It seems like a season or more ago, but way back in April, the Astros won six games in a row on the road and then came home and added fou more wins for the critical 10-game winning streak that has been the foundation of their current three game lead in the AL West.
The Astros were an amazing 10-2 on the road in April and an acceptable 5-6 on the road in May. Since then they have been a miserable 7-22 away from the friendly confines of Minute Maid Park. Lately they have managed to be even worse as they have lost 10 of their last 11 games on the road, which is unfortunate as they have become a really tough team at home building a brilliant 38-18 record in the first four months of the season.
Considering the Astros play 29 of the last 54 games on the road, including the next seven, it is important that they at least partially right the ship, if they hope to hold on to their division lead or even make the playoffs as a Wild Card.
So what has happened on the road especially this recent stretch of 1-10? During that 11 game stretch the Astros have averaged 2.27 runs scored and given up 3.82 runs per game. If you drop Monday’s 12-9 loss from those stats (because it was truly an outlier) – the Astros’ pitching staff has given up an average of 2.5 runs in those other 10 games while the hitters have only put up 1.6 runs per game.
As a wise man once said, it does not take long to look at this horseshoe. As has happened in almost every down period of the season, the hitters have been the players missing in action. The pitching staff will have an occasional clinker, but in general they have given the team an opportunity to win in the vast majority of games played this season. It has been the hitters’ failures on the road that have brought the team to its current state.
So, what do you think is the answer?
- Does the team need to play more situational small ball on the road where the home runs are fewer and farther between?
- Does the lineup need a shakeup on the road?
- Is it just the normal ying and yang swing of statistics and the Astros are about to bust out with another 6 game road win streak?
- Is the answer sitting in the dugout with a cast on his hand for another 3 weeks or so?
- Something else?