A look at the Astros’ season at the Memorial Day mark.
Ah, yes, Memorial Day. The first important day of the MLB calendar after Opening Day. Graduations, summer on the horizon, and an otherwise largely unchanged working world for the rest of us. By now, early season hot streaks and slumps have had ample time to work themselves out (we love you, Jose Altuve) and fans and writers alike have a large enough sample size to draw (somewhat) realistic conclusions.
While we are not out to tell you whether or not the Colorado Rockies are the real deal this year (please) or if Zack Cozart is going to sustain his elite pace, we do have plenty to discuss in regards to the boys who formerly wore sand and brick red. Here are the biggest takeaways from the season thus far.
BIGGEST STRENGTH: THE ABILITY TO RALLY FROM A DEFICIT
This is good, right? You don’t need an 11-run 8th inning to realize that this team is something special, but it certainly helps. The Astros lead the league in comeback wins, which is a remarkable statistic for long-time fans. Gone are the days when even a three-run deficit felt insurmountable.
Every spot in the lineup boasts a power threat, which is an extreme luxury as opposing pitchers tire. Relievers who would otherwise get away with meatballs to the bottom third of the order have a new beast to fear, as the 2017 Astros are proving quickly to the entire baseball world that no lead is ever safe.
Jeff Luhnow has done well to provide A.J. Hinch with enviable lineup depth that can strike at any moment. Consider the fact that there is a feasible reality wherein Hinch can go to Carlos Beltran, Marwin Gonzalez, and Evan Gattis as pinch hitter options in a single inning.
The transformation from the 2012 and 2013 squads feels superhuman, and fans have to be particularly pleased with how well mainstays Marwin and Altuve are doing.