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Astros play first games in 2018 without George Springer

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HOUSTON, TX - MAY 11: George Springer #4 of the Houston Astros is looked at by Houston Astros trainer Jeremiah Randall after being hit by a pitch in the third inning by Cole Hamels #35 of the Texas Rangers at Minute Maid Park on May 11, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - MAY 11: George Springer #4 of the Houston Astros is looked at by Houston Astros trainer Jeremiah Randall after being hit by a pitch in the third inning by Cole Hamels #35 of the Texas Rangers at Minute Maid Park on May 11, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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George Springer is okay but sits out the rest of the Astros versus Rangers weekend series.

For the first time all season, George Springer did not take the field for the Astros on Saturday and Sunday. On Friday night, he took a pitch from Cole Hamels off the elbow. We all remember when Edison Volquez broke Springer’s wrist in 2015. When Springer went down, the stadium got quiet, and everyone waited to see if he was okay.

Springer went ahead and stayed in the game, but Jose Altuve ended up grounding into a double play. After the side was retired, Jake Marisnick ran out to center field in Springer’s place. Unfortunately, Hamels was too much to handle as the Rangers won 1-0. The Astros only got one hit, a single by Evan Gattis.

Springer got an x-ray that night and another on Saturday, they both came up negative, meaning he would be okay. Before Saturday night’s game, A.J. Hinch said that he doesn’t expect Springer to land on the DL. Springer was still sore Saturday morning, so they held him out of the lineup the rest of the weekend.

Next man out.

During Springer’s absence, someone needed to step up. Jose Altuve was moved up to hit leadoff, but he was 0-9 with four strikeouts in those games. Alex Bregman moved back up to hit second and responded, going 3 for 6 with two doubles and three walks.

However, the guy who really replaced Springer’s offense was Evan Gattis, who went three for six himself. The biggest contribution that Gattis had was two homers, the second one-off Matt Moore was a moonshot. After struggling all year, it’s good to see Gattis heating up. While all the Astros were struggling versus Hamels on Friday night, Gattis got the only hit.

The Astros did win both games that Springer did not play in 6-1, but that doesn’t mean this offense can survive without him. This offense has struggled at home, only scoring 85 runs in 22 games at home. On the other hand, they have scored 117 runs in 20 games on the road. That’s right. They score 5.85 runs per game, but only 3.86 runs per game.

He may be back in the lineup Monday.

According to Christian Boutwell, Hinch said that Springer would have been available if needed in yesterday’s game. Hinch even joked that Springer would have fought him if he didn’t get him in the game. Because we didn’t hear of a clubhouse brawl, I’m guessing Springer was okay with the day off.

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The 28-year-old outfielder is batting .296 with eight homers and 26 RBIs. Springer is a new mold of leadoff hitter who drives this offense. If this offense starts scoring at home, the AL West race is over with the way the rotation is performing. Hopefully, Springer is back in the leadoff spot tonight versus the Angels. Best thing is that we will see Shohei Ohtani, the hitter Tuesday and Wednesday.

***Stats from Baseball-Reference***

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