5 quick fixes for the Astros


After a disappointing 5-4 loss in Game 1 of the World Series to the Nationals, here are five quick fixes to the Astros problems:

  1. Hit
  2. Hit at home
  3. Hit on the road
  4. Hit with runners in scoring position
  5. Hit to get runners in scoring position

Yeah, that should do it. Sure, the Astros could have pitched better. Gerrit Cole threw a low fastball to Ryan Zimmerman who loves them. Cole threw a high fastball to Juan Soto who loves them. And he threw a few more to some other folks who went the other way with them. They could have run better. Most think George Springer should have stopped admiring his double in the eighth inning long enough to turn it into a triple. They could have fielded better. Michael Brantley the fielding star of the 6th game against the Yanks, did not get back on a 2 run double by Soto that clanked sickeningly off the wall.

But in the end the Astros have been scuffling along instead of soaring due to their hitting problems. They put a lot of guys on the base paths against Max Scherzer and his buddies, but had real problems bringing them home. The team left 11 on base, but individually the players had at bats with 25 on base and only knocked 3 of those in (not counting the Springer solo HR). Worst offenders had to be Alex Bregman at 0 for 4 with 3 Ks and Carlos Correa at 1 for 5 with 3 Ks. Bregman needs to forget about being an MVP and throttle back to a VP or maybe a P.

The Astros were not helped out by the plate ump missing an obvious catcher’s interference against Josh Reddick that might have led to a bases loaded, one out at bat for Jose Altuve. They were unlucky on Springer’s long double that would have been his second HR if it was either a foot farther back or a foot to the left. They were unlucky when Brantley ripped a screaming liner that the LF caught with Springer still nailed to 2B.

But….they have to hit. They cannot expect their pitching to be lights out all the time. They did well to get up by 2 runs on the Nats, but then their offense curled up and died until they were behind by three runs. They need to get ahead and hit the accelerator, which will be tough with Game 2 starter Stephen Strasburg on the mound.

They were down 1-0 in the last series to the Yanks. They were down 1-0 in their last World Series against the Dodgers. This is another must win situation. They cannot expect to win four out of five with three of those on the road, especially after expending Cole and Justin Verlander. The Nats are hungry like the Astros were in 2017. The Astros are a match for them in talent, but are they a match in desire? Tonight will speak directly to that question.

41 comments on “5 quick fixes for the Astros

  1. I agree with OP in the last post…..but hitting (or not) is not new with this team.
    It’s exasperating to see bases loaded, and NOT getting one dang run. While it was soo good to see Alveraz get a couple of hits last night….coming up to the plate with a chance to get a BIG hit he struck out. Ump behind the dish last night is a moot point today. I keep going back to small ball……you just can’t keep the homerun or nothing mindset. They used a bunch of bullpen arms last night, hopefully they won’t be available tonight.
    *lose tonight, and it’s over, especially because Friday is a crap shoot with Greinke and Saturday will be a bullpen day. Leaving *11* guys on base was the story of game #1, let’s hope that’s not the case tonight…..but I have my doubts.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Strasburg is their toughest pitcher. And I’m a bit concerned Verlander is somewhat weary at this point. As I said this morning, Verlander has got to keep this game even until the pens take over. Or, and this is unlikely, the bats have to tee off on a pitcher who is throwing as well as anyone right now. We might need a couple of things to fall in our favor tonight. And I hate hoping for a break or two in the World Series.

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    • What we don’t know about Strasburg is whether the pressure of the WS will get to him. He’s never pitched in the WS and Verlander has. And though Strasburg has been pitching brilliantly – so has Cole until he finally pitched in the WS.

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    • But its not like they have 9 guys who are going to launch homers on JV. The key is to score some runs so when JV gives up a shot or two – they don’t catch us. The Nats are a great team on a roll, but a good smack in the face (like we did to the Yankees) might shake their confidence.

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  3. So the offensive offense saga continues. The team was able to generate all those gaudy offensive numbers over the 162 gm season, and win despite stinky stats like GIDP, MLOB, terrible hitting with RISP. Of course this problem becomes amplified in short series. As much as we worried about the pitching, its the offense that has given me pause. How do they fix this? They are putting men on base. This could be a short WS if they don’t do better.
    https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/astros-alex-bregman-says-hes-been-terrible-in-october-his-struggles-are-part-of-a-larger-houston-problem/

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  4. I think ABreg recognizing, acknowledging issues at the plate is a tonic, not just for him, but the tm as a whole, to change their approach and not be reliant on the long ball. I suspect we may very well see the offense evolve. Thats the hope

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  5. The Astros are starting to play unlike the Astros. Don’t try to steal third when there a lefty up with one out. The catcher has a wide open view of his target. If we stop trusting the way we’ve won all year, then the Nats have already wounded us.

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  6. Altuve gave them a nice gift all wrapped up with a pretty bow😠
    I absolutely can’t believe some of the stupid things these guys do.

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  7. DanP, I have to challenge one or more of your fixes. Took some time today to read from brilliant baseball statisticians. Hitting (BA) with runners in scoring position is a worthless stat. So that would make “left on base” also worthless because it is not their fault (not the batter either obviously) they didn’t score. So scoring is not important. Let’s give both teams Participation Trophies and go home.

    I feel better already.

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  8. You’re right Unc, much better looking at the plate, now if they can get the bottom of the order contributing something it would be helpful. The booth cited 6-9 but YA has been revived.

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  9. Reddick and Chirinos are black holes in this lineup……time to try Tucker in right. It’s a good thing Bregman hit that homerun, ’cause Strasburg ain’t gonna give up anymore…..neither is Verlander thank God!

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    • When not hitting, which is often enough, both backstops are usually auto SO’s. Likewise Josh, popping up mostly or inf groundouts. Of course we want them to get going also, whatever they can give.

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  10. Some of those screamers will find their way through holes if they keep making hard contact like that. I like this much better over loud outs, all or nothing. All or nothing diminishes the next man up mentality nor does it trust your teammate to get the job done.

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  11. My sons asked if we could call Chirinos our designated catcher and have Greinke hit for him (Zack hit .271 with 3 HRs and 8 RBIs with Ariz this year)

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  12. You get Tucker and he takes a called third strike. What the hell are these guys doing? 1st and 2nd, 1 out and we get zip, just like we always do. About ready to call it a night.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. The baseball world decides to post Astro situational hitting #’s like it’s something new. This blog has highlighted that subject since the ASB especially. Ouch JV! Now that Altuve caught stealing looms large. The Nat’s BP should be coming next inning. We really need to dent that BP.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi everyone. Long time lurker here. Last posted in 2017 (I think). Looks like to me that the Nationals are completely outplaying us in addition to caring a lot more. They seem way hungrier than the Astros.

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  15. 6-2 we lost. Pretty pitiful. Bad managing by Hinch to put Presley in.
    Oh well….it is what it is. I feel sorry for Verlander…..no run support *AGAIN*.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Total nightmare. Verlander is gassed. We might not see him again this year. Defense breaks down. Still no big hits. Can’t live like that forever. 11 teams have come back being down 2-0. But I don’t know how many of them went on the road for 3 games and came back.

    So if our squad has some real soul left, they’ll get three runs in the 7th and go from there.

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  17. AC, I don’t expect this tm to fold like a cheap suit but I do expect they might do some serious soul searching to find where their hearts are at. Tonight they have been completely outplayed & overwhelmed before a national audience. I sincerely hope this changes moving forward because I don’t think I can handle another debacle like this.

    Liked by 1 person

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