The Astros close out June and half the season on top of the AL West.
The good guys are 55-31 and still in first place in the AL West despite losing their last three and going 3-4 in the last seven games. The once 4.5 game lead over the Seattle Mariners is now just within arm’s reach at half a game. The 12-game win streak a few weeks ago catapulted the Astros for a nice June. But since that 13-3 start, the Astros wrap up June finishing just 6-5.
As the breaks were applied and the bats cooled off their three aces took three straight losses. The Astros scored 32 runs and allowed only 15 but totaled four losses. Those losses were close games 6-3, 3-2, 5-2 and 3-2. Despite the tough losses, as always, some bats shined. We will get into those players in a minute.
Looking on to the next couple weeks, the Astros seem to have some fruitful matchups and set their eyes on separating from the Mariners once again. The Astros will face the Texas Rangers (38-47) for a quick two-game series for the 4th of July.
They will then come back home for nice eleven game home stand slated with bouts against the White Sox (29-54), Oakland Athletics (46-39) and Detroit Tigers (37-48). These 13 games allow the Astros to stay home for the first two weeks of July with a two-game set with the neighbors just four hours north and an 11-game homestand before the All-Star weekend. Now, on to the trends.
Trending Up: Evan Gattis
Well, Evan Gattis has himself a nice June. Nothing spectacular. Only set an Astros record for RBI in the month of June. The Record was set at 30 on June 27th and finished June with a line of:
26-98 for .265 with 30 RBI and 13 runs scored, stats via Baseball-Reference.
Not bad for the “Oso Blanco.” Gattis has been amazing. In his last seven games, seeing 26 at-bats and connecting on seven of them for a .269 batting average last week. He drove in 7 of the 30 runs in June last week and accounted for two home runs. His season average is now at .252, and he’s slugging a .512 thus far. Gattis totals 56 RBI, and 30 extra base hits on the season. We’re hoping he remains hot through July as some of his teammates have cooled off quite a bit. Here’s hoping Gattis can tally another 30 or so runs in July.
Trending Up: Jake Marisnick
Oh yeah. You’re reading that right. Marisnick has found himself on the Trending Up list. And rightfully so! He’s had a solid week. Enough to get him trending in the right direction for a change. In his last six games, Jake has five hits in 16 at-bats for a .313 batting average. This includes a line of 2-3 with one homer and one double driving in three runs total on June 26th. On the other hand, he has been hitless in his last three but the earlier part of last week was good for Marisnick.
We know it’s hard to root against him. He has struggled as of late, but his defense is crucial to the game. He is a great fielder and makes his presence felt. The very next night, he makes an unbelievable catch. Check it out.
Jake still has some work to do. His batting average has climbed to .188 on the season, so we’re hoping July is a fruitful month for him, and his bat re-awakens like it did last week.
Trending Up: Alex Bregman
So, shaving the mustache in a game did boost his confidence back after all. Last week, Alex Bregman sported a mustache in the 2nd inning of a June 24th Sunday Afternoon game. Before that game, he was trending down, if fact, he was experiencing a bit of a rough patch. No pun intended. He went 1-14.
The in-game shave didn’t change a thing. He ended up 0-4 on the day. Since then Bregman has gone 13 for 28 for a .464 batting average. He has managed a hit in seven straight and drove in 10 total scoring seven runs himself. He stole two bases and struck out only twice. Bregman took home two awards in the AL Player of the Week and Month of June.
If any razor blade company ever needed a plug, Bregman should be a spokesperson.
Did I forget to mention he had five home runs in the last seven games? Yes, five home runs. He has 16 on the season. His batting average is .277 on the season. His bid to be an All-Star is just short on some votes but weeks like this one is just what the Astros need. He will have more opportunities to continue this hot streak in the next two weeks.
Alex leads the club in doubles with 27. He is currently ranked 2nd in the clubhouse with 89 hits and 2nd to Gattis with home runs with 16. He also trails Gattis by 3 RBI with 53 on the season. The 3rd year Astro is something special to this team with tremendous fielding and great numbers this season. It will be exciting to watch what he can do late into the season, to say the least.