If I may borrow a phrase from the late Milo Hamilton to describe the Astros walk-off win last night, “Holy Toledo”!
Around this time last year, the Astros were beginning a stretch of forgettable baseball. When April was all said and done, this team had quite the hole to fill.
Fast forward to a year later, and this year’s iteration of the Astros are hopefully starting a run of unforgettable baseball. Maybe George Springer and his incredible walk-off home run in the 13th inning last night could be a sign of good fortune.
Statcast Moment #1
Talking about that home run, it was Springer’s second of the year and his second to the Crawford Boxes. Thank goodness for the left field porch!
Unfortunately, the home run itself won’t land Springer high in the Statcast leaderboard in terms of exit velocity or distance. But I’m sure that this doesn’t bother the Astros star one bit as his team earned the win.
Oh, did I fail to mention that Springer drove in all five of the Astros runs? So far, he has been the team’s best hitter in the midst of a cold start for the offense.
Statcast Moment #2
Another key contributor to tonight’s victory was the work of reliever Chris Devenski. The right-hander held the Mariners in check as he struck out seven in just four innings of work. Of course, you can thank his impressive changeup for the favorable outcome.
Here is the list of the seven batters that Devenski struck out last night: Robinson Cano (twice), Mitch Haniger, Leonys Martin, Mike Zunino, Danny Valencia, and Nelson Cruz. Not bad, Devo, not bad at all.
Statcast Moment #3
Let’s not forget about the Astros starting pitcher from yesterday, Charlie Morton. While he didn’t pick up the win in his Astros debut, he did pitch an effective game.
And here is a breakdown of those results courtesy of Baseball Savant. Not too shabby for Morton’s first start in a meaningful game in almost a year.
While we are just three games into the season, it is nice to see that in 19 innings the starting rotation has surrendered only three runs total. Let’s hope that Joe Musgrove and Mike Fiers can continue this current development of strong pitching as we head towards the weekend.
Overall, you can’t help but be pleased by the outcome of the first three games of the season. And while the Astros have won the Opening Series to start the season, I would sure enjoy seeing a sweep of a division rival to start the first week of meaningful baseball in 2017.
**Statistics courtesy of Baseball Savant and MLB.com**