The Astros’ offense finally flexed its collective muscle for the first time since Opening Day.
Here are the Astros run totals per game this season: 5, 2, 1, 1, 2, 4, 0, and 3. For a club that features a core like Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, George Springer, and Alex Bregman, the offensive showing by Houston was a tiny bit disappointing. Well, more than a tiny bit, I guess. The lineup was clearly struggling during the season-opening seven-game road trip in Tampa and Arlington.
A return home, though, looks to have awakened the slumbering juggernaut. Especially on Saturday night as the Astros clinched their first series win of the season.
Wade Miley continues his strong start as an Astro
One of the biggest question marks surrounding the Astros heading into the season was the rotation beyond Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole. In response to some notable turnover for the staff, Houston signed Miley to a low-risk contract (one-year, $4.5 million). Through two starts, which is an admittedly small sample, the results have been positive.
The left-hander has thrown 11 2/3 innings in 2019, limiting opposing lineups to three runs. Like his first start with the club when he threw 60 cut fastballs (87 pitches overall), Miley also leaned heavily on the offering against the A’s (41 FC compared to 93 pitches). But unlike his start in Tampa last Sunday, Miley did resort to his curveball and changeup more often last night.
Michael Brantley raises his wRC+ by 43 points in one game
Small samples reign supreme during this time of the season. While a lot of interesting numbers are tossed around, it does take a while for a player’s stats to stabilize. As such, we can see wild fluctuations from game to game.
Let’s take Brantley as an example. Entering Saturday’s game against Oakland, the Astros’ left fielder only had five hits and a 62 wRC+. By the time that the game ended in a 6-0 victory for Houston, Brantley left with two additional hits and a new wRC+ of 105. Small samples, right?
The fastest pitch of the night belongs to Josh James
Drum roll, please. The fastest pitch of the game belongs to none other than James, the right-handed flamethrower. At 96.8 MPH, James had the highest pitch velocity for any pitcher on both sides. Sort individual pitches by highest velocity, you’d find James eight times in the top ten. Yes, that guy can throw some serious heat.