The Houston Astros have struggled recently with scoring runs on a consistent basis with their feast or famine style offense. Much of their struggles could be blamed on certain players such as Chris Carter, Evan Gattis, and Luis Valbuena recently who are in the midst of long-term slumps. What is missing from this team that has led to the offensive struggles? Could it be the spark plug leadoff hitter in George Springer who has created so much woe for the Astros?
Could the loss of one player cause such a change in the team? Apparently it has for the Astros as they have not been able to muster the same power and run offense since Springer got hit by a pitch in the game versus the Royals on July 1st. While the intent of the Royals hitting Springer was called into question at the time, it has hindered the team offensive firepower during his absence.
The Astros as a team hit 29/ 39/ 45 homers in the first three months of the season while driving in 97/ 111/ 127 runs. At the start of the season, runs and homers came aplenty by Crush City as they raced to first place in the AL West. Springer only has 13 homers on the season, but the Astros are missing everything that he can offer as a hitter. In July and August, the Astros have dropped to 30 and 20 homers while driving in 99 and 58 runs. To see the difference in RBI’s in August demonstrates the Astros struggles to get wins recently. Stats from Baseball-Reference Astros page.
Let’s take a look at their slash line for July and August compared to the overall slash line for 2015.
July: .257/ .318/ .422/ .740
August: .223/ .305/ .395/ .701
2015 Season: .242/ .309/ .421/ .731
Looking at the slash line and the home run and runs batted in stats, it shows that the Astros were doing okay in July but hit a wall in August. They are showing some signs of bouncing back, but they need Springer in the lineup to reach their full potential. Some of you have asked what is the Astros record since Springer hit the DL.
According the Ken Rosenthal, the Astros run per game average has gone down by 1/2 a run since Springer has been out. You can watch the full video below.
Since Springer got hit on July 1st, 2015, the Astros have played 40 games. They have won 19 of those games while losing 21 of them. They have basically been a .500 team since Springer has been on the disabled list. Prior to Springer’s injury, the Astros were 47-33, even though he missed some time with a concussion earlier in the season.
One thing that has improved since Springer’s injury is the team ERA, which now leads the American League with a 3.46 ERA before last night’s win versus the Rays. When Springer returns, it will provide a big boost for the pitchers and hitters in front/behind him in the lineup. Springer, Jose Altuve, and Carlos Correa will lead this offensive for a long time with these Houston Astros.