Astros Opening Day Recap: Statcast Moments
By Cody Poage
All in all, the Astros 2017 Opening Day was a resounding success. Not only did the team defeat a division rival, they looked good in the process.
Three-to-zero. This was the score of the Astros first meaningful victory in 2017. And a win on Opening Day is always a special treat. This now makes Houston undefeated in Opening Day games since joining the American League if my memory serves me correctly.
Anyway, there were some fine performances up-and-down this Astros roster last night. And it is hard to single out just a few. But I am giving it a shot.
Statcast Moment #1
George Springer, for example, got the excitement started early with his first inning home run to the Crawford Boxes.
Courtesy of Statcast, that home run travelled a grand total of 389 feet via a 91.4 MPH offering from Felix Hernandez. The curious part was that the exit velocity measured at a mere 92.7 MPH. Out of all of the home runs in the first two days of the season, that exit velocity ranks as the lowest thus far. And by far. Thank you, Crawford Boxes, for helping out the cause on this one!
Statcast Moment #2
Of course, the story of the day is how well Dallas Keuchel pitched in his 2017 debut. The bearded southpaw had a throwback performance to his 2015 Cy Young season with a pitch line of seven innings, two hits, zero runs, two walks, and four strikeouts. He also picked up his first win of the season.
Part of Keuchel’s success yesterday lied in his ability to induce ground balls, which means keeping his pitches low in zone. Per Statcast, he did just that yesterday.
Statcast Moment #3
I would be remiss to forget the Astros star shortstop, Carlos Correa.
While Springer may have had the first home run of Houston’s young season, Correa arguably had the more impressive one. Per Statcast once again, Correa’s home run travelled an incredible 449 feet. That is the second-longest home run in the first two games of the 2017 season. This one came via a 90.4 MPH offering from Hernandez, which had an exit velocity of 110.6 MPH. Instead of telling you about it, here is a snapshot courtesy of the Astros Twitter account.
Let me state this one more time: thank you, Crawford Boxes! Honestly though, that ball would’ve been crushed no matter where it was hit in the ballpark.
Next: Astros' Carlos Beltran Brings His Bat And His Experience Back To Town
Opening Day, in theory, is all about to the optimism and excitement of baseball returning. Based on Statcast, the 2017 Astros are actually one of those teams which validates that theory. I can’t wait to see what else that this young season has in store for us.
**Statistics and batted ball data courtesy of MLB.com and Statcast**