Last week’s roundtable discussion here at CTH centered around the question: which Astros player will have the strongest finish to the season? My prediction was Brett Wallace, and I wasn’t alone.
Wallace looked like he may have finally turned the corner after another lengthy stay at AAA. As of a week ago, Wallace had managed at least one hit in eleven straight starts. He was hitting for power and driving in runs. But then came the 4-game series against the Rangers. Wallace was 0 for 14 with eight strikeouts. Those numbers are reminiscent of his brutal start to the season that earned him the demotion to Oklahoma City.
Rangers pitchers had a game plan against Wallace, and they executed it to perfection. Brett didn’t get anything over the plate. Every pitch was inside — even the breaking pitches. And Wallace had trouble laying off those pitches. He only reached base twice in the series — once via the walk, and he was also hit by a pitch.
Wallace seems to be falling back into his old bad habits. If he continues to swing at pitches that are inside and out of the strike zone he is going to find himself back on the bench. Hopefully this is just a temporary setback and John Mallee can get Brett back on track. Because if Wallace doesn’t start making pitchers throw strikes, I can’t see him being a part of the Astros future.
Brett Wallace (Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)