Following a 3-0 start to the 2017 season, the Astros promptly dropped three in a row immediately afterward. Not the best look for a contender.
There have been two notable storylines about the Astros a week into the season: the effective starting rotation and the lack of offensive production. This is quite to the contrary what everyone was expecting from this team thus far.
For example, the Astros have not surpassed five runs scored in any of their games. In the team’s four wins, the run total has looked like this: 3, 2, 5 and 4. And that production has been mainly courtesy of a home run.
On the bright side, the starting rotation has performed their job well in the first week. Lance McCullers, for example, allowed three runs in seven innings while striking out ten Royals batters yesterday afternoon. That’s the type of start the Astros need to be successful in 2017.
Alas, the season is still young. And I want to discuss yesterday’s walk-off win courtesy of an Evan Gattis walk in extra innings.
Gattis, the team’s designated hitter yesterday, had a productive day at the plate. Two hits, a RBI and three walks, which also included the game-winner, isn’t too shabby.
Then you have George Springer, who continues to rake as the leadoff hitter. In fact, the term “lead off home run” may start becoming synonymous with Springer if this trend continues.
But they weren’t the only Astros batters that stepped up when it mattered. Take Jake Marisnick‘s solo home run in the bottom of the ninth to force extra innings.
The tying run came against Royals closer Kelvin Herrera, which isn’t that special in of itself. But here is an interesting tidbit courtesy of Daren Willman.
This could be Marisnick’s claim to fame besides being a professional baseball player. Well, at least until the next batter to hit a home run off Herrera’s slider.
We should also thank Chris Devenski for coming in once again and allowing the Astros a chance to win the game by keeping the Royals offense at bay. Another seven strikeouts in four innings while allowing just one run. The only blemish was a solo home run that came via a changeup(!); I know, shocking, isn’t it?
Overall, this was a win that the Astros needed desperately. And there were some cool moments involved. Here’s hoping that the offense has begun to turn the corner. If not, well, we may need to pray for more quality starts.
**Statistics courtesy of MLB.com**