Three numbers and the Astros can’t buy a win

codypoage
Jun 13, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros right fielder Norichika Aoki (3) sits in the infield after being thrown out on a stolen base attempt against the Texas Rangers during the fifth inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 13, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros right fielder Norichika Aoki (3) sits in the infield after being thrown out on a stolen base attempt against the Texas Rangers during the fifth inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports /
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Last night’s Astros game had such a promising start, am I right? Instead, it ended up being a reminder that baseball will do baseball-sy things.

If your team, in this case the Astros, loses six of the past eight games, you may experience the following symptoms.

  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplainable anger

Oh, wait, this the normal feeling that the Astros give their fans year after year. Regardless of how good, or bad, the team is, Houston always discover a way to make their fans lives more interesting. This year is no exception.

OK, my rant is over now. Time for some numbers.

10 strikeouts

Brad Peacock is such a tantalizing pitcher for the Astros. On one hand, he provides you a snapshot at the pitcher he has become this season. For example, ten strikeouts in 4.2 innings! That’s downright impressive. It is also a part of the franchise lore.

On the other hand, he can’t seem to pitch past the fifth inning. Ironically, he pitched six innings the last time he faced the Texas Rangers two starts ago. The curious aspect to me is whether he will remain a starting pitcher for the foreseeable future. Of course, this hinges on the health of the four Astros starters currently on the disabled list.

109.5 MPH

Like I stated earlier, the Astros got off to such a promising start in yesterday’s game. For example, George Springer hit his seventh leadoff home run this season. There was really no doubt when the bat met the ball for this 109.5 MPH rocket.

Courtesy of Statcast, a ball hit with an exit velocity of 110 MPH with a 20 degree launch angle is a home run 68% of the time with an .893 batting average. In case you noticed, though, I did round up the exit velocity; live with it.

It also happened to be his 18th overall, which would place him in tie for second place in yesterday’s leaderboard.

One would thought that this home run was a sign of things to come for the Astros. Unfortunately, it was not. Cool moment, though, so there’s that.

-0.34 WPA

It is easy to be positive in victory and negative in defeat. And who am I to go against the grain? Anyway, the Astros bullpen has looked relatively lost in the past fourteen days before yesterday.

Entering their game against the Rangers, the Houston bullpen posted a 5.94 ERA in 50 innings. Last night was another example of a ‘pen that has looked better. For example, Luke Gregerson posted the worst WPA last night at -0.34. This was actually the worst mark of any player that appeared in last night’s game.

Next: Astros: Bukauskas and Martin bring college experience

Here is one source of optimism for the Astros bullpen, though: a 3.65 FIP and 3.28 xFIP. So, maybe, better days are right around the corner.

**Statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference, Fangraphs and Statcast**

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