Astros: Three players trending up after a gauntlet of elite AL foes

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 27: Yuli Gurriel
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 27: Yuli Gurriel /

The Astros went through the ringer facing the Yankees and Red Sox. Who stepped up during the last seven games?

In the last seven games, the Astros went 3-4. They dropped the series 1-2 to the Yankees after dominating game one and split the four-game series against the Red Sox after winning the first two. These familiar faces were seen last year en route to the first ever title last season and will be no strangers this coming post season. The good? They essentially split the series. The bad? They couldn’t gain any ground in the standings. The ugly? They scored 31 runs while allowing 31 runs. That makes for .500 ball club. Pretty much what the past seven days were. The just friendly fire between the three powerhouses of the American League.

Again, some players stood out in the past week. Some whose production was noticeable even in defeats. Let take a look at this week’s trending up candidates.

Trending Up: Yuli Gurriel

No one has been hotter than Yuli Gurriel. Shhhhh. I don’t want to jinx him, but he is currently on a ten game hit streak. He’s no strangers to these streaks as his longest this season was eleven. In the past six games dating back to May 28th, Gurriel is 9-for-24 for a team-high .375 over the past seven games. He drove in four runs and scored four of his own. Gurriel is only behind hit clinic Jose Altuve who has a .329 batting average, hitting a .291 himself. Given the at-bats he’s had, Gurriel has the lowest amount of strikeouts also with only 23. It’s also worth noting that he had three multi-hit games in this span giving him 15 games with two or more hits on the season. Way to go, Gurriel. Keep the hits coming.

Trending Up: Marwin Gonzalez

When the offense struggles and only scores 31 runs in seven games, it’s hard to stand out. Being on the trending down list two weeks in a row, Gonzalez has seemed to buck the trend a little. In his last five games, Gonzalez went 5-for-17 for a .294 average. He had two multi-hit games and two no-hit games. He struck out five times in back to back games where he had no hits. But in those other three games, two against the Yankees and one against Boston he was 5-for-10, driving in three and scoring two of his own.

Gonzalez has been up and down all season, but the Astros would take his productive games all season if it meant he would have some 0-for’s. He didn’t play much against Boston in the four-game set, he had one total at-bat Saturday and left the game with knee soreness after that leaping catch. He was hot in the Yankee series and trended up this week. Not sure how long he will be out but we wish you a speedy recovery.

Trending Up: Tony Sipp

Sipp had some nice outings over the past seven days. He got in 2.1 innings of work in three appearances. He allowed one hit and no runs in that span. A.J. Hinch isn’t a stranger to playing the hot hand, and if the hot hand is Sipp, you play it. It’s no secret the bullpen is in shambles right now.

Next: Astros: After facing top teams in the AL, the schedule gets easier

The Astros have to take what they can get and what they got was two scoreless innings from Sipp with three strikeouts on 26 total pitches. Unfortunately, both games resulted in losses. He entered both games on June 2nd and 3rd against Boston being down one run and five runs respectively. He pitched both shutout innings so he got work in a clutch situation and some work in a game where the offense couldn’t produce. Until rumors or speculations of adding more bullpen help emerge, this, ladies and gentlemen are you 2018 bullpen. Take what you can get.  

***Stats courtesy of baseball-reference and***