For the first time since Opening Day, the Astros have a winning record. Yes, we’re only eleven games into the season.
It sure didn’t feel like the Astros were going to win this one, right? The deficit felt larger than 3-1, did it? Strange what an early season swoon with the bat will do to a fan’s expectations. Hey, I’m not perfect.
While it wasn’t a flashy showing by the lineup, the bats did enough when it mattered most. Hard contact, light contact, it didn’t matter which. Thanks to the 4-3 win over the Yankees, the Astros can finally claim that they’re a winning club in 2019. Well, for at least one day.
Light contact can get the job done
With runners on the corners and one out in the bottom of the eighth inning, Carlos Correa fought off a high fastball to squeak a little grounder down the first base line. Somehow, someway, the ball stayed in fair territory and Alex Bregman scampered home to break the 3-3 tie to give Houston a 4-3 advantage. The exit velocity and launch angle on the batted ball? A whopping 28.9 MPH with a 2-degree launch angle.
Robinson Chirinos deserves some freaking credit
The season is still young and all, but who hasn’t been impressed with Chirinos? The veteran catcher currently sports a 159 wRC+ in 29 plate appearances, which will surely go down. At the same time, he has come through in multiple situations. Monday night against the Yankees was the latest example.
Throw in some quality defensive plays to start the season and the Astros should feel confident about their catcher situation early on in the 2019 season.
Looking at Justin Verlander‘s pitch distribution
Much was made about Verlander’s changeup during his first start against the Rays back on Opening Day and rightly so. However, the veteran starter hasn’t exhibited his trademark control as of late, although the results haven’t been exactly bad. By looking at his pitch distribution per each start, we can see that Verlander has relied heavily upon his four-seam fastball and slider in his last two starts.
- FF: 41, 53, 61
- SL: 29, 18, 27
- CU: 20, 14, 14
- CH: 11, 8, 8
- FC: 1, 1, 1
Interestingly enough, Verlander generated 23 swinging strikes against Tampa to start the season. Since then, though, the former Tiger only has a grand total of 23 swinging strikes over his past two starts.