The Houston Astros finally get their fourth win of the season versus the Texas Rangers.
It only took them 19 games to get their fourth win. It is no secret that the Rangers have dominated the Astros this year, but they are fairly even without the head to head matchup. No matter which team is better, the Houston team needs to play the Arlington team much better.
Despite that they won last the night, the Astros could have suffered some significant losses. Tyler White replaced MVP candidate Jose Altuve in the top of the fifth inning. Marwin Gonzalez moved from first to second with White playing first base. Speaking of Gonzalez, he played three positions last night and drove in two big insurance runs in the eighth inning.
Back to the injuries, Altuve left the game with right oblique discomfort. Astros and baseball fans alike hope that his injury is not a big deal, as he is close to his third straight season with 200 hits. He currently sits at 196 hits, with a career high 24 homers and 94 RBI. It would mean so much for the team to stay in the playoff chase until the end so that he could get some more MVP votes.
According to Jake Kaplan, Altuve is also chasing the Astros record for homers by a second baseman in a season. Currently, Jeff Kent leads with 27 homers. Altuve needs four more to surpass him. However, all these records and awards probably don’t mean anything to Altuve who is focused on making the playoffs. The team will be cautious with their slugging second baseman; we should now more soon.
Not Bregman Too!
The Astros continued to add to the lead, but an Alex Bregman double ended up with another run, but would cause him to leave the game. I the sixth inning, Bregman had a leadoff double and advanced on a groundout by White. Bregman had to avoid the throw to first base, so he bent down while he ran to third.
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This must have put him in an awkward position because he immediately grimaced and grabbed his back hamstring. Bregman tried to walk it off, but he kept grabbing the back of his leg. When a player leaves the game with Hamstring discomfort, it is unknown how serious it is. According to Julia Morales, both players will be evaluated on Friday.
It is unlikely that either will play in the opening game of the Seatle Mariners series. With the Wild Card hopes fading quickly, the Astros need all hand on deck. However, the Astros will not put their two stars long-term health in jeopardy for the short-term. The Astros have a good core group of players, but a loss of either player for the season would further push the team back.
The Stros should have played better early in the season when they were healthier. Instead, they have to make a playoff push with several key injuries. As a fan, I would hate for Altuve to miss an extended time this year. If we don’t make the playoffs, it will be sad if we don’t capitalize on one of the best seasons ever by a second baseman. The future is bright, but playoffs are falling out of touch.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***