June is Busting Out All Over….for the Astros

The Astros are in the midst of an almost excellent and so far OK, 9 game homestand. They have played three top-performing teams in the L.A. Dodgers, San Diego Padres and the Boston Red Sox (one game so far) and have held their own. In fact, with some better help in the bullpen, they could easily be 5-1 instead of 3-3 at this point in the homestand.

There are some real positives to consider with the team as they head into June.

Some things that strike the eye when looking at the team…

  • Kyle Tucker is leading the team in HRs (11), tied for the lead in runs scored (35) and is second in RBIs (35) despite a BAbip (batting averages ball in play) that is .233 vs. a major league average of .295. He has been very good in the month of May with a .296 BA/.378 OBP/.940 OPS slash and now that he has remembered to walk once in a while he has been on an upward arc.
  • Chas McCormick has not gotten many at bats for the season, but with Brantley out, he is becoming a regular. His .203 AB/ .286 OBP have been nothing to write home about, but he has been productive for this team. His 14 runs scored, 4 HRs and 17 RBIs in 59 ABs project out to 119 runs, 34 HRs and 144 RBIs in 500 ABs and that is something to write home about.
  • If I gave you this robust looking slash (.271 BA/ .397 OBP/ .876 OPS) could you figure out who is sporting it? The first hint is he has only 48 ABs this season. The second hint is he is on the IL. Give up? It’s Jason Castro.
  • Even with some help coming to the bullpen, the Astros have to get better performances out of some who will not be going away, whether it is Brooks Raley (7.29 ERA) Joe Smith (7.04 ERA), Enoli Paredes (6.75 ERA), or Blake Taylor (6.75 ERA).
  • Will Alex Bregman finally break the .300 average mark for a season? Most years he is digging out from a terrible start, but this season he is sitting at .298 BA as June begins.

The key here is that the team should be headed towards better health in June and that should mean a very solid month, especially with a month that on paper looks easier than the one they just finished.

37 comments on “June is Busting Out All Over….for the Astros

  1. So far this year, we have actually played much better against good teams than we have against the league’s hapless stragglers – esp. the Tigers, the Rockies, and the Rangers.

    One thing about it, though, on any given night our bullpen has proven capable of stinking it up against anyone!

    Our 2021 team slogan: Insecure with any lead!


  2. I get that Dusty has been playing Machete at C since he values his defense, but wondering why not let Castro DH or even play 1B instead of Jones?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. From what I gather about Castro is he’ll be out for a a while with an achilles he’ll problem. THAT is a big problem when you’re a catcher for sure.
    I’m just glad to get Yuli and Yordan back in the lineup tonight!


    • Considering he has never pitched above high A in the minors, had no ST last season, not much work in the second spring training last summer and no practice on fielding during the pandemic, I’m willing to cut him some slack. Especially considering his pitching has been wonderful.


      • But his pitching was superb! A good game for the Stros. Bull pen did their job and we had enough breaks and hits to get the job done. Fun to watch.


  4. Astros win, 5-1. They beat Garrett Richards, even though he pitched pretty well.
    And the bullpen pitched two perfect innings.


  5. Luis Garcia is a rookie. 12.1 MLB innings prior to 2021. Amateur free agent 2017. A+ ball in 2019. That’s it. He has never gotten blown out of an MLB outing.
    Today he’s got a 1.000 WHIP. Low hits per nine. Quality BB/K ratio. A rookie! He’s got the demeanor of a veteran. What a wonderful story. And he’ll be spending time around the bag with Yuli. The first time he was there in plenty of time. Just did not run parallel to the line. I’m pretty sure the guys will help him get it right.

    Excellent win on a night the Astros did not hit. The Sox look a bit weary. They helped. We need to win one of these next two.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Very nice win by the Astros last night.
    Garcia was just so solid and stretched over 100 pitches to give them 7 innings.
    The offense scored early and then late, just in time to give the bullpen a little breathing room. Not a great offensive game, but it was nice to see Yordan and Yuli back in the lineup. The bullpen did exactly what you needed – two quick solid innings.
    Astros back to within a 1/2 game of the A’s and are leading by one in the loss column…..


      • Dan, that may not necessarily be true. Everyone knows that health and a bullpen are the things that stand between the Astros and success.
        If the Astros get healthy and a couple of guys step up and transform that bullpen, the awards could follow. Garcia could be a guy to transform that pen and reap the rewards and awards.
        In order to win ROY, the team is going to have to win their division by a lot and Garcia is going to have to pitch in relief like he has as a starter.
        In reading the Red Sox blogs today, their fans were not expecting what he dealt last night. And they aren’t expecting much from Framber tonight. They are not up on Astros young pitchers.


      • Yeah and the Boston Globe writer described García as a guy that looked like he was starting his wind up with a dance step. Come to think of it, it’s not terribly far off.


    • In general I would agree that if Garcia moved to the bullpen and transformed it, he might well deserve the ROY. However, when you look at the history of ROYs in the AL, it is normally not pitchers winning it, but if it is a pitcher it is someone who had a single role as either a full time starter or as a full time reliever with killer numbers. Devin Williams won it out of the pen last year, but he struck out almost 2 hitters an inning with like a 0.33 ERA.
      I don’t know if anyone as a swingman has won it.
      Now, I have not paid any attention to who is eligible for ROY. Maybe so many guys debuted last season that he is not up against anyone.


  7. We have managed to beat the Red Sox convincingly in two straight games. The starting pitching has been amazing, and the bullpen has done it’s job. Do you think it might be safe now to go back into the ‘glass half full’ water?

    I think personally I’ll take a rain check on that – like until we regain 1st place and establish at least a 5 game lead on the As!


  8. Has anyone heard anything about Alex Santos? I cannot find anything regarding him even throwing a ball this season. I would think that, with him being the Astros first choice last draft, that he would be playing somewhere…


  9. That is the type of game the Astros have had trouble with winning this season. Low scoring close pitcher’s duel, where the bullpen has to shut the last innings down. Couldn’t watch the ninth. Recorded it and waited till it was over.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Never thought Framber would get through 7 after those 30 pitches in the first. He’s pretty good.

    If Odorizzi has 4 or 5 quality innings in him, Javier is fresh and able to take it the rest of the way.

    Saturday was a low point in the season. One thing about our guys. Defeat does not stick to them. For me, considering all circumstances, this has already been a quality homestand. 6 and 3 would make it an excellent homestand.


  11. You folks are coming out with some excellent comments.
    – The team is so resilient as uncleknuckle (Dave B) says above. Almost every time they have a devastating loss they come back immediately and put it behind them.
    – Framber came so close to not having a 30 pitch first inning. He had two outs after 8 pitches, but just could not get that third out. But he minimized the damage to one run and then was terrific after that.
    – This team could easily be 7-1 on this homestand. But glad they picked themselves up by the bootstraps and won these 4 in a row.
    – Getaway day and they are playing at 1:10. Martin Perez, who we faced a lot with the Rangers, is pitching about as good as he has ever pitched, so we need to jump on him today.
    – Good to see Tucker with a .256 BA / .810 OPS after his early struggles
    – Don’t we have anyone better than Robel Garcia around?


    • Yes, that Altuve guy would be a better choice than Robel at 2nd. I’d rather see Diaz take Jose’s day off. But, Robel got a start and the Astros got a win.

      I have to give the club some credit for sticking with Straw for so long. He’s getting every opportunity to prove himself even at a point where most of us have made up our minds and a potential option spends most days on the bench.


  12. I have only one thing to say to our starting pitchers about their performances in recent games: WOW! WELL DONE, GENTLEMEN!


  13. As for our bullpen guys, I say, in general: “You’re Killin’ me, Smalls!”

    Ryan Pressly has suddenly decided to model his outings after Rocky Balboa fights – offering himself up as a human punching bag for a couple of rounds while he looks for an opportunity to throw that nasty hook.

    Rhyne Stanek has decided to channel the spirit of Ricky ‘Wild Thing’ Vaughn from the movie ‘Major League’

    Enoli Paredes has taken it one step further, and has fully embraced the ‘Call of the Wild’;

    Andre Scrubb and Joe Smith apparently both decided to moonlight as travel agents for opposing hitters, offering them free trips around the bases at an easy jog. They appear to be ecruiting Kent Emmanuel, Nivaldo Rodriguez, and Blake Taylor to join their new enterprise.


  14. Lots of questions for today’s game.
    1. How well will unlikely battery mates Garret Stubbs and Jake Odorizzi jive?
    2. Who, if anyone, will step up on offense to fill the void left by our two hottest hitters being given a day-off for ‘scheduled rest’?
    3. Can Taylor Jones really play left field?
    4. Will Bregman choose today to break out of his funk?
    5. How many home runs can Yordan Alvarez hit with absolutely no one of substance at all behind him in the line-up?
    6. When does the plane leave for Buffalo?


  15. This is where I have a bone to pick with Dusty. Tucker has been on fire lately. He is 24 years old. Yes, I know he has played all 55 games this season. But with the team having days off, he has only played in 8 of the last 10 days.

    Baseball is not like basketball where you are running for 40+ minutes. Why take him out of the lineup, especially with Correa resting too? When a guy is hot – let him ride.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I guess for the same reason you give Garrett Stubbs his start against a LHP. You make moves because you think your moves are smarter than they really are.


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