After the first week, all we know is that baseball is goofy

The first week of the season is as usual, so full of red herrings they should set up a canning operation down at Minute Maid Park. Fans think they know something about the trends, who is good, who is bad and what trades need to be made seven games into the season. In truth we should only take away from this short a sample is that baseball is goofy and unpredictable.

And it is like this every year, whether it is former Astros Tuffy Rhodes clubbing 3 home runs on opening day 1994 for the Cubs after hitting 3 HRs in the majors the previous season or it is 2016 Tyler White doing his best Barry Bonds impersonation while tearing up the league in the early going.

So what goofy things occurred in the first week of the Astros 2017 season?

  • Defending batting champion, Jose Altuve played 7 games and had ZERO runs scored and ZERO RBIs for the ‘Stros.
  • Which meant…that the poster child for bad offense Jake Marisnick had a bigger hand in the Astros 4-3 start by tying up Sunday’s game with a 9th inning HR.
  • Two thirds of the Astros 21 RBIs for the week (14) came from just two players, George Springer and Marwin Gonzalez, who also accounted for 7 of their 11 HRs.
  • George Springer became the first man in Astros history to hit a walk off HR to end one game and then hit a HR as the leadoff man in the next.
  • And to one up that one – he was the first man in MLB history to hit 3 leadoff HRs in his team’s first 7 games.
  • Evan Gattis has walked in 26.3% of his plate appearances, including his walk off walk with the bases loaded Sunday. His 8.6% walk rate from 2016 is his highest to date.
  • The guy with the third most IPs to date is not even a starter – Chris Devenski with 8 IP. He also has the 2nd most Ks on the staff with 14.
  • The team has one guy averaging more than 20 Ks/9 IP. Ken Giles has recorded 8 Ks in 9 outs in 3 appearances for a 24 K/ 9 IP.
  • They also have two guys averaging more than 20 BBs / 9 IP as both Jandel Gustave (21.6) and Tony Sipp (27) could not find home plate with a GPS.
  • A guy who is tied for the team lead in ERA (0.00) and wins (1) barely made the team – Brad Peacock.
  • Along with Altuve, the Astros have 4 regulars with no RBIs through one week – Josh Reddick, Yulieski Gurriel, Alex Bregman, and Nori Aoki.
  • Marwin Gonzalez is leading the team in OPS and his 1.378 is just short of twice his career OPS of .693.

So, is there anything above that makes any sense or can be expected to continue throughout the season?


110 comments on “After the first week, all we know is that baseball is goofy

  1. Astros win 7-2. Keuchel goes 7 innings and gave up 1 solo HR.
    Astros in first place again. What I liked most of all was the Astros not striking out and moving runners around. In the ninth with Correa on second, Beltran moved him to third with a grounder to the right side and McCann scored him on a sac fly.
    The Astros faced Graveman and had only 3 Ks tonight.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OAKLAND — Astros shortstop Carlos Correa said Friday, prior to the series opener against the A’s, that he’d like to spend the rest of his career in Houston, but added he’d only consider signing a long-term contract extension before he’s eligible for arbitration, which would be at the end of the 2018 season.

    Correa’s comments come one day after his agent, Greg Genske, told FanRag Sports that Correa “is never going to do an [early] multi-year contract.” The report said Correa’s contract was renewed at the Major League minimum of $535,000 this season.


  3. When Altuve decides it’s okay to go with the outside stuff and take it to right field, there really is no place for a pitcher to pitch to him.

    By the way, in 1893, Piggy Ward had a 17 at bat streak that included 8 hits, 8 walks and 1 HBP. His record still stands today. I hope Jose cstches Piggy.

    I don’t want to continue to pick on Marwin because it’s not his fault that he’s in the lineup. But Gurriel was starting to hit. Then he’s got to wait from Wednesday to Saturday to get back in the box. In Marvin, we know we’ve got a lefty bat with a .680 lifetime OPS. That’s not enough from a corner infield bat. He’s just not good from the left side, even against righties. This platoon stuff brings me back to early last season when White was just starting to hit. Then it was Marwins turn to get some AB’s and White was never the same.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Here lies, daveb, whose last words were something about Marwin Gonzales’ lifetime OPS. He just couldn’t get off it…….

      Meanwhile, he’s at a 920 clip (after a bad night last night). White 664 (2016), bad example, that was Marwin’s fault. Gurriel 515, Bregman 630 (thanks to 2 HBP and a BB).

      Want Gurriel to play? Let him play where he belongs.

      Bregman goes 1-3 last night. In errors. On simple grounders. When he’s not bobbling, or late getting to it, or booting it, or throwing to the bloody side of first – he looks great. Now they’re moving JD Davis to the OF they love this kid Bregman so much. Wait til he costs us a game, like Morton’s first start (huge momentum swing!). Last night Keuchel just pitched around it. What’s next though? Tell us, ol’ sage!

      Coming from the guy who hits me with sample size, but then is the first to mention Mendoza line ….. in the 2nd week of baseball.


    • True, anything below 96% isn’t optimal for our pitchers. But instead of trying to push Alex, we’re paving his way. What bugs me most is every borderline error so far, Blummer has toed the company line about “how hard it is to play there.” You won’t hear those excuses about Beltre, or Machado.

      I key in on Bregman’s first step on hard liners – they’re not aggressively toward the baseball. It’s hesitant, hardly adequate.

      Dave mentioned WBC hurting him, and I was on that #FreeBregman bandwagon, but maybe Leyland made a defensive decision as much as offensive when Arenada was of’er.


  4. I want to echo what OP said above. This is the team Luhnow envisioned this year. Making contact, getting runners over and in with big bats providing some big hits. Keuchel, so far, is looking much closer to 2015 than 2016 and our bats are starting to heat up, especially Altuve who is on an unreal tear right now. After the game was over I watched the end of another 1-run loss for the Rangers and, man, am I loving their regression to the mean on 1-run games. They are now 0-3 in 1-run games this year.


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