Astros play it safe with George Springer and Jose Altuve, lose series
The Houston Astros did something they haven’t done much of this year.
The Houston Astros lost a series. It’s not their first, they lost the opening weekend series versus the Royals, and it won’t be their last. It’s not like the Cleveland Indians blew them out, each loss was decided by one run. The Astros and Indians are relatively evenly matched, and both teams appear ticketed for the playoffs in 2017. With a 14-8 record, the Astros sit in first place in the AL West.
After George Springer had a cramp in his hamstring on Saturday, he has yet to start a game. He did appear in a game, but only after Teoscar Hernandez and Jose Altuve collided on Tuesday. Both players left the game with Hernandez being carried off on a stretcher. Hernandez went on the 10-day DL with a bruised knee, with Tony Kemp taking his place while Jake Marisnick recovers from a concussion.
How healthy are they?
Springer reportedly has lobbied for playing time. Although the play looked terrible, Altuve was hoping to play in last night’s game. Many Astros fans were wondering why Altuve and Springer were not in the lineup? They both seem ready to play, but it is game 22 of a 162-game season. I rather they miss a few starts in April and be totally healthy in September/October.
A.J. Hinch described it as resting the two players. They were both available in yesterday’s loss, with Altuve pinch-hitting for Kemp in the ninth inning. Altuve led off with a hit but was thrown out trying to steal second base. Josh Reddick and Carlos Beltran both followed with hits, but Carlos Correa and Brian McCann left them on base. It sucks losing those close games, especially with Chris Devenski giving up the lead.
Next: Dallas Keuchel is back to 2015 form for the Astros in 2017
Springer leads the Astros with seven homers with a .213 batting average and a .800 OPS. After a slow start, Altuve has raised his batting average to .312 with a .828 OPS while hitting two homers. The Astros need those two players healthy and contributing. Winning without them is hard. At least the team has the depth to absorb the injuries this year.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***