Astros Observations: A disappointing finish to a road trip
By Cody Poage
As the Astros head home to play the Red Sox to close out the week, let’s reflect on the a rather disappointing end to the latest road trip.
The Astros‘ lineup scored 47 runs in their latest road trip, which included stops in Cleveland and the Bronx in New York. The pitching staff allowed only 34 runs. Somehow the Astros went 3-4 on this seven-game road trip. Baseball, right?
Sure, the road trip wasn’t an outright disaster. Well, unless you count the two bullpen implosions as a disaster. Hint: all bullpens will blow games sooner or later. And, yes, the Astros’ bullpen is still a quality unit. You can find numbers to support this cause here.
Despite a strong start to the road trip, it ended in a rather disappointing fashion.
The bullpen implosions were a disappointment, no doubt. As much as I support Houston’s relief corps, the blown games in Cleveland and New York were a key reason why the team didn’t finish with a 5-2 record on the road trip. In the last seven days, the bullpen as a collective unit posted a 4.38 ERA. Not great. But the unit did post a 3.36 FIP and 2.50 xFIP. So, the bullpen may have been a bit unlucky during this latest road trip. A .339 BABIP in this time span compared to a .296 BABIP for the season also lends credence to that thought.
In terms of the starting rotation, the results could have been better. A 4.83 ERA and 4.31 FIP are not great numbers. Lance McCullers and Dallas Keuchel had rough starts on the road. Even Gerrit Cole and Charlie Morton surrendered three runs each in their last starts. But anytime you deal with short-term period like the last seven days, be mindful of the small sample size. Like the bullpen, do not let a small sample of bad results cloud your perception of the entire body of work. Simply put, the starting rotation was a bit mortal on the road.
Thankfully, the Astros’ offense showed up on the road.
The lineup posted a 115 wRC+ over the last seven days, which was a bit lower than expected for a team that scored 47 runs over the same time span. Only the Indians with 47 scored as many runs as the Astros over the last seven days. And Cleveland had a 137 wRC+ that proves there are numerous ways you can score runs at varying levels of efficiency. By the way, Max Stassi continues to prove he belongs in the majors.
Next: Astros Series Preview: An ALDS Rematch vs. the Red Sox
Regardless of the numbers, the road trip is now over. The Astros will be playing the Red Sox as we head into the weekend in the familiar surroundings of Minute Maid Park. Hopefully the offense continues to click and the pitching staff picks up the slack.
**Statistics and information courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs**