And just 23 for Tim Raines, who belongs in the Hall as well.
I don’t care that Trevor Hoffman needs to wait a whole year. (Second-best closer ever? Wait a year. Second-best lead-off hitter, wait 10. Sheesh!)
One of the top four or five first basemen ever? Wait at least seven years.
I don’t want to talk about it. So, here’s a baker’s dozen (or so) of Astros trivia questions to entertain you.
1. If Dallas Keuchel heads out to the hill (not Tal’s) for the bottom of the first inning on April 4 in Yankee Stadium, he will have started two consecutive Opening Days for the Astros. Who — besides Roy Oswalt, who I think we all would know — was the last Astros starter to get two consecutive Opening Day assignments?
2. Since Miguel Tejada opened at SS in 2008-2009, the Astros have had a revolving door of shortstops on Opening Day. This year will likely be the same as Carlos Correa should get his first Opening Day start. Who was the first of that revolving door of shortstops after Tejada took two straight Opening Day starts?
3. One position had the most consistency ever. What player (bonus points for position and years) had the most consecutive Opening Day starts at the same position?
4. With 830 hits to his name, Jose Altuve now ranks No. 20 on the Astros all-time hit list. If he again collects 200 hits, where will Altuve stand on that list, and who will he be nipping at the heels of? (BTW, Altuve has hit this point on the list in far fewer games than the others near or even remotely above him. Yes, we’re seeing someone special every day in Jose Altuve, folks.)
5. Last year, Evan Gattis led the Astros with 11 triples. Who has the most triples in a season for Houston?
6. Craig Biggio is obviously the hit-by-pitch leader both for career and individual seasons for the Astros. (Yeah, he was always taking one for the team. That’s why he’s a Hall of Famer, folks.) But who had the next highest single season of getting plunked?
7. Last year it seemed like Altuve got caught stealing a bunch. In fact, he got caught 13 times (same as in 2013). Think that’s bad? Not even close. Who racked up the most times being caught stealing in a season in Astros history?
8. In 2014, Altuve was caught stealing just 11 times, and was successful stealing bases 86.15 percent of the time. Who had the best stolen base percentage in Astros history? (Hint: He was 24 for 24 in stolen bases.)
9. So, Dallas Keuchel’s 2.48 ERA was among the tops in the AL last season (second behind David Price’s 2.45). What was the best single-season ERA for an Astros starter?
10. Keuchel also won 20 games. Mike Hampton’s 22 wins in 1999 is the team mark. But Keuchel was joined by Collin McHugh who won 19. that’s 29 wins. Is that the top spot for a pair of teammates? If not, what pair won more games combined in a single season than Keuchel and McHugh?
11. Another 20 wins, and Dallas Keuchel will move into a tie for 14th place on the Astros win list. Who would he tie, and how many Astros wins would the pair have?
12. While wins might not be the most important stat in the world, if you keep doing it consistently, that’s a pretty good sign. Roger Clemens owns the team’s top winning percentage at .679 in his three seasons with Houston. Who is second on that list of career Astros winning percentage? (Hint: He also has the highest single-season winning percentage among current Astros starters.)
13. And, finally, last year Dallas Keuchel led the team with 232 inning pitched. That effort (and not his 200 from 2014) is the only one among the top 50 in Astros history. Who had the most innings pitched in a single season for Houston, and how many was it?
Hope you enjoy my little quiz. Now here are a few questions?
1. What records — single season most likely, because career records are hard to come by for such a young team — might fall in 2016?
2. Altuve is practically racing up the hits chart. He already owns three of the top 32 hits seasons in Astros history. What Astro — not named Craig Biggio, who has six appearances on that list — has the most appearances on the top 50 single season hit total list? Will Altuve eventually just own that chart?
3. I didn’t look this up — too lazy — but the Astros have had four players earn Rookie of the Year votes over the past two seasons. McHugh and Springer in 2014, and Correa and McCullers in 2015. First, do you see any Astros getting into the ROY discussion in 2016? (They have to actually make the team …) And can anyone recall a team getting so much ROY love over two seasons previously?
Answers will be posted late this evening. Really late.
Remember that test in school there the instructions say “Read all the way to the bottom of the test before answering any questions.” And the last question was “place you name at the top of the page”, and turn in your paper.
Well I started trying to remember and to look up the answers BEFORE I read your first comment. I think I will take the lazy way out.
Yikes – this is tough Brian – good job. This is mostly guess work at best.
1. Shane Reynolds?
2. Ronny Cedeno????
3. CF Jimmy Wynn
4. Jose will jump to 12th and be nipping on the heels of …Billy Doran
5. I think I know this one – Roger Metzger – 13 triples
6. Next highest to get plunked – Bags
7. Most caught stealing…. Cesar Cedeno???
8. 24 for 24 – Omar Moreno
9. Nolan Ryan had the best ERA for a season or maybe Roger Clemens
10. Have to tell you that 20 + 19 is 39 wins not 29 and I think that is the best ever
11. I’m thinking that would be around 60 wins and he would be tied with… heck I don’t know – Bob Knepper?
13. Larry Dierker with over 300 IP
I believe the year Mike Hampton went 22-4 Jose Lima also broke the 20 win mark if I remember correctly
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Good catch on No. 10. That’s 39 wins for Keuchel and McHugh.
But it’s not the highest total.
I’m stumped on most of these but on a few I guess:
#1. Shane Reynolds
#9 JR, second guess Nolan
#13 My favorite Astro- Larry Diercker– In my opinion the team overused him as a youngster and greatly shortened his career.
Concerning records that might fall, I think Keuchel has a chance to win a few more home games before some team beats him, to break his own home record.
I think Altuve’ will return to his 2014 year and possibly break his # of season hits.
When I think of ROY and rookie talent entering into teams of the past, I remember Alou and McCovey of the 60’s giants. I think the Boston Braves picking up a young Eddie Mathews at 3b(who didn’t win ROY), then moving to Milwaukee the next year and picking up a young outfielder from Alabama named Henry Aaron (who didn’t win ROY), catcher Del Crandall, pitchers Bob Buhl and Lew Burdette (they already had Spahn), CF Billy Brutan and 1st baseman Joe Adcock is in my estimation the most impressive makeover from a weak team to a really good one in my memory.
Most innings pitched in a year – could it have been Dave Giusti with 300 innings for the Astros in 1969?
Without looking at anyone elses I’ll play a go – despite that I suck at trivia and am not near as old as most of you golden oldies –
1 – Shane Reynolds.
2 – Manzella?
3 – Gonna say 1B with Davis and Bagwell helping keep it consistent – I’ll say Bagwell with 14 years?
4 – Impossible to know off the top of your head without cheating!
5 – Probably someone before my day.
6 – I would say Bagwell. I think Bagwell even had a higher single season total once or twice.
7 – Has to be someone that tried a whole to get caught a lot. Gerald Young?
8 – Maybe Bagwell. Actually though probably someone before my time, again.
9 – My guess is JR. Could be Nolan. Could be someone from the 70s when offense wasn’t a premium too though. Could be Clemen’s Cy Young season though.
10 – Well, its 39 lol. Lima/Hampton at 43.
11 – See number 4.
12 – I would have went old school until you gave the hint. I’ll say McHugh.
13 – I’m guessing Nolan had a 300 inning season, but again, before my time.
1 – Single season record that could be broken this year? Hits by Altuve.
2 – Funny, I answered one before I read question 2! Yes, I think he will own a lot of them. The other name, just from what history I do know, Cruz.
3 – Reed can very well win the award if things like “super 2 status” don’t get in the way.
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Steven, more right answers than you probably know.
The pitching tandem who combined for the most wins in a season was probably Lima and Hampton in 1999. Hampton won 22 and Lima won 21 for a combined total of 43.
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Cue the music in the background, Brian. Is that a Rod Stewart imitator I hear wailing? I think what I hear him saying is:
“I can tell by your age that you probably remember old Colt Stadium;
Before the stars on your cap I bet a pistol adorned your younger cranium.
I don’t want to talk about it, how they broke our hearts.
But If we wear rainbows just a little bit longer,
If we wear rainbows will they win one, for us old fa-a-a-arts? Oh, for us old fa-a-a-arts.
Sorry, probably way too many long nights with a transistor glued to my ear praying for guys with names like Bateman, Farrell, Staub, Morgan, Wynn, Giusti, and so on, and so on ad infinitum. But wait a minute – did someone say: “Play ball!”
Good one as usual!
Mr. Bill’s lament reminded me of a book my son gave me for Christmas called “The Astrodome: Building an American Spectacle” by James Gast.
Very interesting book for us old fa-a-a-arts with a lot of interesting background and back stories. Like how Colt Stadium was built in 4 months (FOUR MONTHS!!!) and then was disassembled, shipped to Mexico and re-assembled for a Mexican League team there.
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‘And can anyone recall a team getting so much ROY love over two seasons previously?’
Dunno, but the Dodgers had a great run of ROYs in the early 90s, with Karros, Piazza, Mondesi, Nomo, and Hollandsworth. 5 consecutive wins for that team.
1. Shane Reynolds
2. Tommy Manzella
3. Bagwell at first base because no one else came even close. 15 years.
6. He of broken hand infamy… Bagwell
7. Gerald Young
8. Are you speaking of he who broke our hearts by going to the Mets (spit)? Beltran? He stole 28 bases.
9. He who holds the record for no-hitters. Mr. Ryan
10.Hampton and Lima. Sure was surprised at Lima’s meltdown in 2000.
1. Most homeruns by a shortstop
Highest BA by the DH
Most RBIs by DH
Most stolen bases by individual
Most stolen bases by club.
2. Bagwell. Altuve will IF he stays with the club and does not get traded.
3. If Reed and/or White make the team, then they will receive consideration. The Boston Red Sox had two hot rookies in the 70s, Fred Lynn and Jim Rice. Both were high caliber players and were in the ROY race the same year. Lynn won the award.
Sarge, you got most of them. the second No. 2 is Jose Cruz. He’s on that top 50 list five times, one less than Biggio.
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Brian, I did not know nor thought Cruz was in an active uniform in Houston longer than Bagwell. You taught me!
For those guessing #2 was Tommy Manzella, it’s correct…FYI the year he was the starter (2010) was his first and last year in the majors (save his cup of coffee the year before). He also retired in 2013.
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Billy, I knew that one due to the level of disgust I had that spring when it became apparent Manzella would be our guy. He ended up with a .531 OPS. ( I just looked that part up!)
Yeah messed up part was his defense wasn’t even that great.
Heck, some of this stuff I’ve forgotten, but some of it I’ve never known! Those that I’ve ignored, I simply don’t have a clue.
3. Cedeno, center?
4. All I know is that one day, Altuve will pass Biggio in hits, on his way to Cooperstown.
5. How about Gerald Young?
7. How about Gerald Young again? (Maybe he’ll come through for me once)
8. No clue, but Dan, I do know that Moreno wore number 24 on his back. But I think he was too darn lazy to go 24/24 by the time he came to Houston as a malcontent.
9. I think Nolan had a 1.68 ERA the year he went 8 and 16.
0. Don’t know, but if two guys had more than 39 wins, JR might have been 1 of the two.
1. No clue.
3. J.R.? 300 something.
1. I think Correa will shatter a batch of single season offensive records for the shortstop position in 2016.
2. Billy Doran? As noted earlier, Altuve will go on to own the hits record.
3. Toughest one yet. We need help from our GM. Can a DH compete for ROY? Probably a long, long shot.
Good effort Brian. I’m exhausted!
Here’s the list of answers:
1, Shane Reynolds, 1996-2000
2. Miguel Tejada, 2008, 2009, Tommy Manzella in 2010
3. Jeff Bagwell, 1B, 1991-2005, 15 years.
4. Ken Caminiti, who is at No. 12 with 1,037. Altuve would be No. 13 with 1,030.
5. Roger Metzger, 14 triples, 1973
6. Richard Hidalgo, 21 times he got HBO in 2000
7. Gerald Young, caught stealing 27 times in 1986
8. Carlos Beltran in 2004, was perfect in base stealing at 24-for-24.
9. Nolan Ryan, 1.69 ERA in 1981
10. Hampton and Lima, 1999, 22 and 21 for 43 wins total.
11. Jim Deshaies, 61 is the mark Keuchel is 20 wins short of.
12. Collin McHugh, .652 winning percentage as an Astro. (Hint: McHugh at .731 in 2015). Only Clemens has a higher winning percentage, then Oswalt is third.
13. Larry Dierker, 305.1 innings pitched in 1969.
14. Jose Cruz, 5 times.
For some reason, Baseball Reference doesn’t list McHugh as the second-highest win percentage even though he fits their criteria (at least one decision for every 10 games by the team … he has 46 decisions (30-16) in two seasons … actually just under two seasons).
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I think you mean Gerald Young got caught stealing that many times in 1988, as he was in the minors in 1986.
It’s funny how perception changes over time…I remember Young being a poor hitting guy who stole a bunch of bases, but looking at his career stats…he was actually a quite poor base stealer who was a decent OBP guy who rarely struck out.
Technically Ryan shouldn’t count as 1981 was a strike shortened season. In comparison, Clemens (much as I despise the man) had a 1.87 ERA in 2005, his last full time year.
I remember Beltran being such a great base stealer. Funny how time changes this…he didn’t even attempt a steal all last year.
One more thing…Young was 65 SB/27 CS in 1988, and 2 years later Eric Yelding was 64/25 , so there’s your 2nd place guy.