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Astros AM Breakdown: Walk-off wins are awesome!

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HOUSTON, TX - JUNE 27: Alex Bregman #2 of the Houston Astros gestures to the dugout after hitting a walk-off, two-run home run in the ninth inning to give the Houston Astros a 7-6 win over the Toronto Blue Jays at Minute Maid Park on June 27, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - JUNE 27: Alex Bregman #2 of the Houston Astros gestures to the dugout after hitting a walk-off, two-run home run in the ninth inning to give the Houston Astros a 7-6 win over the Toronto Blue Jays at Minute Maid Park on June 27, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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Thanks in large part to the late-inning heroics of Alex Bregman, the Astros finished off the Blue Jays.

Wednesday’s victory against the Blue Jays wasn’t a pretty one for the Astros. In fact, Dallas Keuchel‘s rough start continues a somewhat concerning trend. That said, Houston’s lineup proves why you cannot count this team until the final out.

Especially when Alex Bregman is involved.

The Astros’ age-24 third baseman raised his OPS this season from .866 to .887 following his monster performance on Wednesday. Over the last two games, Bregman has seven total hits, which were all for extra-bases. Five doubles and two home runs, to be exact.

For Bregman, the 2018 season may be the best yet of his young career. Over 359 plate appearances, the LSU product has slashed .277/.379/.508 with a 148 wRC+ and 3.1 fWAR. In the 79 games he has played this year, Bregman also has 27 doubles and 14 home runs. Compared to last season when he had 39 doubles and 19 home runs through 155 games, it appears that Houston’s third baseman has found his power stroke.

While Bregman helped complete Houston’s comeback, there have to be concerns about Keuchel. Specifically in the first inning.

Dallas Keuchel’s OPS by inning in 2018, courtesy of Baseball Reference

  • 1st: 1.006

  • 2nd: .571

  • 3rd: .473

  • 4th: .587

  • 5th: .763

  • 6th: .913

  • 7th: .828

  • 8th: .714

Yes, Keuchel’s OPS in the first inning actually is 1.006 following Wednesday’s start. In fact, he surrendered five earned runs in the first inning to the Blue Jays. That’s obviously not good. In the first inning on Wednesday, there were seven balls put into play by Toronto hitters. The average exit velocity of the seven balls in play were 92.1 MPH. Ouch.

For the rest of his start though, Keuchel allowed 14 balls in play. The average exit velocity was 86.3 MPH, much lower than the readings in the first inning. Again, the first inning has been an issue for Keuchel. Let’s hope that he and team figures out the reason behind the struggles soon.

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Next: Astros: Jake Marisnick silences his critics offensively and defensively

We hope you enjoyed this edition of the Astros AM Breakdown.

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