In case you haven’t been watching much baseball this year, you should know that the Astros have a particular fondness for scoring runs.
Injuries to the starting rotation is always a frightful occurrence in baseball, and the Astros have every right to be concerned. After all, you are starting Felipe, er, I mean David Paulino, the talented yet unproven top prospect.
But someone forget to inform the position players before their trouncing of the Minnesota Twins to the tune of 17-6. The Astros lineup were simply on a higher level of existence for the entire series, especially yesterday.
There is so much to unpack in this entire series, however, I want to concentrate on three numbers from yesterday’s game.
The offense was on full display yesterday afternoon. And George Springer was one of the catalysts. His .264 WPA (Win Probability Added) was the highest on either side in terms of pitchers and position players. In fact, Springer’s WPA was higher than the entire Twins offense yesterday. A huge portion of this WPA was courtesy of two mammoth home runs. The Astros designated hitter’s home runs, at least for yesterday, travelled a combined 906 feet!
The Astros offense in recent seasons are remembered for their propensity to strike out. Thanks to Baseball Reference’s Play Index, we know that the Astros offense from 2014-16 had ten or more strike outs in a single game 194 times! Through 54 games this season that figure currently sits at nine. Yes, the #9.
If the current pace holds, the Astros offense will strike out ten times or more in only 27 games this season. This actually brings me to the number, and the point, that I would like to highlight: three strikeouts. This is the number of strikeouts that the Astros had yesterday during their offensive equivalent of the movie Outbreak. You know, the movie that the virus goes out of control that leaves the human race on the edge of a perilous end. Replace the virus with the Astros and the Twins bullpen with the human race then you will understand what I mean.
Anyway, it is simply refreshing to see an offense score runs at a high clip yet limit the strikeouts. The “Crush City” Astros were fun to watch, but the disclaimer for high strikeout totals was always there. This season, I have a feeling that the disclaimer will not be necessary.
How can we not talk about the sheer volume of runs that the Astros scored yesterday? Thanks to Baseball Reference’s Play Index once again, we know that the Houston franchise has scored 17 runs or more only 15 times before their series finale in Minnesota on Wednesday.
I wonder how this translates to win expectancy? Oh, here it is.
And Houston have yet to lose a game when they score 17 runs or more in their history so that’s something positive worth noting. If they happen to lose a game when scoring more than 17 runs, then, well, I am not sure how I am suppose to feel. That would be a day of so many conflicting feelings.
**Statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference and Fangraphs**