10 reasons to step back from (or up to) the ledge for Astros


The Astros are in a bit of a funk having lost five of their last six games and 8 of their last 13.  They are wasting some terrific starting pitching with non-clutch hitting and non-clutch relief pitching. In this 2018 season, the Astros have become really good at winning big (10-1 in games decided by five or more runs) and losing small (4-6 in one-run games).

Absorbing the comments on the blog, it seems that a lot of folks are panicking about their team and ready to jump off the ledge or even more sadly becoming apathetic about their team’s apathetic (or pathetic) performance to date.

So here are 10 reasons to get off the ledge, or return to near the ledge, to be interested, but not suicidal or apathetic.

  1. They have played only 36 games (21-15) ; they have 136 games to go. It is possible they can play better in the next 77% of the season than they have to date.
  2. Even after all of their recent struggles, there are 24 teams in Major League Baseball with worse records than the Astros.
  3. Other “sure thing” teams are struggling worse than the Astros are this season. Cleveland (17-17), Washington (18-17), Cubs (16-15) and Dodgers (15-19) are all far underperforming the pre-season expectations for them and are worse than the Astros.
  4. The Astros have not been buried in their division by their performance, only trailing the Angels by one game to date.
  5. Hitting rough spots is pretty normal even in the best of seasons. Look at 2018. In April the Astros lost four of five at one point and four of six later in the month. In May they lost four of six at one point. June? Five of eight. July? Four of seven. August? Nine of 11 and separately, six of nine. And September? Lost five of six at one point.
  6. The Astros do not have any hitter, other than Max Stassi, who is exceeding expectations at the plate to this point. Maybe not all of them will get hot, but common sense points to them progressing towards the mean.
  7. The Astros have the best rotation in the majors. They have a shot every night out to win and when the hitting does come around, the team has room to absorb some digression by the starting staff.
  8. There is the possibility of help coming up from the minors at some point this season. J.D. Davis (.425 BA/1.129 OPS), Tyler White (.327/ 1.029), Drew Ferguson ( .345/.948 ), Tony Kemp (.336/.840) and Kyle Tucker (.292 / .796) all could assist in pumping up the offense.
  9. The Front Office should be trusted. They earned the trust by picking up the huge piece needed in 2017, Justin Verlander. If something is needed they will work to fill the gap.
  10. Baseball is a streaky unpredictable game. In the Astros worst stretch of 36 games last season they went 15-21, six games worse than the start to this season. They could be in a lot worse shape than they are.

So, did that….

  • Make you feel better?
  • Worse?
  • More apathetic?
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158 comments on “10 reasons to step back from (or up to) the ledge for Astros

      • I didn’t see that catch because I’m only switching to the game every so often. My heart cannot stand the strain of watching the entire game.
        Seriously, I go check out the score on gameday and if they are doing well I will go watch them because I record every single game. If they aren’t doing well I go do something else because they drive me nuts and I feel my heart racing.
        I don’t blame them. I know the problem is mine and I know what my heart can take and what it can’t.

        Liked by 3 people

  1. Welcome to the multiple hit game club, Yuli Gurriel! Your friends George and Marwin arrived yesterday! Is there a friend you would like to invite to the next meeting?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. After another big night in the air ball league last night:

    – J.D. Davis is now slashing .432/.486/1.149.
    – Tim the Fedora man is slashing .389/.450/1.080;
    – Tyler White is now slashing .333/.463/1.044.
    – Garrett Stubbs is now slashing .355/.378/.852,
    – Tony Kemp is slashing .346/.430/.869; and
    – Drew Ferguson is slashing .342/.446/.939

    Even KTuck, the youngster, is slashing .285/.355/.770.

    In the PCL, the ball is not juiced – the AIR is juiced.

    Like

    • I went to check out the Fresno score and saw that they had 18 hits and also walked 7 times. I figured Tucker had gone wild, but he was 0 for six with no BBs and no Ks. His batting average had climbed to .299 to start the game and he finished at .285.
      Fresno was 8 for 23 with RISP.
      Las Vegas was 1 for 3 with RISP.
      Fresno won 11-6

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      • Perhaps an important team offensive stat to consider would be RPBR -a ratio of runs scored per base runner. This suggests it is not just how many men get left on base that we should consider important, but what percentage of the guys who manage to get on base for our team the ‘hard way’ – i.e. walk, hit, or HBP, not error – we are actually getting home.

        Last night, Fresno had 25 base runners and scored 11 runs [a RPBR of .467]. Las Vegas, on the other hand, had 14 base runners and scored 6 runs [a RPBR of only .428].

        The ‘Stros had 15 base runners and scored 4 runs [a RPBR of .267]. The As, on the other hand, had 10 base runners and scored 2 runs [a RPBR of only .200].

        Valuable?

        Liked by 1 person

      • MrBill- Your suggestion is a shorthand version of a metric I’ve long thought would be very useful, which expands the concept of total bases with an element of “clutchness”. I don’t have a name for it, but it would work like this: every batter has a potential for attaining a base for himself and for any runners on base. A batter at the plate with no runners on has a potential for attaining 4 bases. So for each such at bat he could be 0 for 4 or 1 for 4 ( a single), up to 4 for 4 if he homers. If he comes up with the bases loaded he has a potential to attain 10 bases. Four for himself, 3 for the runner on first, 2 for the runner on second and one for the guy on 3rd. A HR and he’s 10 for 10, a K and he’s 0 for 10. Hitters could then be judged based on the total bases they account for (not just themselves but also any advancement by other runners), and also by the percentage of their potential that they achieve.

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  3. 12 hits last night after an offensive explosion on Monday and last night was against a very tough LHer in Manaea. I think this team is about to take off on a nice little run.

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  4. Good game to watch last night but on the edge of my chair for most of it. Peacock was spot on last night, Giles did his job, as well as Devo. Time for Altuve and Correa to join the multi-hit parade. With RISP we were only 2 for 8 but a much better trend.

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  5. The first 6 innings of the game last night were interesting….after that I was looking at the back of my eye lids.
    – Lance struggled mightily last night but threw a couple key double play balls that helped him out. He put too many guys on but squirmed out of it with only 2 runs given up.
    – Springer had a huge hit, plus an acrobatic catch that kept the A’s from running away early.
    – Marwin – made an infielder play from the outfield as he charged a hit and made a perfect throw to gun down Maxwell (I think) at 3rd
    – Altuve and Correa turned an almost impossible DP right after Springer’s catch to save a run. Then after Altuve made an error on a lollipop throw to Gurriel – he gunned it to Gurriel to complete a nice DP.
    – Good to see Gurriel and MarGo’s batting average rising towards better levels. MarGo has been knocking some runs in lately… 17 in his last 15 games

    Like

  6. Dave has those magical powers.
    Who was it that kept calling the 3 run homers in Game 5 of the World series just ahead of it happening? Was that astrocolt45 or Billy C? Someone else?

    Like

  7. On a night he couldn’t throw his best curve, he pitched. Manufactured with grit and determination, he kept us in the game. Much like Morton’s last start with 4 BB’s in the first inning, they’re not always going to have their stuff. I really liked seeing Lance claw back and beat Manaea.

    Gattis hit the ball hard twice.

    Springer’s catch was one of his best ever, Correa’s dp throw was a dart, Marwin hitting and fielding like a regular.

    McCann, the General, when asked if it feels good to get the series win, said, “we want the sweep.” So much for those hot A’s.

    Verlander and Cole lead the league in:
    Base-Out Wins Saved (REW) 2.2
    Sit. Wins Saved (WPA/LI) 1.8
    Base-Out Runs Saved (RE24) 18.26; 17.79
    Adj. Pitching Runs 17; 15
    Fielding Independent Pitching (Cole) 1.54
    Adjusted ERA+ 332; 275
    K’s (Cole) 77; 70
    Win Probability Added (WPA) 1.9; (Cole) 1.5

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  8. Today only, the part of Carlos Correa will be played by Marwin Gonzales. And the part of Marwin Gonzales will be played by Derek Fisher. And the part of Evan Gattis will be played by George Springer. And the part of George Springer will be played by . . . hey, it’s complicated.

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  9. Okay, I’ll remain the only poster. Go ahead and ignore me. Is there anyone on this club that has been a bigger positive surprise than Max Stassi?

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    • Wasn’t that big of a surprise to me as much as I was happy he finally got a shot. I wouldn’t be too surprised if by the ASB he is the starter

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  10. I’m still at work daveb, but bouncing back and forth checking Gameday. Stassi is batting and my Internet locks up – I check back in and Stassi and Fisher go yard back to back for the 2-1 lead. Good job Zanuda waking the bats up.
    And oh no – Joe Smith is coming in….. well I’m the one who said he needs to straighten himself out

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  11. It is a sweep! And we now have two more members of the multiple-hit club: Altuve [3 today, including 2 doubles], and Stassi [2, including a critical 7th inning HR].

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  12. I wanted to mention something I have noticed with Giles and see if any one else sees it as well. It appears to me he is taking a little bit off his fastball to help get him better location. Yes, his K/9 are down quite a bit, but he has not issued a base on balls yet this year after having a 3.02, 3.43 and 3.21 BB/9 the last 3 years. Any thoughts on this?

    Like

    • If it works, great, but the guy in his role needs to be able to come in and get misses. All that contact is going to find holes at times.

      When our closer is tweaking his game plan in May, it suggests that he has not found a comfort zone. He has not found mine yet.

      Liked by 1 person

    • According to Brooks Baseball Giles velocity has historically been lower in April/May than the rest of the season. This may all be ado about nothing as it is just normal Giles and he should be returning to his regular 98+ MPH Fastballs soon.

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  13. I see Verlander is starting on Friday, did they move Keuchel to the 3rd place in the rotation? They should move him down a couple of slots, that would take a bit of pressure off him. Bullpen did not dissapoint today THANK GOODNESS!
    Best trade in the last 5yrs is Garrett Cole. The dude can flat out pitch…WOW!

    Like

    • Interesting comparison using ERA. Of the Starters, the highest for the Astros are DK and LMJ at 3.53 and 3.72. But if they pitched for the Rangers, only the ageless Bartolo Colon at 3.29 would be lower. All the rest are higher to include Cole Hamels.

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    • I dunno Becky, that Verlander trade to me is still #1 because it brought us a Series. Cole may be 1a because if we repeat he’ll be a huge part of it!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. JD Davis 100AB ‘s, would be nice to see maybe 15K’s but still
    Minors 2018 PCL AAA 25 100 21 45 68 14 0 3 28 9 0 21 0 0 .450 .500 .680 1.180 1.19

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