Houston Astros: Five Things We Learned From Last Night

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5. AJ Hinch Can Mange the Postseason

Oct 3, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch (14) looks on against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the fifth inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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Getting the right guy to manage the Astros had been Jeff Luhnow’s biggest challenge as a general manager.  After the failed Bo Porter experience, the pressure was on to find the right guy to embrace the Astros methodologies and lead the organization towards winning again.  After interviewing multiple candidates including the last manager to take take the Astros to the playoffs, Phil Garner, the Astros selected Hinch to take over the clubhouse.  He was previously hired by the Arizona Diamondbacks as the manager in 2009, but was fired midway during the 2010 season.  Prior to serving as manager of the Diamondbacks, Hinch had not coaching experience at any level.  Despite being seen as inexperienced, Hinch was named one of baseball’s “10 to watch” in the next 10 years by Baseball America in 2006 as a General Manager.  Hinch is due much credit to the Astros success this season and especially last night.

He did a phenomenal job last night leading an organization to its first playoff game in a decade and keeping a young team focused on what they needed to accomplish. Hinch went with power in his lineup putting Carter, Valbuena, and Rasmus in the game. He managed the bullpen well and put guys in a position to succeed.

AJ Hinch very well could be an unexpected X-factor for the Astros moving forward. Managing games is a crucial part of postseason success as we have seen from the Giants Bruce Bochy in recent years. The Astros have the pieces to reach the World Series and possibly win it. If they are able to accomplish it, AJ Hinch will be a large part of it.

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