Thanks to a strong start, the Astros are enjoying the fruit of their hard work much more than this time last year.
The Astros finished with a 7-17 record last April. Their tenth victory of the 2016 season didn’t come along till May 4th, which came against the Minnesota Twins by the score of 16-4. The victory moved them to just eight games below .500. Yes, it wasn’t a pleasant time to be an Astros player, employee or fan.
Fast forward a year, and the Astros have gotten off to a much better start. A 10-5 start to be exact. This recent success has put Houston in the driver seat early in the season and tied a notable mark in franchise history.
There is plenty to look forward to about this Astros team right now. But I would like to reminisce at some of the moments within the first fifteen games that made this small dosage of euphoria tonight possible.
Statcast Moment #1
You may recall this moment from Opening Day. If you don’t, well, I feel pity for you.
This leadoff home run from George Springer was just a foreshadowing of events to come for the Astros in the first two or so weeks of the season. Thanks to Statcast, this dinger travelled a grand total of 389 feet and it had an exit velocity of 92.7 MPH.
Sure, the exit velocity wasn’t that impressive. And the home run may not have been one in most, if not any other, ballparks. But it was one and that is what matters the most.
Statcast Moment #2
There were plenty of questions about Dallas Keuchel and his ability to rebound from a disappointing 2016 campaign. And there were warranted. One issue seem to be his inability of keeping the ball low in the zone.
Fast forward to this season, and the bearded southpaw has seem to improve upon that issue in his first few starts.
I think Keuchel is feeling the love from the strike zone this season, am I right?
Statcast Moment #3
Another day, another Springer highlight. Unlike the first moment in this post, though, this dinger came in extra innings with the game on the line.
This could be looked upon as one of those moments that everyone just knew that the season would be special. Of course, the Astros will need plenty of breaks to go their way. Just remember this home run when it hopefully comes upon that point in time.
The Astros offense at the time was clearly struggling at the time of this timely walk-off. And about the only batters that Houston going for them was Springer and Marwin Gonzalez. Now look where they are! Oh, how times have changed in the past two weeks.
Statcast Moment #4
The latest Statcast moment is courtesy of game number fifteen from last night. This home run was brought to life off the of the Astros newest wrestle-loving outfielder, Josh Reddick, which also happened to be his first of the season. But let’s just say that it wasn’t the most impressive in terms of exit velocity.
Anytime your name is mentioned within the same breath as Hank Conger, then you know you have accomplished something of interest. While it wasn’t the most impressive piece of hitting, the results is all that matters.
**Statistics and information courtesy of Baseball Savant and Baseball Reference**