Three numbers and Canada strikes the Astros again
Between the pitching staff and the lineup’s bevy of double plays, it just wasn’t the Astros day.
If you are worried about the 59-and-29 Astros, please don’t be. Sure, Chris Devenski looked mortal and Mike Fiers gave up his first home run since late May. The lineup was relatively quiet. Not all games will end in a victory with the Astros, though. Players will have off days.
Amd for those who automatically blame the manager, please don’t be that person. Not all losses are on the managers.
In other words, the Astros sky isn’t falling. Sure, it wasn’t their best performance. And it wasn’t their worst. Somehow, they are still 30, I repeat 30, games above .500.
It’s no secret Fiers wasn’t pitching his best game today. After all, he threw 105 pitches over the course six innings. 59 of those pitches were strikes, which means 46 were balls. His control wasn’t spot on.
6 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 6 SO, 49 Game Score
Between Fiers and yesterday’s starter, Charlie Morton, the Astros received 12 innings from their starters. For a team who has depended on a makeshift rotation since the end of May, this is a positive development.
Honestly, Fiers start today could’ve ended much worse. He actually had a decent outing once it was all said and done. That’s still encouraging in my book. Of course, my book is filled with looking at the Astros in a glass half-full mindset. It may be time for a new book.
While the Astros’ lack of offense negated any positive in Fiers’ start, the team was still in prime position to come back. Seriously, a 3-to-1 deficit for this lineup is not a death sentence. If anything else, it is just a road bump on the way to Luby’s.
Enter the Astros sixth All-Star, Chris Devenski. This was the top of the seventh inning.
By the time the middle of the seventh inning cane around, the deficit increased to 7-to-1. The Blue Jays had a 99.1% win expectancy by this point.
In short, Devenski allowed four Blue Jay runs, which 75% was attributed to a Troy Tulowitzki home run. The Astros, in turn, would need a serious comeback to clinch theirs 60th win of the season. I think we all know that this comeback was not happening.
The Astros batters do deserve some measure of flak for today’s double play issue. But it is difficult to hit a small white orb for a hitting so I’ll let it slide. The last I checked, double plays happen all the time and the Astros are of the best offenses in baseball.
Instead, I want to concentrate on a positive: The doubles. Yes, the Astros have doubled in 45 straight games. This is something else. Something remarkable if you will.
They still have quite a way, though, before they threaten for the longest streak in MLB history.
Next: Astros' George Springer brings the lead from the leadoff spot
Just 30 more games. Please, just 30 more games. If not, then it has been a heck of a streak.
**Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs and MLB.com**