Astros’ strong start is just plain fun


After Friday night’s game the Astros had earned a very strong 12-5 record, only a few percentage behind the 11-4 Baltimore Orioles for the best record in the major leagues. Considering the Astros were an ugly 5-12 in 2016 after 17 games and did not win their 12th game until May 8th in their 32nd game, 2017 is a fun revelation for all of Houston fandom.

One of the fun things about the team is the fact that they are doing this with one arm tied behind their back. Their leadoff man, George Springer, is putting up Chris Carter numbers with a .286 OBP, despite 7 HRs. Arguably the two best offensive players coming into the season, Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa, have combined for 1 HR. Correa has a puny .212 BA and a Marisnick-like .581 OPS. Man, what happens when those guys start producing?

So what else is fun so far?

  • Just like in 2015, the starting pitching is keeping them in almost every game.
  • Just like in 2015, when the starting pitching is shaky, the bullpen is nails throwing up 0’s for 4 or 5 innings almost every time out.
  • Yulieski Gurriel along with newcomers Brian McCann and Josh Reddick all have BAs over .300 and OPS over .800.
  • They are 3-0 in one run games.
  • They have come from behind to win seven times in 2017.
  • They have won their two extra inning games and in both games they came from behind twice, including a Jake Marisnick two out HR in one and a walk off two out, two strike HR by Springer in the other.
  • And they’ve gotten into the great habit of scoring late in seven of those wins to give their bullpen some breathing room.

And that is not even including how great Dallas Keuchel, Chris Devenski, Brad Peacock, Will Harris, and others have been so far.

So, what has made this start to the 2017 season fun for you?

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207 comments on “Astros’ strong start is just plain fun

  1. Marisnick on 7-day concussion DL. Teoscar on the 25-man, in the dugout, and gets at least one week MLB salary. Here’s to success, Teoscar.

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  2. At Fresno, Te Dulce was hitting .250, but with a .358 OBP and a .930 OPS. He had 3 Triples, 4 HRs and 15 RBI. He had walked 9 times and struck out only 12, in 65 PAs. he was also 3-5 in stolen bases.

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  3. Josh Tomlin comes in tonight with 22 H in 12 IP, an 11.68 ERA but got a QS and his only win last against Twins going 6 innings 3 runs. The Astros should show some pile on.

    Short porches everywhere in CLE. What is the over/under for Astro home runs? 4?

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    • Tomlin had not had a 1-2-3 inning all season coming in. He now has 2 of them in 2 chances against us – to go with a K of both Altuve and Correa. Sigh!

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    • So far, our worst inning for scoring has been the 2nd [3 runs scored in 19 games]. But the first inning has been almost as bad [6 runs scored – 4 on Springer lead off HRs – in 19 games].

      Our best inning for scoring runs? The 7th.

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  4. OH MY GOD NOOOO!!!! TEOSCAR AND ALTUVE BOTH WENT DOWN!!! Took Hernandez off the field on a stretcher! This just can NOT be happening!!

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  5. That was a scary collision – does not help that Hernandez probably was hesitant to call off Altuve.
    Wow – who is next ones up….

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    • We have room on the 40 man, so it could be Derek Fisher. But the FO tends to play it by something like seniority, meaning it will probably be PTuck or Kemp. If Altuve is down, both.

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      • I wouldn’t be surprised if it is Aplin.
        Wait, think about it. We’re talking about a late inning defensive substitution here. Aplin is an excellent fielder who won’t be asked to hit a lot and he is left handed, most relievers being righties.
        Also, this means using an option if Fisher gets called up, whereas none of us believes that Aplin is going to be a vital part of the future for us, so burning one of his options is not as critical.
        Thirdly, this may be the only chance Aplin ever gets to play for the Astros and he has always been one of Luhnow’s guys.
        Springer’s almost back, Marisnick might be back in five days.
        Aplin is already on the 40-man.
        If I need a reserve defensive outfielder for five days, I’d bring Aplin up. He has paid his dues.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Oakland and LAA tied 0-0 in the eighth. One of them will lose.
    Texas lost.
    Seattle lost. Mitch Haniger and Felix Hernandez both left their game with injuries and are flying back to Seattle to be examined.

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  7. We were darn lucky. Teoscar forgot to call off the MVP. Altuve might miss a couple of games. Kemp can help along with Marwin. That’s my guess. Hernandez is hurt, but if the Chron can be believed, bruises only. Could have been much, much worse for both guys.

    When I looked at the line up pregame last night, with Springer out, I was impressed. There were no real holes. We had three or four every night last year. For this week anyway, Aoki and Gurriel are my two favorite acquisitions. Maybe we can have an acquisition of the week award.

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    • If Altuve is only out for a couple games they won’t be able to bring up Kemp as they won’t have room on the 25-man roster. They could bring up Kemp and put Teoscar on the DL, but I’m guessing they will want a better defensive OFer, such as Aplin or Fisher.

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    • I listened to Teoscar last night after the game and he actually mentioned that he had a slight concussion.
      If he has a concussion he’s going to sit.
      His leg may be just bruised, but he did not sound right. Altuve said he was going to play tonight, but who knows how he is feeling this morning.

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  8. Oakland lost to the LAA last night, so the Astros lead is up to four games over the second place As and we host them this weekend.

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  9. Dallas Keuchel in five starts: 4-0, 1.22 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, .175 BAA, 27 K, 9 BB, 37 IP, 5 ER.

    DeetzDean_12 in five Double-A outings: 4-0, 0.35 ERA, 25.1 IP, 11 H, 1 R, 5 BB, 30 K

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  10. Alex Winkleman, one of the Buies Creek Astros starters who had been off to a hot start, got absolutely lit up in the first inning today. Gave up 6 hits and 5 runs [all earned] in 2/3 of an inning, and got himself pulled. Not to worry, in the top of the 2nd Buies Creek responded with 5 runs of their own.

    In case you haven’t been paying attention, our new high A team is crazy fun to watch.

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    • FunFact: Since April 11, Yuli Gurriel (.472) has been the top hitter in the Majors. In that span, he’s 17×36 with a HR, 5 RBI & a .667 SLG.

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  11. He sure does have a hard time. And he’s going to have to figure it out to be a 2 or 3 starter. But, a healthy Springer catches both of those first inning extra base hits.

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  12. Well, we’ve got our late inning guys available tomorrow. Miller threw 35 pitches, so he might have the day off. Allen was used for a four out save, Our guys made their pen work, It makes game 3 tougher for the Tribe.

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  13. They tried so hard tonight but the pitchers kept digging a hole too deep for the hitters to climb out of. Good effort with Springer and Altuve out.

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  14. Can anyone tell me why on God’s green earth is Tony Sipp still taking up space on this team? I’m totally serious. I can’t remember the last time he was in a game, and just like last year, Hinch can’t depend on the guy to get anyone out. I mean, look at some point you just have to look at this situation and make up your mind, either keep him in the bull pen taking up space or let him walk. Really, I’m not kidding…anyone got an answer????

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    • I’m sure much of it has to do with his contract and hoping the 2014-2015 Sipp emerges again. His last 2 outings prior to today were decent and they’re not going to swallow neatly $12M without seeing if he can figure it out. We’ll just have to be patient and hope he can be serviceable in low leverage situations. Unfortunately, Tony doesn’t instill much confidence in Astros fans right now.

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    • They brought in some LHP in spring g training who were even worse than Sipp. As for the game, I think Hinch wanted to save his better guys for protecting leads and figured after LMJ imploded it would be a good day to work the end of the bench. FWIW, I also don’t think he should let Feliz come in with guys on base, but we can’t throw Devenski every night.

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  15. On a positive note, I enjoy Kalas and Blummer. Their predecessors were good also, there is no let down this year. On a negative note, once again ESPN has purged many of their more knowledgeable. Soon it will be just ESP.

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    • I concur with your first sentence, but, personally, I was never an Ashby fan and I found Milo to be insufferable. I thoroughly enjoy Blum and Kalas working together. I still miss Jim Deshaies, though, and Brownie is a legend in this town.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Just curious as to what others have seen. I have not watched every at bat. But it appears to me that Correa and Altuve have been told to be more selective or to take the first pitch. It seems to be a lot of first pitch fastballs being grooved but taken. Altuve is on course for 160 K’s. That’s double. And he and Correa only get 2 swings.

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    • I think this is a good assessment. The Astros philosophy is to make the starting pitcher work and, hopefully, bring up his pitch count. The problem is that other teams seem to have taken notice and are throwing first pitch strikes to our best hitters, putting them behind the 8 ball.

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  17. Regarding the specific times we choose to pitch Sipp, and drawing the infield in *that close in every crucial 1-out situation, the prophetic wisdom of Mark Twain..

    “A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.”

    Liked by 1 person

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