Do I dare say that new father, Brad Peacock, was “effectively wild” for the Astros yesterday?
The Astros secret recipe for success is quite simple: A potent offense and an above-average bullpen.
Wait, this isn’t an actual secret recipe, isn’t it? After all, most baseball teams try to follow this model with slight variations. Seriously, this isn’t the secret KFC Extra Crispy Chicken recipe that we are trying to crack. It’s baseball.
On second thought, how hard would it be to crack a chicken recipe? I assume there isn’t much difficulty. It’s definitely easier than hitting a small white-and-red orb for a living. If you can do that well, then baseball just may be the career for you.
Naturally, the Astros starting rotation will come up once you realize I omitted it on purpose. Honestly, though, the starting rotation hasn’t really been a key contributor to Houston’s success in the past month or so.
This could change in the coming weeks as Dallas Keuchel, Charlie Morton and Collin McHugh are inching their way closer to baseball action. It is to be determined how long that actually lasts and whether it would immediately be at the major league level. So, I implore you, loyal readers and Astros fans, to be patient. Patience is a virtue, after all.
If you want a case in point for the Astros starting rotation recent “woes”, then look no further than Brad Peacock‘s latest start. Well, the terms “woes” may be the best term now that I think about it closely.
How about “slightly worrisome concerns?”
Yes, this sounds much better. Much better, indeed.
Anyway, here is Peacock’s pitching line from last night. Let me know what you think.
5 IP, 2 H, ER, 6 BB(!), 7 SO, 106 pitches-65 strikes
There is no denying Peacock actually gave the Astros five quality innings. Anytime a pitcher can throw five innings while allowing just one earned run then you may have a decent chance of winning. Unless you’re going against Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer or Chris Sale. At that point, well, let’s hope you reach the opponent’s bullpen.
The polarizing aspect of Peacock’s start was the amount of walks that he allowed. Six walks in five innings isn’t necessarily the most optimal thing for a pitcher. To be fair, though, Peacock was squeezed on a few calls in the strike zone throughout the afternoon.
It is difficult to argue with results, though. And Peacock did deliver them as he continues to be one of Houston’s more interesting stories this season. Talk about a sentence I didn’t expect to type one year ago.
Carlos Correa has been nearly an one-man wrecking crew for the Astros lineup. And he was again last night. While his teammates picked up eight of the team’s ten hits, Correa’s two hits, both were home runs, accounted for the most damage to the Oakland Athletics in their 6-to-1 win.
The first dinger came in the bottom of the fourth to give Houston the lead, which they would never return.
The second home run in the bottom of the sixth inning was arguably more impressive in terms of batted ball data.
In total, Correa cleared a combined 826 feet from his two home runs. And he keeps putting himself higher in Astros folklore.
While Correa rightly deserves the attention and recognition in the Astros lineup as of late, another Houston batter has come alive: Josh Reddick.
Since his earlier stint on the disabled list for the concussion protocol, the one-time Oakland Athletic has been on a tear lately. He was even performing well before his concussion.
There are many ways I could illustrate this for you, but let me just give you one figure that nicely sums up this hot streak.
That’s right; Reddick has posted an 1.434 OPS in his last ten games. Sure, two of those games were before his disabled list stint. But there is no denying that he has been one reason why the Astros offense has performed well as of late.
**Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs and MLB.com**