Today’s offering includes a link to the Sports Illustrated article that everyone has been talking about, as well as another piece by Ben Reiter. And, in case you missed it, Ben was kind enough to join Andy and Ray on yesterday’s podcast.
“They’re not asking us to be sabermetricians,” says Ralph Bratton, a Texan with a thick white mustache who has spent a quarter century as an Astros scout. “They’re asking us to do what we’ve always done.” The twist is that Luhnow’s front office processes that information differently and makes decisions largely based on the result—even when that result, like a directive to hit a 16, feels wrong.
While it’s true that Altuve has been only slightly more patient this season (6.1% walk rate) than his mark (5.0%) up to this point in his career, we see that he’s cut his strikeout rate essentially in half – owning a 6.7% K-rate that ranks lowest among qualified big league hitters. Now, Altuve is walking at the same rate he strikes out, which is the primary reason behind his career-high .377 on-base percentage and .360 wOBA.
“When I swung, it felt good, but running, I saw the right fielder — he didn’t move,” Moon said with a laugh. “Then, I knew.”
The breather worked. In the 37 games he has played since, Springer has slugged 12 homers (the fourth most in baseball), driven in 31 runs (fifth-most) and posted a .958 OPS (17th-best). He has committed just one error. In that same time period, the Astros have 22 wins — more than any club save the first-place Blue Jays, Giants and A’s — and they are now no longer the league’s worst team.
And video of the glorious end to last night’s game.