plenty of heroes who chipped in for 10 straight Houston wins. And not all of them are the obvious choices such as Jose Altuve or Dallas Keuchel during the stretch from April 24 through May 3.
Evan Gattis: Gattis collected 16 RBIs during the stretch. Even taking away his five homers during that stretch, that’s 11 runs batted in. Like his RBI — the Astros’ only during Monday’s loss — last night, he contributed several that were just a good hitter putting the bat on the ball and moving the runner home. In fact, during the Astros’ 10-inning walk-off win on April 30, it was Gattis who drove in a pair of runs while making outs. And without Gattis, the Astros don’t make it to extra innings for Altuve to hit a game-winning single.
Gattis also went 11-for-31 in that stretch, striking out just four times.
Colby Rasmus: Houston’s left fielder went 10-for-38 with 3 HRs and 7 RBIs during the streak. And he basically only played in nine of the games. All that, and he brought significant defense to left field. Say what you want about George Springer and Jake Marisnick in the outfield, but getting a quality defender in left has helped me wash the nasty taste of Carlos Lee from my mouth. And when you consider this is a veteran who could have pouted when stuck in left field, Rasmus’ attitude is also a plus. All this while raising his BA by nearly 50 points and taking his OPS up a notch.
Marwin Gonzalez: When Jed Lowrie went down, I did not panic. Because MarGo is a quality baseball player. His winning-streak stats were to go 9-for-32 with 6 RBIs all while playing solid defense. SOLID! That’s all we’re asking at shortstop. Of course, MarGo wouldn’t be MarGo if he didn’t put in time at first and third base. Because that’s what a super sub does.
Need more heroes? How about Roberto Hernandez giving up 3 runs and 4 runs respectively in his two outings during the streak, but pitching 6 innings both times?
Or what about Will Harris pitching 5.0 scoreless relief innings while whiffing eight, and giving up one hit and one walk during the streak? Of course Harris has yet to be scored upon this season. On April 28, Harris pitched two scoreless against the Padres. Sure, the game was over a long time before Harris entered the game, but he faced six batters and K’ed 3.
Or Tony Sipp, whose 4.2 innings of relief during the streak yielded 1 earned run. On April 26, when the Asher Wojciechowski and Sam Deduno were bleeding runs at Oakland, Sipp came in and pitched 1.2 innings, held the opponent scoreless and picked up the win.
So, here’s a question or two:
1. Who is your hidden hero for the Astros?
2. Of the star players — the Altuves and Keuchels and Carters — which one has contributed the most in each facet of the game.
3. Wandy tonight and Colby Lewis on Wednesday. Are the Astros in jeopardy of going on an extended losing streak?
4. Obviously, the streak had to end. But do you think Houston has more winning or losing streaks this year?