Not only did the Astros win 12-to-2 over the Blue Jays, they did so with solid pitching, sensational defensive plays and terrific hitting.
We are all familiar with the term, “ugly win”. In fact, it applies to all sports in the usual way: Team “A” barely maneges to win while there were numerous miscues by both teams. Team “B” happened to make just one too many errors. Well, the Astros win yesterday has to be the complete opposite of an “ugly win”.
Baseball, as you may be aware, is composed primarily of pitching, hitting and defense. The goal for any team is to perform at least in a somewhat competent level in all three aspects. You don’t have to be the best in all three, but it doesn’t hurt if you try to be. The Astros game in Toronto last night was essentially a clinic on what happens when all three areas of the game are clicking at the same time.
As a collective unit, the Astros lineup did plenty of damage to the Blue Jays and their collective hopes. Individually, George Springer was the primary contributor to the Astros cause.
First, there was this two-run home run in the top of the second inning off Aaron Sanchez.
This was already Springer’s second hit of the game as he had a single in the first inning.
But the first-time All-Star wasn’t done yet. Springer followed up with another home run in the seventh inning. This solo shot off Mike Bolsinger was his 27th of the season.
In total, Springer had 809 feet of home run distance last night. Not to mention his 20th double of the season.
Springer now has a .308 batting average and a .992 OPS, which is noticeably higher than his career average. And he is only two dingers short of his home run total of 29 last season.
Do I dare say that this is a MVP-level season from the Astros outfielder? All I have to say is “Thank you, Ed Wade”.
Lost in the Astros offensive outburst was the return of starting pitcher, Charlie Morton. As we all know by now, Houston’s rotation has been hampered by various injuries. That’s boring news.
The return of Morton wasn’t boring news, though.
The veteran right-handed pitcher threw six innings of run ball with three strikeouts and two walks. This translated into a 58 game score.
The most encouraging aspect of Morton’s return was the healthy of the starting rotation. With Dallas Keuchel and Collin McHugh making progress towards a return, the Astros pitching staff may be in a good place by the end of July.
As I am committed husband and such, I took my wife on a date night while the Astros game was ongoing. I was able, though, to catch a replay of the game thanks to MLB.TV. And I caught a glimpse of this play made by Marwin Gonzalez. You know, the Astros player who should be an All-Star?
The result of the play was -0.023 WPA towards the Blue Jays. In terms of importance, this play didn’t matter much. But it was still fun to watch, so, here you go.
**Statistics courtesy of MLB.com and Fangraphs**