10 reasons Astros will play better down the stretch


Sure Dan P is a lot like Nellie from South Pacific. No, I don’t mean I’m from Arkansas like that nurse from the musical, though I did live there for seven years. No, I am most like Nellie Forbush, because we are both cockeyed optimists.

So in alignment with that fact, here are 10 reasons the Astros will play better down the stretch of games between now and the end of the season…

  1. It’s not a high bar. The Astros were 7-13 in their last 20 games heading into the win on Sunday. They will win more than 35% of the balance of their games.
  2. Big deadline acquisition. The Astros will add a recent league MVP, who will give them a .330 BA and a .400 OBP. And his name is Jose Altuve. Who else will be adding that quality of a player?
  3. Upgrade at Catcher. Brian McCann was not hitting very well when he went on the DL, but it would be a good guess that he was hurt well before that point. Substitutions for him have been Tim Federowicz (.206 BA/.523 OPS), Martin Maldonado (before Sunday’s breakout – .143 BA/.515 OPS) and Max Stassi, who has been .178 BA/ .541 OPS since the All-Star break.
  4. The Real Return of Carlos Correa and George Springer. They returned from their injuries (though George may have been re-injured Sunday) but their bats have not. Correa has not hit a home run since June 17th and is only 3 for 28 since coming off the DL. George is 3 for 13 since his stint and is swinging a lot harder than his results indicate.
  5. The 200 flu is over. It sure looked like Justin Verlander may have been trying too hard to chalk up that 200th win and now he has it hopefully he can relax.
  6. Devo can bring his whip back. Chris Devenski is on a minor league rehab and hopefully will return to his early season dominant self.
  7. The rotation. Even with recent struggles, the Astros still have the best starting rotation ERA in the majors at 3.11.
  8. The bullpen. Despite a few bumps in the road, the Astros still have the best bullpen ERA in the majors at 3.07.
  9. The Stare. After a post All Star Home Run Derby and MVP slump, Alex Bregman has been looking more like his old self lately and has the best new home run gimmick – the stare – working for him.
  10. 2017. They know what they did last year. They know how they came back in Game 4 in Boston, how they came back after being down 3 games to 2 against the Yankees, how they won the most improbable Games 2 and 5 in World Series history and how they won game 7 on the road. There is nothing they can face this season that they did not face and overcome last season.

There are quite a few more reasons to believe in this team. Your turn to share a few.

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157 comments on “10 reasons Astros will play better down the stretch

  1. Our “elite closer”/MMA specialist got us through that inning (barely) although he did have 3 “punch-outs”.

    Let us not blow this one, please?!

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  2. 6 Double plays tonight. So we should never bunt and give away an out when we can swing away and give away two outs. Really, these stat guys do not make any sense to me especially in a one run game in the 9th. Hope we don’t need one more run.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. YEE HAW!!!!! New Astros franchise record! It took 56 seasons but we finally broke the franchise record for GIDP in a single game with our 6th tonight. Hats off to Gattis for coming through with a clutch, pinch hit GIDP to break the record!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Awwwww!! Good for Valdez!! Congratulations young man, you EARNED it!
    Now……here’s the 64 million dollar question….does he go, or does he stay??
    Goodnight everyone!

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  5. Really solid outing by Framber. Has a curve ball with a big break that he threw consistently for strikes. It no doubt helped him that there were 6 leftys in the lineup but did a great job staying focused. Liked him.

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  6. Did you notice that the day Hinch “named” Osuna the closer he had Rondon close.
    I think this was a “the heck with you” from Hinch to those trying to force him to name one

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  7. JB Bukauskas had another solid outing for Buies Creek last night. He gave up 2 hits and walked 4, but gave up no runs in 5 innings. He struck out 7 and had 5 groundouts and 2 flyouts. He pitched himself out of trouble!

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  8. Our announcers must be reading Chipalatta comments. The Astros just scored 2 in the first – infield single by Bregman, slow chopper to SS where the M’s could only get one out, and then a two out triple to center by White who was trying to pull the outside pitch (of course) and fooled the CF. After a wild pitch allowed White to score, Blum mentioned the Astros scored after finally managing not to GIDP.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. A five run inning as the Astros use 7 hits and a sacrifice fly to go ahead 8-0. Our new best friends (temporary non-enemies?) to the north are beating the A’s 4-0 in the 6th. I think I just threw up in my throat….

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Welp…..Hinch went to the well, and it was a DISASTER. The M’s, just put 5 runs on the board. This just might cost us the series win. 7 -9…..and they are STILL batting. ***W O W***!!

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  11. Hilarious! After White makes it 10-7 – he gets congratulated and then the whole dugout turns towards the dugout camera and does the Bregman stare – just too funny

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Dear AJ,

    I know you like to monkey around with the lineup every day, but could I ask you to please not sit Maldonado or White right now? Just go ahead right now and pencil them, no make that ink, them in for Friday. They can get some rest later, when their bats cool off. Deal?

    Thanks in advance.

    Sincerely,

    vewill1

    Liked by 3 people

    • He does have a tendency to rest a guy after he’s had a good game. Sometimes I wonder if all the resting messes with their rhythm.

      Like

    • Spot on Daveb7. In his last 10 starts he has gotten pretty roughed up from the 5th inning on. It may be fatigue as much as anything. I wouldn’t mind seeing them skip a start or two before the end of the season. With all of the extra off days it would give him a nice little break. I have no problem seeing Framber again and possibly another young arm for a spot start.

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  13. On Aug. 24th, 2017 the Astros played their 127th game of the year and lost to the Nationals at MMP, 5-4. That loss made them 77-50, the same record they have after the 127th game of this season.
    That night game at MMP drew less than 25,000 fans.
    Things have changed in Houston since then, but the Astros have the exact same record. Things have changed a lot in Seattle and Oakland, too.
    The Astros are just as good. Other teams have improved.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Great post 1op.
      Could you just imagine how good this team would be if we could combine last year’s hitting with this year’s pitching??
      One can dream. I hope that is exactly what we see come playoff time.

      Like

      • Agree with vewill1 comment. If we had last years hitting or even 80 – 90% we’d be at least 10 games up on our closest competitor. Hopefully the bats are coming alive.

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  14. As to bullpen usage, Alvarez (LAA) has been in 64 games. Diaz (SEA) 62, Clippard (TOR)61, Pressly (Twins & Astros) 61, and Romo (TBR) 61 & Bedrosian (LAA) 60. 27 pitchers have been in 51 to 59 games. For the Astros Rondon, Harris, and Peacock have pitched in 50. The next highest Astro is 43. So comparatively speaking, the Astros should be as rested as anyone.

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