Astros center fielder George Springer has a night to remember.
It is no secret that the Astros offense has struggled at home this year. We will look deeper into the home-road splits soon. George Springer started the season off with a leadoff hitter but struggled after that. When Springer is off, we see performances like Game 1 of the World Series where he wore the golden sombrero. When he is on, he can jumpstart the offense.
With the way the pitchers have pitched this year, you can see how the fans are frustrated with the offense. But you have to remember. This offense has a track record of performing. They will turn things around, and they showed signs of doing so last night, scoring 16 runs.
As the Athletics Twitter handle started, don’t spend all your runs in one place.
The Astros scored 16 runs last night, mostly because of Springer. When he is hitting, it seems like the rest of the team follows suit. By the seventh inning last night, the Astros had already removed Marwin Gonzalez and Josh Reddick in a blowout game with 11 runs at that point. Derek Fisher came in the 6th inning and Jake Marisnick came in the seventh inning.
When Marisnick came in, Springer gave A.J. Hinch a look. At first, I thought it was because he was upset that he could take a break. But apparently, he was wondering why he was still playing centerfield and not switching to right field. Springer already had five hits on the night, why not give him some rest? Because he had a chance to do something no Astro player has done in a nine-inning game.
When Springer came up, he had a chance to tally something that has not been done since Joe Morgan in 1962, six hits in a game. With those six hits, Springer raised his batting average from .264 to .292. More importantly, he raised his OPS from .787 to .857. He hit his eighth homer of the season, which was a mammoth 462 run shot. It was the longest homer of the season by an Astros hitter.
This was an impressive performance, but Springer didn’t just get hot. In the past 13 games, Springer has hit .379 with four homers and eight RBIs. That is even after a 0-5 Sunday. While the rest of the offense has struggled, Springer has been a force out of the leadoff spot.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***