Heroes aplenty in an Astros’ 10-game win streak


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, scream for your Collin McHughs and Luke Gregersons all you like. A big part of any winning team is getting contributions up and down the lineup. And that’s what the Astros have been getting.

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?

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

54 comments on “Heroes aplenty in an Astros’ 10-game win streak

  1. It is never fun to face Wandy Rodriguez. He pounds the corners of the strike zone with the fastball and freezes you with that big hook. You have to be very patient, foul off a lot of pitches to get him to at least a 2-ball count, force him into a mistake, pound it, get some runners on, and rattle him. That kind of approach is not and has never been our strong suit. Hence, Wandy is tough on us.

    Hidden heroes? I have been pleasantly surprised – indeed pretty much blown away – by Colby Rasmus and Will Harris.

    The ‘star’ who has contributed the most? Jose Altuve. He goes out day after day, inning after inning, pitch by pitch, and play-by-play, and makes good things happen. He’s the guy about which other teams have had to learn the hard way to say ‘Don’t let THAT GUY beat you!’ [Hint: the Mariners management team really, really messed this up!] Carter, on the other hand, is the guy they all want to see come to bat. He’s the guy they know won’t hurt them in the critical moments of the game.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My hidden hero during the streak is Roberto Hernandez. As a #5 starter he made two starts during the streak and the team won them both.
    Altuve contributed the most during the streak: incredible hitting, perfect defense, and electric base running.
    I don’t know if the Astros are in jeopardy of going on an extended losing streak, because of playing the Rangers the next two games. But the Astros are certainly capable of losing 5-6 in a row because of their all or nothing approach at the plate.
    I think the winning and losing streaks might be pretty even from here on out unless the Astros make a couple of moves.

    Like

  3. For me it has to be the stellar effort of Villiar, HA had to throw that in, Happy Cinco De Mayo everyone. Is anyone ready fro something besides Grossman?
    Surprises for me so far, The Astros 2015, winning, the chemistry, Hinch’s leadership, may the baseball God’s keep smiling on us!

    Like

  4. 1. Because there is no “I” in Team (God I hate that saying) – I would say about 20 heroes. It was truly a team effort to have a streak. 2. Was “Star” and “Carter” in the same sentence a hidden word trick? With runners on 3rd and less than 2 out – Gattis has done his job most of the time. Altuve has always done his. Keuchel should pitch more in NL parks so he can bat. That gives him a better chance to win. 3. Not a 10 game losing streak. 4. Yes, they will have many streaks of “W;s” and “L’s”. That is the nature of the game. But seriously doubt we will see another 10 game – either way. 5. And Springer’s catch down the line last night was unbelievable. The OF with Rasmus in left is just fun to watch. And I wish we had a couple stools and dunce hats for a couple of our bench players. (Or just leave them on the bench until someone gets injured)

    Like

  5. I’d like to offer the suggestion that speed never slumps. Villar may be the exception there, but notice Altuve/Springer/JFSF got it done with their legs – extra bases, stolen bases, and infield hits.

    I don’t expect prolonged losing streaks. Dropping more than two in a row should not occur very often.

    Like

  6. – I’ll go another direction on an unsung hero – even though his BA and OBP are nothing to write home about – I have enjoyed watching Luis Valbuena play 3B. His 10 extra base hits are tied for 2nd on the team, his 6 HRs are tied for the team lead and he has made 0 errors. And after watching Matty D and his .560 OPS (or whatever it was) last year, Valbuena is putting up a .728 OPS, which is above league average.
    – You dare put Carter’s name next to Altuve and Keuchel when talking about stars? It is like chiseling President Obama’s face on Mount Rushmore (sorry Billy C – it is just a joke – OK?). I love what both Keuchel and Altuve are doing, but since he is there everyday – you cannot say enough about Altuve. I mean the guy is the leadoff man and leading the team in RBIs (a big assist to JFSF on that). His OBP is .410, he leads them in runs scored, hits (by 14 over the next guy), doubles, tied for the top in SBs and he has 0 errors.
    – Yesterday afternoon when I looked at the matchup – Keuchel vs. a guy with a 8+ ERA – I immediately thought “trap game” and they lost a game they should have won (just like the Rockets against the Paul-less Clippers). Even with a lot of right handed batters – they often struggle against leftys. But I say no – they are going to take care of business against Wandy tonight.
    – Don’t really care about the streak part of it as much as playing consistent ball – 2 out of 3 will get you there too. To me it is a bigger deal to avoid the long losing streaks than to string them (maybe that is just a dumb psychological thing on my part).

    Like

    • Dan, this is a great comment. It sounds like a wise old baseball guy. I’m jealous! My youngest granddaughter teases me when she hugs her Granny and then looks at me and says” Grampa, are you jealous?” Heck, yeah I am.

      Like

  7. Now that ‘the streak’ is over, and we were exposed as nothing like the quality of team the media and a few wins in a row had fooled us into believing we were, can we now can get down to the business that needs to be attended to? 18-7 is no more – and that kind of ‘bubble’ will burst soon. The Rangers should be salivating – they faced Kid Keuchy and beat us because we were overconfident and painfully dull on offense and put a second-string catcher on the field who does not keep his head in the game and threw behind a guy everybody in our organization should know is one of the quickest base runners in the game.

    Let’s face it, we have been hurt by an injury – and we are not handling it well. Until Jed comes back, we very much need a regular SS brought in [hopefully from Fresno or Corpus] so that MarGo can play 1B every other game. Villar has proven to be an offensive black hole and a defensive disaster waiting to happen. Carter has been a rally-killing poison. He had three – count them – three Ks last night, and 2 more LOB against . . . well, I don’t want to disrespect the young man at all, but can we at least agree it wasn’t Felix Hernandez or Corey Cluber on the mound against us? Heaven help us, Carter is ABSOLUTELY OVER-MATCHED AND OUT-GUNNED BY, AND INCAPABLE OF HITTING WANDY RODRIGUEZ. But we have no one else to put on 1st tonight without inserting Villar at short, so Carter will likely be looking at a golden sombrero on cinco de mayo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I thought we were supposed to be all giddy about the 18-8 start and ignore the holes we’ve still got in this roster. Mr. Cynic here is trying to keep his mouth shut for the time being.

      Like

      • I’m holding back a lot too, dave. One winning streak or one loss doesn’t alter the course or direction of the club I witness every night, now that I can watch them.
        The scariest thing I see with the Astros is that some people view baseball almost exactly the opposite that I have done for fifty years and just laugh at what they see right in front of their eyes and then then say that what you see is not really there, but what they read on a stat sheet is true reality.
        Like the guy I saw this morning that said Singleton is hitting well in AAA.

        Like

    • Is your strategy to try to get Carter as angry as possible so he just goes up there swinging harder and trying to make the baseball explode?

      Like

      • I am hoping against hope that Chris will get totally offended, and be inspired to go out tonight – and in the next hundred plus games for that matter – and prove me to be a complete moron. It is my feeble attempt at a tombstone headline [some of you know exactly what I mean]. I tried the Bill Yoast tact of ‘being nice’ yesterday [Hulk smash!], and it didn’t work. So, today why not give Coach Boone’s approach a shot. “Petey, how many feet are in a mile? How many feet are in a mile?” 5,280 feet. You pick this ball up and run every one of ’em. You’re killin’ me, Petey! You’re killin’ me!”

        Like

    • Mr. Bill – I look at things a tad different. I think this team has solid pitching (not perfect – but solid), solid fielding (spectacular in the outfield, pedestrian in the infield) and spotty hitting. They will win more easily when they are hitting, but be in games when they are not. They are not an 18-8 team over the whole season, but they are not 70-92 either. I totally agree they need someone else in Villar’s spot – I begged for this the other day. But bottom line I don’t think they will crash and burn either if it does not happen this week.
      Will Carter hit – heck I don’t know.
      Last season after 85 ABs he had 3 HR and 8 RBIs .153 BA / .270 OBP / .599 OPS
      This season after 86 ABs he has 3 HR and 8 RBIs .151 BA / .267 OBP / .523 OPS
      As they said in Pulp Fiction (more or less) That is %^&*$# trippy…..

      They lost a game they should not have lost – one they may have toted up in the win column before the game. Maybe the Rangers are salivating over throwing Wandy out there – I don’t see why. They may be salivating because they know that no team can sustain what the Astros threw out there over the 14-1 stretch and they are showing up at the right time.
      But hey – it is one loss and they still have a 7 game lead – so chill a bit. There will be plenty of time to panic a little later.
      I mean how bad do you think the fans are feeling in the other AL West cities?

      Like

      • I hear you, Dan. Baseball is a game, and this Astros team is what it is. As it is presently constructed I do not expect them to win every game, or for that matter every other game. Wins are nice, losses are to be expected, and with a rebuilding team like ours neither mean much in the long run. What I am addressing is the head-in-the-sand approach that insists on looking at Villar-Carter through rose-colored, LSD-laced glasses, telling everybody to just wait and ignore the flock of buzzards that have gathered and are circling over their lockers.

        Like

      • I am concerned about Carter and not really worried about Villar – concerned because Carter might not repeat what he did last season, nor worried about Villar because I know exactly who he is and that he does not belong here. I know weird logic. I guess what I am saying is that I have seen enough of Villar from so many different angles and I am convinced that makeup and jewelry will not turn this pig into a princess. With Carter I have it in my mind that he has at least had success at the major league level – he could be that guy again.
        Villar is the Ground Hog Day player – he is the same over and over and over…

        Like

      • All I mean by salivating is that since the trade in 2012 Wandy is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA against the Astros. That only covers 2 games, and 13 IP – all in late 2012. But in those 13 IPs he racked up 12 Ks – against less K-prone players than our current roster contains. The Astros have only been able to post only a .208 batting average against him. And, of course, he has always pitched very well at MMP.

        Like

      • “how bad do you think the fans are feeling in the other AL West cities?”

        Not too bad [except maybe the Rangers, who have actually played us tougher than the contending teams, but have so many injuries they can’t expect much from the 2015 season long-term]. The three projected contenders are bunched up within a half-game of each other, and the only team above them in the standings is one they see as a dressed up step-sister staring out at them from the window of a pumpkin carriage, wearing only one shoe, as the clock is striking quarter to twelve.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. OP1. He is hitting well at AAA. A well, after all, is a deep hole in the ground, producing whatever is at the bottom of the hole by the process of suction.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I thought I’d check and see why the Astros might have trouble last night and tonight.
    Here are the Astros batting averages against LH pitchers this season:
    Altuve .515
    Lowrie .474 (injured)
    Gonzalez .429 Only 14 ABs though
    Marisnick .250 (Huge surprise there, considering his RH bat and .360 Total BA)
    Rasmus .211
    Springer .207
    Gattis .200
    Castro .158
    Conger .154
    Grossman .150
    Carter .129
    Valbuena .083
    Villar .071
    If you get past Altuve or pitch around him, you have a good chance of throttling the Astros with a LH pitcher. Lowrie’s injury hurt!

    Liked by 1 person

    • And it really makes no sense to put Valbuena in the 2nd spot against leftys like they have done at times….I’m betting Gattis’ BA is a lot better against leftys the last two weeks vs. the previous 3….

      Like

    • Let’s see, they could bring up a RH hitting shortstop named Correa or Fontana or a switch-hitter named Sclafani and . . . I wonder how the odds against lefties might shift?

      Great revelation, OP1. As this team is presently configured, without Lowrie, If we are to do anything against Wandy or any other tough lefty, we need to bat MarGo 2nd, and at least 2 of our middle of the order righties – Springer, Marisnick, Gattis and [cough] Carter – need to produce multiple hits or HRs to help out Altuve and Gonzales. And, of course, Feldman has to toss a gem.

      Like

      • Fontana actually hits lefty, and Sclafani’s defense may remind you a bit too much of Villar with no amazing plays balancing out the poor ones. I have no argument against Correa – that’s on the front office to decide to give him a ticket.

        Like

      • Devin, You’re right, Sclafani has been unremarkable defensively. But it would not be fair to compare him to Villar. And if you compare his minor league career defensive stat page to that of Fontana, you’ll immediately note that he’s played all over the infield and all over the United States. Fontana meanwhile has had the luxury of knowing what team he’s going to be playing for next week, at what position and in what slot of the batting order. Not so for Joe. No way that does not impact a guy. Somehow though, Sclafani has arguably been more efficient at the plate overall than Fontana. Yeah, I still think he’s getting short changed. And if there is no place for the guy in this organization, I hope he gets a real shot with someone else soon.

        Like

  10. I’m going to go out on a limb here, but it takes a loss like last night to get you back up. I think ya’ll are giving Wandy waaaaay too much credit.
    answers to your questions:
    Hidden hero…..Hinch for keeping it real, not too up and not to down.
    Biggest star……..Keuchel because he get’s it down every 5 days. We KNOW how much Altuve brings every night!
    Wandy tonight…..this team can beat him. He becomes unraveled when he gives up hits. Remember when he used to make us crazy here? I threw away my purple hair dye the day we traded him. Chip…..you do remember that right!!!
    Winning/losing streaks happen to every team, but I *BELIEVE* in this team!!!
    I get the Chronicle everyday, and listened to an interview with Luhnow yesterday…
    and he seems to have an eye on a starting pitcher. Sooo do ya throw crazy money
    and trade the farm for Hamels, or wait and see if you can make a trade with another team???

    Like

  11. Here are the ERA’s of our starting staff in Fresno most innings , left Shirley out as he only has 15 innings.

    Buchanan 5.88
    Rodgers 8.02
    Cruz 5.23
    Straily 5.21
    White 5.50

    The moral of the story, doubt were getting any help from the farm , jury still out on Peacock and Obey Health. Better be thinking a deal.

    Like

    • Man is Fresno turning into Lancaster or are they that bad? I’m guessing they are that bad. If they needed somebody and Obie and Peacock were not ready – they would need a trade or Appel….

      Like

      • The starters for the league leading Sacramento River Cats aren’t exactly shutting people down either. Their best SP’s ERA is 3.86. From there the River Cats starters’ ERAs escalate from 3.94, to 5.14, to 5.61, and then to 8.57. It’s a hitter’s league.

        Like

  12. SS and 2B. Also, in my opinion, anyone good enough to play those two positions can pick up 1B in a couple of days, but has to have the bat for it, which Fontana does not, by normal standards. By Astros’ standards, you and I both have the bats for it, Becky.

    Like

  13. By the way, Appel had a good outing yesterday. He gave up five hits. Two of them were infield hits, two of them were ground balls to the outfield and one was a line drive. In 3.2 innings he had seven Ks, five groundouts, one pop out to the catcher and one routine fly to the outfield. He struck out the side in order in the first and had no trouble in the second.
    Where he had trouble was pitch count with the Ks and four walks. Remember that Appel has a complete new delivery to make his movements quicker and simpler so that runners have less chance to steal, because his delivery was very long. His command has suffered, thus the walks. he will get better as he stops thinking about all the moving parts.

    Like

  14. In case there was some confusion, I think it is safe to say it is not the ‘good’ Scott Feldman we are seeing tonight.

    Like

  15. Although McCullers is 2 years younger, he looks closer to MLB than Appel. I thought it telling on the TV interview that JL spoke of moving CC up to AAA soon, but made no such mention of Appel. But I will take a 28th rounder who can play over a 1st rounder that struggles.

    Like

  16. Springer just SLAMMED into that center field wall………..he’s out of the game, and it looked pretty dang bad. We all appreciate how he hustles, but he HAS to watch
    the wall. A run is not as important as he is. I would not be surprised to see him go on the DL after that hit. DANG, DANG, DANG.

    Like

  17. Now I understand what you tried to say to me.
    How you suffered for you sanity.
    And how you tried to set them free.
    They would not listen they did not know how.
    Perhaps they’ll listen now.

    Like

    • Starry, starry night. When will they wake up and see the light?
      If Texas is smart, they will check in their minors and fly in a class High A LH pitcher who can throw a curve ball, any curve ball, and pitch him(or her) against the Astros tomorrow and save Lewis. He could fly in on a broom for the sweep.

      Like

  18. Another remarkable catch by Springer, but alas, I wish he would have let up and played it on a hop off the wall. As hard as he hitl, he might be out for awhile. I hope not. What an effort.

    Like

  19. The Captain was 3 for 4 tonight with a three run home run and 2 more stolen bases. His home run came against a 26 year old RH pitcher who spent all of last season in AAA and it came with two outs in the second inning and was his sixth, which ties him for second place in the league in homers. That’s about the only category he doesn’t lead the league in, even though he is the fourth youngest player in the league.
    Correa was not allowed to steal any bases as he circled them after his bomb. He did climb the flagpole in CF after the game to save a lost squirrel. The squirrel was then promoted to Fresno and added to the Astros’ 40-man roster

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s