The Astros were firing on all cylinders during their series finale against the Twins.
It is strange to see a game nowadays with eight total runs and only four pitchers used. Of course, the distribution of runs (Astros: 7; Twins: 1) will impact how many pitchers do appear in a game. Minnesota, though, used only two, which was likely to save the bullpen in a game that felt decided by the middle innings.
Anyway, the Astros came away with a series win, thanks to an all-around solid team effort. Justin Verlander only allowed one run in eight innings while Framber Valdez had a scoreless inning of relief in the ninth. Only two hitters in the lineup — Jose Altuve and Jake Marisnick — didn’t finish the game with a hit. It was a good win for a good team.
Josh Reddick continues his 2019 rebound
It is no secret Reddick had a disappointing 2018 season with a 99 wRC+ in 487 plate appearances. For the entire season last year, he only had a 1.1 fWAR. How he performs in 2019 may largely determine how his tenure in Houston progresses. Although we’re only 24 games into the current season, Reddick has looked the part of a rebound with a 168 wRC+ and 0.8 fWAR. His two hits against the Twins on Wednesday helped put the game out of reach for the Astros.
Another dominant start for Justin Verlander
While Verlander hasn’t matched his incredible start to last year’s campaign, the veteran starter has still been quite good for the Astros in 2019. He only allowed four hits and one run while striking out eight batters Wednesday night. The only blemish on his night was a solo home run by Jorge Polanco in the fourth inning. Although he only generated 13 swinging strikes on 98 pitches, Verlander did have 14 called strikes and 23 foul balls. I’ll gladly take the final result.
Astros swung the bats well
The box score showing seven runs and ten hits will undoubtedly indicate a solid night at the plate for Houston hitters. Here is another indication about how well the Astros’ lineup was performing: eight of the top ten batted balls based on exit velocity belonged to Houston.