Ho hum, big deal: Astros score 8 runs to start the roadtrip


The Astros started the road trip in Baltimore Friday night by scoring eight runs and the natural response for the fans these days is a shrug and a yawn.

The Astros are in the midst of the greatest road offensive season in almost 80 years. The only teams to score more than their current 7.15 runs / game wore Yankee pinstripes and played in 1930, 1934 and 1938. Those Yankee teams had players ranging from Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Tony Lazerri to the Yankee Clipper himself in a young Joe DiMaggio. Each of those teams had between four or five future Hall of Famers in the starting lineup.

Here are a few facts to ponder:

  • After their 7.15 runs/game on the road the next best number in the majors is the Nationals with 5.6 r/gm.
  • Their .301 BA towers over the Marlins at number two at .284
  • Their .369 OBP overshadows the Dodgers at .343
  • SLG? .520 vs. Mets .492 OPS? .890 way above the Mets .826
  • In 45 games on the road they have scored 10 or more runs in 11 of those games – last season they only did that 12 times in all 162 games, home and road
  • Another way to look at it – on the road the Astros hit like 9 players that are equivalent to the Orioles Jonathan Schoop who is having a .303/.352/.897 season with 20 HRs and 67 RBIs.

Individuals?

  • Jose Altuve‘s .410 BA on the road has him being mentioned in the company of Hall of Famers like Harry Heilmann, Ty Cobb and Rogers Hornby. His .490 OBP means he gets on base almost every other time on the road.
  • George Springer? His .345 BA/.407 OBP /1.068 OPS are even more excellent than his overall numbers.
  • Yuli Gurriel is pretty pedestrian at home compared to his .344 BA / .899 OPS on the road
  • Alex Bregman hits more like the fans expect from him on the road – .283 BA/.375 OBP/.853 OPS.
  • Brian McCann thrives on the road .272/.346/.837, his catching buddy Evan Gattis has slightly lower BA and OBP on the road and a much higher .908 OPS
  • Carlos Correa, Josh Reddick and Marwin Gonzalez have a bit better numbers at home than on the road, but are very good in both spots.

So….

  • Can this team keep up the big numbers on the road?
  • Any idea why the heck they are so good on the road?
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80 comments on “Ho hum, big deal: Astros score 8 runs to start the roadtrip

  1. If they stay healthy and get days off, which they should with a 17 game lead, they will keep hitting. A couple of guys will cool off, a couple of guys will get hot. But I don’t see any significant slump, unless it’s one of those mini things we’ve seen at home.

    And why are they better on the road? I don’t know. Fewer distractions? More team bonding time? We keep hearing about 15 or more guys going out to dinner together. That’s very unusual in this day and age. We’ve got to give our GM some credit for bringing a really good batch of guys together in building this team. Do we have any real butt holes in the group? I don’t think so.

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  2. I think one of the reasons the Astros are so good on the road is Altuve. He is spectacular and it is contageous. When they travel as a team together that gets passed all around.
    At home, they are 25 different families.
    You hear them talk about how close they are as a team and it shows up most when they are together on the road.
    Altuve is the leader of the team. How’s he doing at home?
    Is this home/road thing a conscious thing? I don’t think so. They just are more comfortable on the road for some reason.

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  3. Well it is not like they suck at home – they are #1 in the AL in BA and #2 in OPS.
    Altuve is hitting just over .300 at home with an OPS just over .800.
    They are good at home – historical on the road

    Liked by 1 person

  4. After watching last nights game in Baltimore, I concur that the hitting is exceptional on the road. However, if they don’t get relief help, the post season will be very brief.

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    • If Keuchel, LMJ, McHugh and Fiers are healthy they are starters, along with either Peacock/ Morton.
      That leaves: Harris, Giles, Gregerson, Devenski, Peacock/Morton, Feliz, Martes, Sipp, Hoyt and Musgrove in the bullpen. The first five are set and the last five are not( at least in my mind). They would probably still go with 13 pitchers, so I think two of the last five will be sent out.
      I still think they want another lefty and will try to get one, leaving a third one of those last five sent back down.
      Based on performance, Hoyt and Musgrove might be the first two sent down and Feliz and Martes are battling it out for that last bullpen spot until September callups or an injury.

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    • I wouldn’t go that far, Larry. First, you really only need 4-5 solid bullpen arms in the playoffs. There is always an off day, sometimes 2 off days, between games. Thus, guys like Sipp, Hoyt and Feliz will only see time in the playoffs during very low leverage situations, which is very rare during the playoffs. The Astros can easily rely upon Giles, Harris, Devo, Gregerson (mainly as a ROOGY) and Peacock/Morton to pitch in every playoff game. I like our top 5 as much as any team in baseball so, while I would like to add another bullpen piece, I see it more as a want than a need. I think this team, when healthy, is the best team in baseball, including the L.A. Dodgers.

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  5. I agree. I don’t see Musgrove or Hoyt in the October pen. Maybe not Sipp either. Martes might be traded. There could still be a guy hiding in the minors that will make a post season splash. We’ll have a better idea in little more than a week. Luhnow is going to get something significant done and not all of us will like it!

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  6. Maybe I can shed a little light on why these guys are so close on te road. I was a flight attendant for 33 years, and when we were on layovers we all went to eat together, and shopping together! When the guys ae on the road, they dont have any family distractions. No fights with the kids or their wives. Some guys don’t have family in Houston, but I would bet some of those fellas still go eat supper together! They eat, sleep, and think baseball when they are on the road. Maybe this gives a little light on how much they get along. I would bet $100.00 that if he could Rasmus would jump at the chance to join these guys again!! That’s how much he LOVED playing here!
    Go get ’em McHugh!!

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  7. 2017 9th round pick Micheal Papierski is catching Dallas Keuchel tonight for Tri- City. Keuchel is a Valley Cat one more time.

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  8. On Home vs. Road, let me make a suggestion. For years they played to indifferent crowds on the road and empty seats at home. This year they hear the cheers on the road for the other teams to beat “the best team in baseball.” At home, they are pressing to please the huge crowds that are cheering every play. So to solve this problem, make the team crappy again and this problem will be go away.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Weather might not be their friend tonight, OR tomorrow. They are having pretty bad storms up the East coast….. ((sigh))

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    • Believe whatever happens at the trade deadline, I think we need to hold onto Martes. I think he’s the real deal. Just needs some more seasoning and he could be a TOR.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Musgrove was consistent at 95 with his fastball in the ninth. Now that he has that under his belt, I think we might see him crank it even higher in relief, which makes his off speed stuff play better.

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  11. Watched Hinch talking after the game – they don’t know yet on Moran -they are testing him for everything from concussion to fractures.
    He said that Moran wanted to get off the field but almost passed out and was nauseous.
    You could tell it was upsetting to Hinch

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  12. https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.mlb.com/243795832-joe-musgrove-takes-over-astros-long-relief.amp.html

    We’re so freaking loaded that Hinch is coming up with scenarios to justify putting starters in the pen.

    My (current) starter depth chart:
    Keuchel
    Peacock
    Fiers
    McCullers
    Martes
    Morton
    (Paulino)
    Musgrove
    McHugh
    Feliz
    Devo

    However Hinch wants to arrange it, I can only see Gray and Verlander cracking the starting 5, but to unload top prospects – no thanks. We’ll be fine as long as we manage the hot hands.

    I’m sorry #2 and #3 aren’t sexy picks, but as the slogan goes, they have surely Earned It!

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  13. So who’s coming up to take Moran’s place? Does Yuli go to third to make room for White, or does Marwin take over third and a guy like Kemp gets brought in?

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  14. Ken Rosenthal acts like he has inside info, when he says Derek Fisher will be the Astros LFer in August, if he is not traded.
    That means one of the Astros current outfielders would have to go.

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  15. I’m late to the party, but wooo-hooo daveb!!! We get to keep your nephew for at least a week or maybe more!! I’m very happy for him, maybe this time he can show off that bat he has this year!!
    The game will be on TBS today!! Yay I get to actually see it!

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  16. Two thoughts on what has recently happened. Especially for DB7.

    1, Lets hope Musgrove turns into that lights out closer.
    2, And second, lets hope that after a month, you are still bragging on Tyler and not saying “I never heard of him any place in my life.” As stated before, I didn’t see him play last May. I have just seen a guy that can hit.

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  17. McCullers is in constant trouble today – gives up the 3 runs and then Altuve immediately tied it up 3-3. Then the O’s start the 3rd with a leadoff hit.

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  18. McCullers puts his guys behind the 8 ball a LOT this year. It doesn’t appear that he’s hurt…..but DANG IT kid get with the program! JEEZE.

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  19. Lance is not fooling anybody today. Right now he is pitching like our 5th or 6th best pitcher. He is just not keeping the ball down and has too many spinners for curves that don’t bite.

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    • Along with this start, and watching him pitch so poorly, I think Luhnow will be talking to Billy Beane this afternoon. Time is not on our side, Luhnow was at today’s game and saw it for himself. And…..no we can’t get to the last series of the year against the Dodgers without another lights out starting pitcher.

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      • I agree. He can’t locate his pitches and the injury history this year makes me doubtful he can stay on the field and find a rhythm for the playoffs.

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  20. Aoki with our second 3 run HR to tie the game today – 6-6. The guys want to get back to that 8 run standard and sweep this series.

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    • And a situational sac fly by Reddick to put us ahead.
      Both Altuve and Aoki are a triple short of the cycle
      And I am not sure if Altuve plus Aoki equal 11 feet of base ball player.
      Altuve has 33 hits in his last 67 ABs – as my son said – the bum does not even get a hit 1/2 the time…..

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    • I am going to look at the positives from this weekend. The O’s had just finished dismantling the Rangers while sweeping a 4-game series (the same Rangers that then went into TB and swept the Rays). So, the Orioles were on a roll offensively and the Astros still found a way to take 2 out of 3 in their ballpark. Overall, I think it was a good weekend, but the unfortunate injury to Moran definitely put a damper on things. I sure hope he makes a full recovery as he was just starting to become the player most thought of him when he was drafted #6 overall.

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  21. Just dawned on me why Luhnow was at the game today. He was there to get a look at the Baltimore bullpen! Watching Britton pitch. I don’t normally tell on myself, but today I’m a dumb blonde! 😃

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Almost would seem that Fiers and Peacock are better #3’s than LMJ at this point.He seems to throw way too many pitches and maybe he’s better suited to be a setup man or closer. Devo and Gregorson have consistency issues. Great one day and a disaster the next. Somethings afoul but don’t know what. Sad when you can’t win when you score 7 runs.

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  23. Lance is still only 23. We’ve anointed him our #2 starter. Certainly he’s shown that he can pitch like an ace even, but he’s inconsistent. In May he was mostly untouchable. His last 4 starts have not been good. It does not seem that he’s gotten his velocity back. He’s laboring. He has not yet learned how to have an easy inning on a regular basis. Maybe our expectations are too high at this point in his development.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. It’s early yet and we haven’t even gotten to August. I guess we yearn for perfection always and win every game. Not realistic but sure sounds good. You’re right that LMJ needs some “training”. I think he’s got all the tools but needs to handle the mental game. Kind of like the difference between throwing and pitching. 2 of 3 is a good start to the road trip. Some of us are just greedy when it comes down to our baseball team.

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  25. I haven’t had a chance to participate here much due to work and other issues but really enjoy the discussions and comments. I wrote a fairly lengthy comment this morning but it disappeared into the ether. I was wondering who would get called up to replace Moran but that question was answered. I’m happy for White but would have thought a better choice would have been Fisher and let Marwin play 3B. Of course that gives you no infield reserves but whereas Moran fit in well at 3B I’m not so sure White is a good choice for the hot corner (note the 8 errors mentioned earlier in this thread). Moving Guriel back to 3B so that White can play 1B seems like a lot of shifting and shuffling. What makes Marwin so great is that when he plays the infield you don’t have to make an accommodation for him but can just plug him into the spot that needs covering.

    I must say that I’ve been amused a bit over the hand wringing here and on other blogs about our pressing need for another starter for the playoffs. While not a guarantee I fully expect Keuchel to return in full force and I was pleasantly surprised by McHugh until he hit the wall in the fifth. For my money we have two starters in Peacock and Fiers who are performing as well as or better than Sonny Gray. With the exception of his walk totals Peacock is surpassed only by Keuchel. He has only allowed one HR in 68 innings while Dallas has allowed 6 in 76 innings. Peacock also has 24 more strikeouts in 7 fewer innings. Why would you send our number 2 starter to the bullpen? Now going after Brad Hand or Zack Britton is another story. A bullpen of Britton/Hand, Devenski, Harris, Gregerson, Martes, Musgrove, Giles and perhaps Feliz would be pretty salty. Give the low leverage innings to Feliz and shift Martes to the role he was fulfilling My fear is that either Britton or Hand will cost us Martes and I hope that doesn’t happen. I’d love to see the Astros emulate Boston when they cut Sandoval and do the same thing with Sipp.

    What I see with McCullers and to some extent Giles is poor fastball command. McCullers had some 2-3 foot misses with his fastball today and as good as his curve is it needs to be a complementary pitch and not the lead offering. I thought it was telling that Giles did not throw a single FB to Trumbo Saturday night and was lucky to get away with a really poor pitch for the strikeout instead of a game tying HR. McCullers needs to skip a start and get his rhythm back or let HIM go to the bullpen. Potential is nice but recently that’s all he’s showing. And I’ve not seen such lousy body language from a pitcher since Martes got lit up in one of his starts. Hope this post goes through and let’s not forget that our team in reality doesn’t have a whole lot of room for improvement despite our anxiety.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. The Astros have played all year at 2-win out of 3 pace and we won 2 out of 3 in this series, also.
    We scored a lot of runs and we lost one game because of our pitching. But we’ve known about our pitching possibly being a weakness from the very first day of the season. 2 out of three is awesome for any pitching staff.
    McHugh is back and, apparently is healthy, Good news.
    Looks like Keuchel is coming back next weekend. Good news. Just from memory, I think Keuchel threw a complete game 1-0 shutout in the second week of the season last year against Detroit.
    Colin Moran’s eye is not damaged and he is expected to make a full recovery. Good news.
    Seattle lost and our lead is still 17 games in the AL West. Good news.

    Liked by 1 person

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