The week of 4-1 through 4-7 in review.
The week before, the Astros stumbled out of the gate with a 1-3 road stop in Tampa. They then moved on to Arlington at the beginning of the week and further dug a hole by going 1-2 against the Rangers.
Coming home to play Oakland they needed to play well or risk being deeply buried after the first 10 games of the season.
The irony of the week is that it seemed like a slam dunk that the Astros would perform better in the two games in Arlington started by Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole than the other four games they played last week. NOT!
The Astros lost the two games started by their twin aces 6-4 and 4-0. Luckily, they won both games started by Brad Peacock, the first game against the Rangers 2-1 due to Peacock’s great start and the last game against the A’s 9-8 despite Peacock’s struggling start. They also won the first two games of the A’s series for a solid sweep due to excellent starts by Collin McHugh (6 IP / 1 R / 3 hits) and Wade Miley (5.2 IP / 0 R / 4 hits), 3-2 and 6-0.
Their sleepy bats were finally waking up in the last two games of the Oakland series as they scored as many runs in those two games (15) as they had in the first 7 games of the season. Due to the Mariners hot start, the Astros at 5-5 ended the week one-half game farther back of the M’s than at the start of the week, but they certainly had to be feeling better about themselves than they did after the Ranger series.
The week of 4-8 through 4-14 in a preview.
It is hard to label anything as critical this early in the season, but the next week is important if the Astros wish to make some headway in their battle for the AL West lead.
First they host three games against the 5-4 Yankees, who like the Astros with the M’s are trailing a surprise team in the solid Tampa Rays. The Yanks also are coming off a 3 game sweep of the O’s, but certainly expected to be a bit better than 5-4 after playing 6 games against the tanking O’s and 3 against the suspect Tigers.
The Yanks have had to overcome some early season injuries and like the Astros are just beginning to have their bats warm up. This will likely come down to offense as both teams have solid starting pitching and bullpens. Then the Astros start an eight-game road trip in Seattle against the M’s, who have been a terrific offensive team to date scoring more than seven runs per game. Their pitching has been adequate, giving up about 4.5 runs per game.
The key to this series may well be if the Astros pitching can slow the M’s down at all. The 9-2 M’s will undoubtedly slow down at some point, but the Astros really need to plant a seed of doubt in their minds before they stretch out to an even bigger lead in the AL West.
Players of the Week: Two players had excellent weeks in different ways.
- George Springer had good slash numbers: .320 BA/.357 OBP/.957 OPS and a very productive five runs scored, two HRs, one double and three RBIs.
- Alex Bregman had unworldly slash numbers: .550 BA/.615 OBP/1.265 OPS with a little more pedestrian production numbers: three runs scored, two doubles, two RBIs.
Stat focus: One Man / One Game Baseball is just such a weird game, it is hard to describe. New Astro Aledmys Diaz entered Sunday’s game with a stat line that Bluto from Animal House could appreciate. His BA? .000; OBP? .000; OPS? .000…..0 hits, 0 walks, 0 HBPs, 0 runs, 0 RBIs, and K’s? Oh he had 4 of those in nine ABs. But on Sunday at home after sitting on the bench for 5 straight games, Diaz had two hits including a three-run homer, a career-high four RBIs and two runs scored including the walk-off game-winner. So he leaves the game with as many runs scored as Tyler White, Yuli Gurriel, Josh Reddick, and Max Stassi combined, as many HRs as White, Gurriel, Reddick, Stassi and Correa, and the third most RBIs on the team, which is more than Jose Altuve, Bregman and Carlos Correa. Just weird….
Pop Song That Should Have Been a Hit. “Someday Someway” by Marshall Crenshaw.
One of the things that seems to be missing in the modern music world are songs that reach back and pull from another era. “Someday Someway” was one of those songs that could have easily been sung by Buddy Holly, who Crenshaw resembled. It only made it to #36 on the Billboard 100 in 1982 and it is hard to figure out why. It is upbeat, energetic and just plain fun. But it was what it was.
So…. that’s a look at last week, this week, plus a look at some moldie, oldie music. All comments are welcome!!