It is tough to know what to think as an Astros fan here in 2022. Are we supposed to be hacked off about their shortcomings or be happy about their long goings?
Well after the Astros opened up their series in Toronto with an uncharacteristic 11-7 win for their fourth win in a row, the long goings may dominate our thoughts.
- After the Astros edged over the .500 mark by winning the last three games against the Rangers, the obvious thought was – OK, it was better than losing or splitting a series against the last-place team from Arlington (who actually look improved), but what about the big boys north of the border? Well, Friday night they kept getting off to leads and giving them up or almost up, but then they put the pedal to the metal in a 5 run sixth inning and held on to the lead to the end against a tough Toronto team.
- After falling below the Mendoza line after the 5th game of the season, Kyle Tucker bottomed out at .085 BA after 13 games. Since then he’s been on a tremendous tear over the last 7 games hitting .423 BA with a 1.153 OPS, 2 doubles, 2 HRs and a scorching 11 RBIs. He finally got back over the .200 mark for the season on Friday and hopefully, he will not revert below that again this season.
- Yordan Alvarez had a good start to the season interrupted by a COVID scare. He then dipped below .200 and hit bottom at .152 after his ninth game. But in the last six games, he has been on a Tuckerian tear hitting .454 BA with an OPS of 1.315, 1 double, 2 HRs, 6 runs scored and 5 RBIs. He and Tucker are a tough pair to stop when they are on a roll.
- The Astros’ defense in Friday night’s 5th inning was as good as anyone could expect. Pena and Bregman made great stops going to their right on two shots and Tucker made a skidding catch in right center. The defense has been an underappreciated part of this team, but you cannot name a positional player who has not had a critical defensive play sometime in the first 20 games of the season.
- The starting pitching in Thursday’s 3-2 win over the Rangers was the best I think I’ve seen by both pitchers through 6 innings. A no-no by Martin Perez and a soft end of the bat single against Justin Verlander with no walks by either pitcher was amazing. They both gave up a little in the seventh, but before that, it was a clinic on throwing strikes on the black of the plate or making the hitters look like little leaguers. Verlander’s starts this year have been Must See TV.
- Could we ask any more from Jeremy Pena up to this point, between his defense and clutch offense? The answer is no after his 3 run homer broke up Friday’s game and left him with an AL rookie leading 10 RBIs. He really has terrific power for a skinny kid.
- The only thing weirder than seeing George Springer in the blue uniforms of the enemy was seeing highlights of Jose Altuve in his rehab start with Sugar Land in their baby blue uniforms. Just didn’t seem right.
- Baseball is just so weird. Ryne Stanek in his Wild Thing save on Wednesday at times looked like he had never pitched before in a 22 pitch/ 12 strike save. Fast forward to Friday and he was dominant in throwing 7 strikes in 8 tosses to the heart of the Blue Jays’ lineup.
- The next two games will tell a little more about the Astros. It will also be awfully nice to get back Jose Altuve Monday and Ryan Pressly soon.
What are you thinking about with this team?