All Things Astros and a whole lot more
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?