Certain expressions are hard to judge at face value, I mean how many times is “no offense” followed by a statement that in exactly no way, shape or form would cause anyone to feel the emotion of offense.
Two birds one stone? You let me know when you a. catch a bird and pelt it with a rock or b. become more accurate than Greg Maddux and hit a flying bird with a stone.
Needless to say? Well you’re saying it!
Along these blurred lines, the Houston Astros have won five straight games! Since it’s absolutely a pleasant surprise and one to be happy about, we are declaring that the team be broken up! Why? Well, it’s explained as such:
The team is playing so well that the players need to be separated to even the playing field. Such was the case when the Miami Marlins started this season by winning four of their first five games, surpassing some expert’s predicted win total by three games! Just give Jeffery Loria time, he will indeed break the team up — but only after a little more sustained success.
For the Astros, this streak is due in large part to excellent quality starting pitching and rookie phenom George Springer, who’s just on a silly tear of baseball games. A quick recap of the stupefying rookie’s last six games since returning from a two game absence caused by a hip pointer. (The team lost both of those games)
Saturday 5/24: 2/5, 2 HR, 5 RBI; Astros 9 Mariners 4
Sunday 5/25: 1/4, HR, 2 RBI; Astros 4 Mariners 1
Monday 5/26: 4/4, HR, 3 RBI, BB, 5 R; Astros 9 Royals 2
Tuesday 5/27: 1/4, 0 HR, RBI (he stinks!); Astros 3 Royals 0
Wednesday 5/28: 1/3. HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 2 R; Astros 9 Royals 3
That equates to 9/20 with 10 R, 5 HR, 26 TB, 12 RBI, 4 R and hitting .450 with a .460 OBP. This excludes his 1/3 with a home run on May 21 which happened right before the hip pointer.
That’s SIX home runs in SIX games! Go back a little further to May 17 and the 24-year old has a 10 game hitting streak, 15/37 for a .410 average.
He’s injected a Puig-like presence into the Astros clubhouse, although let’s not expect a playoff appearance or anything close. Puig was surrounded by all-stars swimming in Los Angeles Dodgers dollars while the ‘Stros remain deep in the rebuild process…although right now it doesn’t exactly feel that way.
The franchise right fielder hard a tough welcome to the big leagues. In his first 15 games he slashed .180/.254/.213 without a home run.
May has been an extremely different story, with a .322/.419/.689 line and his 1.108 OPS in May ranks third among AL regulars, behind only Victor Martinez (1.145) and Nelson Cruz (1.109). Last season’s Most Valuable Player Miguel Cabrera had a 1.078 OPS — which is astronomical…and wins MVP award.
With still three May baseball games to be played, Springer has already broken the Astros rookie home runs record in a month, eclipsing Glenn Davis‘ mark of eight in September 1985.
George Springer deserves a ton of the credit for this five game winning streak, the longest since a six game streak last June. But it would be disrespectful to leave the starting pitching out of this.
During the current winning streak, the Astros have literally received quality starts each and every game.
Brett Oberholtzer went 6 innings and struck out 8 allowing 2 earned runs after a brief detour in AAA.
Dallas Keuchel did what 2014 Dallas Keuchel has been doing, tossing a complete game and outdueling Seattle’s previously lossless Hishashi Iwakuma. He gave up one run on four hits and punched out six batters. I’m a big pitch count > strikeouts guy, and Dallas managed a methodical 106 pitches in the complete game.
Up next was the Opening Day starter Scott Feldman. He threw six innings, scattering eight hits and two runs after being staked to an early 6-0 lead.
Then Collin McHugh evened his win-loss record at three apiece with seven superb innings. A 9/0 K/BB ratio and zero runs allowed. What a nice surprise this waiver claim has been from the Colorado Rockies, who acquired him for Eric Young Jr. last June.
In Game 5/5 of the streak (thus far), Jarred Cosart was something we all desperately want Jarred Cosart to be…efficient. Was he super efficient? No. Not even close, but he only walked two batters in five innings of two-run ball.
Like I said, the Houston Astros are still rebuilding, but when they’re winning and playing sound, productive baseball like they have been — and having so much fun doing it — it’s super hard to remember that.