Three Astros are trending down during a forgettable start to May.
The Astros were supposed to have a fruitful beginning to May, or at least I thought they would. They went 2-5 in their last seven dropping both series against the Yankees and Diamondbacks. Last night provided an offensive boost to many who needed that and some bats came alive and some didn’t, unfortunately.
The Astros were outscored 17-21 prior to last night’s hitting clinic where they scored 16 runs against Brett Anderson and the Athletics. So talk about a boom or bust team, right? Last night was an outlier though. Don’t let it diminish from the fact that they struggled mightily last week wasting 2 quality starts by Justin Verlander and a handful of bullpen implosions. Let’s dive in on who’s trending down this week, shall we?
Trending Down: Evan Gattis
Seeing time on this list before, Evan Gattis is back on the trending down list. One writer even suggests he may be on the clock. I agree. He did bring his batting average from .186 to .187 last night mustering one hit in 5 at bats. In his last 5 games, the designated hitter, emphasis on hitter, has seen eleven at bats and got one hit and struck out five times. Last year’s historic season provided offense from the lineup from 1-9, top to bottom. A good team will have the first 6 batters be great, the seventh batter be average and the eighth and ninth batters have a couple good games a week. Gattis has gone o-fer in seventeen games this season. He has to start reaching base soon especially on a 6 hit night from George Springer.
Trending Down: Derek Fisher
The streakiest of them all, Derek Fisher has seen time on both trending up lists and trending down list. This time he lands again on the latter of the two. In nine at-bats in his last 6 games, Fisher has gone two for nine with one run and carrying a .190 average slightly about fellow mate Gattis. As I mentioned earlier your 7, 8 and 9 hitters are typically streaky. This is the case with Fisher, Gattis and Marisnick. Unfortunletly, rumors of calling up prospects and time being limited haven’t seem to light a fire under these three as they all post a .190, .187 and .151 average, respectively. It’s only the first week of May, but if this continues the team motto of “Never Settle” will never be more meaningful than it is if they don’t address the lack of offense.
Trending Down: Will Harris
As I was preparing this article yesterday, Dallas Keuchel was going to be a candidate for Trending Down this week. Last night’s performance against a vulnerable Athletics team shelved this debate. But he’s not exempt completely just yet. A more fitting candidate would be one relief pitcher, Will Harris. In his last 7 games, Harris has 4.1 combined innings pitched allowing 4 earned runs on 6 hits for an 8.31 ERA. Most notably on May 3rd against the Yankees the Astros were leading 5-3 when McCullers was relieved by Chris Devenski. Devenski pitched one scoreless and hitless inning striking out the side before Harris was called up for assignment.
Harris walked the first batter, Neil Walker and gave up a single to Miguel Andujar. Aaron Hicks pinched hit for Torreyes who singles and loads the bases. These weren’t the Yankee 2-3-4 hitters, this was the bottom of the rotation. Brad Peacock comes in for Will Harris allowing one hit and three runs which falls on the responsibly of Harris and 3 earned runs are charged along with the 6-5 loss. Peacock gets the blown save as the bullpen continues to implode. Then, in a tight game with the Diamondbacks down 2-1, Harris allows one earned run in 0.1 innings pitched.
The bullpen as a whole should be “Trending Down” In the last 7 outings, Giles, Harris and Devenski all took a loss as well as wasting quality starts by Charlie Morton and Justin Verlander. The lack offense is to blame also. But the bullpen as a whole needs to get it together.
*** Stats courtesy of baseball-reference and MLB.com ***