Astros’ 2021: Glance back, focus forward

This is the last review in our look at American League West division as we turn our gaze to the Astros. We will include some stats from 2019 and 2020 since 2020 was such an odd wad season.

  • Last Playoff season – 2020 when they lost the ALCS to the Rays 4-3
  • Last Playoff winning series – 2020 when they beat the Twins 2-0 in the Wild Card round and the A’s 3-1 in the ALDS.
  • The Astros are 1-2 all time in the World Series; winning in 2017 over the Dodgers 4-3, and losing to the White Sox 4-0 in 2005 and to the Nats 4-3 in 2019.  
  • 2019 Record – 107-55  1st place in the AL West – 10 games ahead (and franchise record for wins) / 60-21 at home / 47-34 on road / 24-19 one run games / 10-4 extra inning games – They were 11-8 against the A’s, 14-5 against the Angels, 13-6 against the Rangers and 18-1 against the M’s. 56 – 20 in the division
  • Hitting – 5.68 runs/game (3rd in AL) / .274 BA (1st) / .352 OBP (1st) / .848 OPS (1st) / 288 HRs (3rd)
  • Pitching – 3.95 runs/game (1st in AL) / 1.130 WHIP (1st) / 47 saves (3rd) – Starters – 3.61 ERA (1st)  / Relievers – 3.75 ERA (2nd)
  • 2020 Record – 29-31  2nd place in the AL West – 7 games behind / 20-8 at home / 9-23 on road / 10-14 one run games / 2-7 extra inning games – They were 3-7 against the A’s, 4-6 against the Angels, 5-5 against the Rangers and 7-3 against the M’s. 19-21 in the division.
  • Hitting – 4.65 runs/game (7th in AL) / .240 BA (10th) / .312 OBP (11th) / .720 OPS (9th) / 69 HRs (10th)
  • Pitching – 4.58 runs / game (8th) / 1.315 WHIP (8th) / 16 saves (7th) –   Starters – 4.26 ERA (6th)  /  Relievers – 4.39 ERA (8th)

Review

The Astros fortunes fell from a franchise high 107 wins in 2019 to just below .500 in 2020. Three main things contributed to this fall from the heights. First, were off-season losses as Gerrit Cole, Wade Miley, Will Harris, Hector Rondon, Collin McHugh and Robinson Chirinos all left in free agency. Second, were in season losses as Joe Smith declined to pitch and Justin Verlander, Yordan Alvarez, Roberto Osuna, Brad Peacock, Chris Devenski, Josh James and Jose Urquidy missed most of the season with injury/illness. Third, and most difficult to gauge was the affect of the cheating scandal as most of the best Astro hitters – Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa and Yuli Gurriel – produced seasons well below their career norms. The Astros had other folks step up, including Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier, Enoli Paredes, Blake Taylor, Andre Scrubb and Brooks Raley.

2021 is about how the Astros absorb the losses of George Springer, Roberto Osuna, Brad Peacock, Josh Reddick and Chris Devenski to Free Agency and the losses of Justin Verlander, Framber Valdez and Andre Scrubb due to injuries of varying severity.

Offense

If the Astros are going to turn things around from a below .500 regular season in 2020, an offensive turn around has to be the first step. Losing George Springer (one of the few regulars who hit well in 2020) hurts, while re-signing Michael Brantley and welcoming back 2019 Rookie of the Year Yordan Alvarez helps. But truly the key to an improved offense revolves around the quartet of Altuve (.219 BA/.286 OBP/.629 OPS in 2020), Alex Bregman (.242/.350/.801), Yuli Gurriel (.232/.274/.658) and Carlos Correa (.264/.326/.709). A progression back to their norm or close to the norm would be a big boost to the offense. There has to be expectations that after a solid breakout performance in the mini-season, Kyle Tucker (.268/.325/.837/9 HR/42 RBIs/ 8 SBs) is ready to take it another notch up. The catcher tandem of Martin Maldonado and Jason Castro should be decent if not spectacular. The wild card is what can be expected of Springer “replacement” Myles Straw, who best bet is not to try and replace the powerful All-Star, but to work on being an on-base beast.

Bench

The Astros’ bench has been a bit of a weakness, and will probably continue to be so. It will include whichever catcher is not playing, who will likely not come in the game unless due to injury, Aledmys Diaz, who has hit pretty decent in small samples, IF Robel Garcia, whose glove is a question and OF Chas McCormick, who did not show too well in Spring Training.  

Starting Pitching

The starting pitching could be a strength for the club, but the question marks around 2020 breakout star Framber Valdez (5-3, 3.57 ERA) and his broken finger pull back the reins on that a bit. It appears that at least for the foreseeable time the Astros 5 man rotation will be Zack Greinke (3-3, 4.03), Lance McCullers Jr. (3-3, 3.93), newly added Jake Odorizzi (0-1, 6.59), who threw 50+ pitches in his last start, Cristian Javier (5-2, 3.48 ERA), who missed time due to COVID protocol and Jose Urquidy (1-1, 2.73 ERA), who comes off a perfect five inning stint in his last Spring Training start.

There are a number of big questions here. How many innings will these likely starters be able to tote this season after throwing so few in 2020 (especially Odorizzi and his 13.2 IP)? Will youngsters like Brian Bielak and Luis Garcia fill the spot starter / long reliever role on the club? And when will Valdez return to the team and will he be in the rotation or the bullpen when he does? Who would he bump out or would they go to the 6 man rotation instead? And the most out of left field question ….. is there any chance that Justin Verlander comes back at all after Tommy John surgery?

Bullpen

The bullpen is the area that might be the most worrisome for the Astros. In the last two seasons they’ve basically lost a whole bullpen as Osuna, Harris, McHugh, Rondon, Peacock and Devenski have left. The Astros had a lot of rookies – Taylor (2.18 ERA), Paredes (3.05 ERA), Scrubb (1.90 ERA) and Raley (3.94 ERA) who helped out in ~20 inning samples, but there is a concern that the other teams will get a book on these guys in their first real swing around the bigs. Ryan Pressly (12 saves, 3.43 ERA) was decent as a closer, but can he take things up a step? Pedro Baez (3.18) was a good arm in LA, but Covid has derailed him temporarily. Ryne Stanek is coming off two poor short seasons in a row with the Tampa Bay Rays. Someone who could be a big help in the higher leverage innings is youngster, Brian Abreu, who came back from a lost season to grab a spot on the team. Again, perhaps Bielak or Garcia will slide into a long reliever/spot starter role.

The Astros had shots at bigger fish in filling out their bullpen, but saved some of that capital for the Odorizzi signing. Will they need to change their tack during the season?  

2021 Prediction: 92-70 and second in the AL West

The Astros were on the way to a 78-84 season (projected from the 29-31 record), so this represents a 14-game swing. Will it be enough to overtake the A’s this season?

The answer may well revolve around how good of news comes out of the Framber Valdez situation. That could swing this whole season from good to very good.

 

82 comments on “Astros’ 2021: Glance back, focus forward

  1. 1. The Astros added a new bat to their lineup that I think will replace Springer’s numbers. Yordan Alvarez. His projections have him producing Springer-like numbers. He is not included in the “Offense” category above, and I believe a lot of prognosticators are forgetting about him, too.
    2. If Yordan replaces Springer’s numbers, then the third outfielder only has to improve Reddick’s numbers to complete this lineup. That is doable because Reddick had the least WAR of anyone on the team in 2020, -0.6.
    3. That leaves all the guys mentioned above to improve their career=worst numbers from 2020 to make the Astros a force offensively. I’m not ever talking about them having career years. I’m just talking about them meeting their career average years.
    That covers “Offense”.
    Next: “Defense”

    Like

      • And having Alvarez replace Springer gets them back to even on 2020 a crappy year, not back to 2019. They have to get those four guys back towards their norms as they say – they do not have to be at their career best – I agree.

        Like

      • No – won’t do more poking. I could be totally wrong here. The biggest thing I may miss is my prediction on the A’s. They may fall off more than I predicted. If they do the Astros will win because I see no one else in the division challenging us.

        Like

  2. I’m choosing to take the daveb position that 2020 was essentially extended spring training and exhibitions with a postseason that didn’t really count. It’s kind of like in NCAA basketball – you can win the Maui Invitational, but only your fans will care about that later on. As such, I’m expecting a far more competent team from Houston than we saw for much of the season. However, there is a little pressure. Altuve and Bregman need to bounce back. We can be excited about the young arms we have seen, but they need to take a step forward. I generally agree with Billy Beane’s take that you just need to be good enough in the regular season to make it to October where anything can happen, but those postseason games are a different beast. The pressure ramps up and we’ve seen plenty of All Stars disappear because of it. Click needs to find some guys who can anchor us the way Keuchel/Springer/Verlander did in the 2015 and 2017-2019 runs.

    One off comment thing – the report Lindor is seeking $385M and the Mets offered $325M is baffling. That’s a lot of money for a guy who has a career best .871 OPS in 2018 and was pretty mediocre last year. He does have two gold gloves I suppose. The thing is he’ll be playing his age 27 season for $22M and then the offer would be for ten years beginning at age 28. Yikes! Clearly his camp is hoping to not only beat the Mookie Betts record but also surpass the Albert Pujols contract for worst extension in history.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Devin, what surprises me more is that the Mets allegedly are willing to pay him the 325 over 10 years.

      I’m not concerned about our offense, as long as someone can tell me that our guys are going to stay healthy. Diaz is very important to us right now. He’s the only reliable bat we have off the bench. He’s got to be healthy too.

      Our pitching will remain a work in progress, at least for the first couple of months, again until everyone is healthy, stretched out, Covid free and from whatever else might be lurking to derail us. Based on inning limits for the majority of our arms, we’ll end up using 20 plus guys on the mound this year. Maybe 25. We’ll see some good stuff and some bad stuff. But every other team will have the same issue.

      I still think we’ll win 95. We play 57 games against 3 pretty mediocre or bad teams within the division.

      Like

  3. Here is my “offensive hope.” I hope one or more guys in the minors have such a good half-year that he has to be brought up and become the 3rd outfielder. That would cover money savings for several years and replace a good “offensive” bat.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Defense
    1. Other than injury, does anyone see the defense of Brantley and Tucker in 2021 to be any worse than Brantley and Reddick in 2019-20?
    2. Other than injury, does anyone see the infield defense of the 4 infielders we have starting to be any different than their defense in 2019-20?
    3. We had very little pitching defense practice for a lot of pitchers last season and we had tons of rookie pitchers. I think the defense for the pitching position on the field would be better because of maturity of those young pitchers.
    4. I think the catchers position will be better this year defensively with the addition of Castro to the mix.
    5. That leaves Straw’s defense vs Springer’s defense. I give the edge to Springer because he proved it for so long.
    6. In 2020 Fangraphs rated the Astros at 28th in advanced team defense, even though they were tied for the fewest errors in the entire MLB and had the best fielding percentage. So I call bullshit to advanced defensive metrics and encourage the team to keep doing the same thing because errors on defense will kill you.

    will kill you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • 1. I’d be pretty surprised if the Brantley and Tucker defense is better in 2021 than what we got out of Brantley/Reddick in 2020. Changing out the CF is the biggest concern I have. We’ve read for years about what a great CFer Straw is…but every time we put him on the field he looks more like Dexter Fowler than Jake Marisnick. Hopefully I’m wrong and the corners aren’t asked to do more to compensate. Tucker suffers through some lapses out there. His arm will likely be a concern as well, but if he does the little things right he will limit the opportunities other teams have to take extra bases…and perhaps make a few of them pay for trying to burn him.

      Like

  5. *errors on defense will kill you . . . will kill you*

    Amen . . . and Amen! Over . . . and over. Again . . . and again.

    Other things [in baseball . . . not politics] that will kill you:
    1. walking the opposing team’s lead-off batter;
    2. pitching behind the hitter (either literally or getting behind in the count);
    3. getting ahead in the count, then throwing a fastball over the center of the plate at 0-2 or 1-2;
    4. failing to hustle on ground-out [especially if it the grounder is hit in the direction of Marcus Semien or Jonathan Villar);
    5. getting picked off base;
    6. running into an out -especially at 3rd base or home (Siri? Did you hear me?);
    7. hitting into the shift;
    8. taking a called 3rd strike;
    9. being a dummy at a Jeff Dunham show [SILENCE, INFIDEL!).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Silence, I kill you.
      Forgot just how funny that was!

      The first time I heard it, I was meeting the teenage son of a 1st date I had. We shook hands and he said, “I kill you!”

      I thought, wow he seems protective.

      Like

  6. I think our pitching, especially our bullpen will be better this year. Many of the guys who had high ERAs/WHIPs are no longer here; were injured; or went back to the minors:

    Sneed: 5.71/1.846
    James: 7.27/1.846
    Castellanos: 6.75/1.594
    Rodriguez: 6.23/2.423
    DeJong: 14.73/2.182
    Biagini: 20.77/3.231
    Devenski: 14.73/2.727
    Peacock: 7.71/1.714
    Sanabria: 9.00/3.000

    If we can get Joe Smith to contribute near his career averages 2.98/1.165 and if Strom can get Bielak to how he was pitching pre-SD (4 HR/1.1 IP) when he was 1.69/1.13, then we’ll be fine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with what you say here.
      I think Luis Garcia will be a good starting pitcher.
      I think Abreu will be a good pitcher for us in whatever slot he ends up in.
      I think Bielak will eventually be a good pitcher for us. Hell, if the Astros can stick with a guy like Emanuel, who showed very little for many years, I can at least give Bielak a second chance.
      The Astros pitching will surprise a lot of people if they can stay relatively healthy.

      Like

  7. What do we know about our ‘new’ utility outfielder, Chas McCormick?
    For what they are worth, here are some of his lifetime Milb stats:
    BA- .276 [high .298; low .269]
    BABIP – .3o3 [high .324 ; low .285]
    OBP – .360 [high .386; low .339]
    HR – high in any MiLB season = 14
    RBI – high in any MiLB season = 66
    SBs – 19 and 16 in last two MiLB seasons, respectively
    SO/BB ratio – in 2019 walked 68 times, struck out 62 times

    Josh Reddick’s slightly speedier clone?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I do want to apologize for being a bit grumpy here lately – not feeling that great to begin with – then we got the second vaccine and feeling a bit achy and my wife has been having a more severe reaction.
    So, sorry if I seem a little short with folks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What amazes us, Dan, is how un-grumpy you usually are. As my father used to say – every time I started letting things get me down – ‘Keep smilin’!’ [But just in case, watch out for in your ear.]

      Like

      • Just remember Dan that those “derogatory” comments are actually showing our appreciation for you. And while you were off having a bad day we collectively voted you off the island.
        Got my second dose yesterday and so far I’m blessed that there have been no ill effects, not even a sore arm. I guess all those allergy shots I took in my childhood have toughened up my arm. Hang tough Dan.
        Looking forward to the first game tomorrow.

        Like

  9. I’m guessing this will be where some MiLB plus taxi guys will get to stay game fresh, unless the taxi travels with the team & practices with Big Club?

    2021 Alternative Site game schedule:

    April 7-8: at Round Rock Express
    April 12-13: vs. Round Rock Express
    April 19-20: at Round Rock Express
    May 2-3: in Corpus Christi/Sugar Land vs. Round Rock Express

    Eight total games with similar rules from Spring Training. (per
    @astros)

    Like

  10. Projected lineup

    1. Jose Altuve, 2B
    2. Michael Brantley, LF
    3. Alex Bregman, 3B
    4. Yordan Alvarez, DH
    5. Carlos Correa, SS
    6. Kyle Tucker, RF
    7. Yuli Gurriel, 1B
    8. Myles Straw, CF
    9. Martín Maldonado, C

    Liked by 1 person

    • The burning question in my mind is: Who is going to be the home plate umpire? Please tell me it is not Angel Hernandez. In case you are wondering, the immaculate AH is definitely NOT one of the Seven Angel Crew about which Willie and Ray sang so beautifully – but he will send anyone who argues with him home.

      Like

    • Garcia looked good in a small sample last year. I’m kind of surprised it wasn’t Bielak who pitched quite a bit this spring.
      Garcia has good stuff and seemed to have a good approac.

      Like

  11. The 341 million extension going to Lindor confounds me a bit. I should be immune to bigger and bigger money by now. I’m not. But it also confirms that someone will pay Carols Correa quite a bit more money than what most of us have in mind.

    Like

    • Carlos will be one of the most interesting free agent signings I’ve ever seen. I think he will get something like 8 years due to his age, but how much per year will be fascinating and how he plays and how much he plays in 2021 may have a tremendous effect on what that number is. If he misses a bunch of games I could see him settling for a Springer-ish contract 6 yrs / $150 MM. If he plays all year and finally plays well all year somebody may be giving him 8 yrs / $240 MM. I don’t think he gets Lindor money, because his track record is too spotty – but remember I am not an expert, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

      Like

      • Not trying to be disagreeable and cause grumpiness, but Correa is younger than Lindor. He’s also much bigger. Why does this matter? On the plus side, Correa has posted two seasons of .900 OPS or higher. Lindor has yet to reach that, but does have four seasons of .800+ OPS. On the minus side, we can maybe attribute some of Correa’s injuries to being bulkier. The other thing is people have said since he was drafted he would eventually get moved to third base. It’s worth remembering that Cal Ripken moved late in his career, ARod moved after going to the Yankees where Derek Jeter and his inferior defensive ability but superiod leadership skills had SS locked down, Manny Machado was an incredible SS but moved to 3B to get to the big leagues sooner as JJ Hardy (I think) had the position blocked, etc.

        If we’re putting a value on both guys, I think the Mets got swindled as Lindor’s offense won’t live up to expectations, but his gold gloves do lend more weight to the conversation. Offensively, Correa could be moved to 1B or 3B and still be among the more valuable players at those positions in the entire league. Defensively, Correa should have won a gold glove in 2020. In 2015 he had that memorable error during the meltdown inning against the Royals, but how many better performers at SS can you think of in the postseason than Carlos given his 2017-2020 games?

        But I agree with you 100%, Dan. It all comes down to Carlos’ health. If he was on the field and generally healthy for 150 games per year during the contract it would make sense to discuss numbers with the other (ridiculous) contracts given out of late. If he can only average 120 games or fewer over the contract you need to seriously question if you want to tie up such a large portion of the payroll.

        Like

      • Devin I am no longer surprised by the salaries. They have no bearing on anything except the ego of the man that signs the check and the ego of the man that cashes the check. To put Lindor’s contact in perspective, Crane reportedly paid around $680 million for the Astros (and got a big discount to move to the AL). The Mets are paying Lindor about 1/2 of that in this one contract.

        Like

      • Just remember that Crane paid the $680 MM (with his group) in 2011 and one decade later his team is valued at $1.8 Billion even with COVID happening. Lindor is getting $340 MM over 20 years as $50 MM is deferred.
        The biggest thing the very largest contracts seem to do is handcuff the teams on the quantity of talent they bring in. The biggest reason the Astros were so successful 2017-2019 is that they had that base of underpaid position players (underpaid vs. their production) so they could go out and spend big on some short term pitching help and a few positional veterans to get them over the top.
        They have the opportunity to do that from the other angle now after 2021 with a base of lower paid pitchers.

        Like

    • More than ever, the ‘game’ demands to be treated like a business . But it is not a business, because it fails to produce a product worth anywhere near its exorbitant cost. Every $3oo million dollar contract drives one more nail in the game’s future. In a time of skyrocketing food, gas, shelter, clothing, and heating/cooling costs, wage-plateauing and job contraction, how many families can justify the expense to even seriously consider going to the ballgame as an entertainment option?

      Like

      • Mr. Bill, the value of MLB clubs continues to grow even as attendance does not keep pace. Revenue comes more and more from different sources. I think there will continue be bigger and bigger contracts, at least as long as we’re around. There’s always a waiting line of rich guys to buy a club. Baseball is apparently pandemic proof. It might be a better investment than real estate.

        Like

  12. There are so many factors involved in the Correa story.
    1. Are there going to be qualifying offers for free agents at the end of this year? I haven’t been able to find a definite answer to this question. Because of the confusion of the expiration of the CBA and the tendency of baseball to just change any rule on a whim, there is not anything in writing I can find about the 2022 QO.
    2. If there is a QO, then Baez, Story, Correa and Seager are going to get one, if their current team doesn’t resign them. That adds to the cost for the team signing them to long term deals.
    3. The Astros have five guys in their top 30 prospect list who are shortstops or could be shortstops: Leon, Pena, Nova, Kessinger and Lorenzo.
    4. Besides the 4 free agent SSs mentioned above, Semien and Simmons and Iglesias are scheduled to be free agents again.
    5. There are a large number of clubs who will be up against the luxury tax in 2022 and won’t have room to add a high priced SS
    6. There are a number of clubs who are rebuilding and won’t sign a hig paid long term player.
    7. Their are a number of clubs who might need a SS but have one waiting in the wings in their top prospects.
    8. The Padres have a very high- rated prospect at the top of their prospect list and they just signed Tatis, Jr to a forever deal. That prospect will probably be sought after by a club coming out of a rebuild in a trade.

    Like

    • Maybe I’m late to the party or ill informed but I would have thought that almost all of the players would have been vaccinated by now. After all, couldn’t they be classified as “essential workers”?
      As for Correa and all of these other high priced players, eventually the law of diminishing returns will kick in and team will be paying $25 – $30MM for guys who can’t field and hit just over the Mendoza line. I for one will not be shedding any tears for them. I wish we could get players to sign incentive contracts with base amount. It’s called pay for performance but it probably won’t happen. As for Correa, I go back to my statement a while ago. If he can be traded for some really good prospects before the trade deadline do it. Let him become somebody else’s problem. The Mets traded for Lindor with the anticipation that they could sign him for a long term deal. They may be regretting that decision if he leaves or they pay out the kazuzo for him.
      Do you think the Angels regret giving Pujols him that $240MM contract? His highest BA was .285 in his 1st year and it’ll be a stretch for him to play at least 130 games with an average of around .250. All that for $30MM. We now have a new definition for stupidity (insanity is better) and it’s infecting a lot of the baseball executives. Money is literally destroying the game that is supposed to be America’s Pastime. OK, I’ll get off my soapbox. now.
      I do plan to stay up late and watch tonight’s game.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Zanuda, they did pay him out the kazuzo late last night. 10 years/$341 million, with the extra million to get him above what the Padres paid Tatis, jr. Can you believe how much ego you have to feed in order to make a $340million guy happy? An extra million dollars.

        Like

      • Hey, beginning next year the Mets will only be paying Lindor $210,000 per game…surely that’s no problem, right? Honestly, I like Correa far more than most, but I’d rather see him go elsewhere for that type of money.

        Like

      • My ego could be filled for a lot less. Can’t seem to remember where I got the word “kazuzo” but it seemed very apropos in this particular case. It ranks right up there with “caddywhompus”, “whatcha-ma-callit”, and “thing-a-ma-bob”. Maybe one of those old Texas sayings, “running like a scalded dog”.
        I must have missed the “Lindor bulletin” today but thanks for the update. At least it wasn’t $400MM, if you call that a victory.

        Like

    • I see two ex-Astros made the A’s roster. Guduan is an interesting character. The last time I saw his name it was in reference to him hitting Dean Deetz with a bat on the head, leaving and coming back with a knife to finish him off. So if Reymin walks you, please don’t make fun of his lack of control

      Like

      • Doesn’t matter, AC.. Somewhere Dustin Garneua is lurking, ready for Guduan to charge us. And Alex Cintron is in the tarmac chiding him.

        Like

  13. HOW NOT TO START A SEASON AT HOME

    Texas is playing at Kansas City. First seven Rangers get on [three doubles, a walk. two infield hits]. It’s 5-0 Rangers, with two on before KC records it’s first out of the season.

    Like

    • I left out one line-drive single; 2nd out came after yet another single, when Brock Holt was gunned down at the plate. Rangers bat all the way around, and leave two on base.

      Like

      • Rangers & Royals in a 5-5 tie after one full inning. It’s like they are playing T-ball a five-run per-inning rule.

        Like

    • I see Keller got pounded so ya can’t go on ’20 stats for much, if one hasn’t seen trends in Spring. However as a comment on Nate Lowe for the Rangers, he came from Tampa in that prospect trade. Lots of spill over talent from the Rays, I tell ya! They are a beautifully run org, and think of all the brilliance that has already left them in front offices at LAD BOS and HOU. The Astros are fortunately catching up with stellar pitching coaching, and talent.

      Wondered if I could give a plug for two players on the verge of amazingness. One is 26th round Ralph Garza Jr, and the other Austin Hansen. Enjoy the season, Men! You have come so far..

      Like

      • Texas’ starter, Kyle Gibson, hasn’t started much better. The first five Royals reach – the last two via walks – one with the bases loaded and one after a passed ball that let a runner score. 5-2 Rangers, and the bases are still loaded, now with one out.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Goops, and Taylor Hit Man Hearn is up next for Northerly Rivals. It looks like a shootout donnybrook, last team to run out of ammo.

        Like

  14. With the exception of Tatis, I think Carlos Correa is the most skilled, best athlete at shortstop in the game. I’d love to watch the guy play 150 games a year for the Astros well into the future. My favorite thing about Carlos is watching him take a relay throw and gunning a guy at the plate. Alas, I also don’t think he’s a real genuine human. He won’t play 150 games a year well into the future for any team. His injury history is questionable. Beyond his fractured massage ribs, did any doctor ever provide a diagnosis for his back problems? Maybe the club does not really want him back. Regardless, going forward, I’m going to try and stop posting my thoughts on Carlos Correa except those that apply to his play on the baseball field.

    Like

  15. Did anyone see the video of Miggy Cabrera sliding into second base today in a real snowstorm on a ball he had homered on? A true classic baseball moment.

    Like

    • Considering how snow does not show up well on TV – it must have been an extreme snowstorm – kind of cute how he slid in and then had the ump tell him to keep going

      Like

    • Couple that with Bellinger passing Turner on a would have been homerun and we had some interesting action to start the year.

      Like

  16. Astros with a 3-0 lead. So nice to see Alvarez hit that opposite field 2 run double off the wall. Something we missed so much last year. Greinke was so good tonight – masterful pitching.

    Like

  17. Paredes struggles after a Yuli error puts him in a hole but only gives up a run and then Brantley and Bregman go back to back 5-1 Astros.

    Like

    • How ’bout dem Asros? lookin pretty good tonite. Brantley, Bregman, Alvarez, Greinke with a great game. Lots of hard hit balls. Bull pen good enough to do the job.

      Like

    • 9 straight opening game wins. If one wants to complain, Yuli made an error on a tough foul ball pop up. Altuve lollygagged a ground ball. Bregman threw one away. But the pitchers kept their cool. But the team hit many hard hit balls that were caught. Very well played game and Stanek looked tough in the 9th.

      Like

  18. What I liked:
    1. Greinke
    2. Bregman’s HR. He was short to the ball and didn’t muscle up or overswing, but put it 20 rows deep. If his swings look like that all year he’s going to have incredible results
    3. Brantley and Alvarez in the lineup
    4. Kyle Tucker hustling on a ground out
    What I didn’t like:
    1. Tucker not taking that pop-fly from Gurriel. Maybe he couldn’t track it
    2. Straw not bunting. If they’re going to play so far off the bag he needs to try pushing one down the line and using his best weapon. He needs to get on base and build up some confidence.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s