The Astros clutch hitting was absent last night, Gerrit Cole had a rough outing, and the injured George Springer and Jose Altuve are on the mend.
Last night wasn’t pretty for the Astros, losing one to the Chicago White Sox 9-4. Gerrit Cole had one of his worst games of the year and the clutch hitting was, well, not clutch. But it’s just one game and there is good news on the horizon concerning the inured Springer and Altuve.
Cole lost his fifth game of the year last night and is now sitting at 4-5. That’s the total number of losses he had in the entire 2018 season. In five innings, he gave up six runs on seven hits. He was right around the strike zone with 62 of his 92 pitches being strikes and he struck out seven batters and walking just one.
He said that he just wasn’t in sync last night and his delivery didn’t feel right most of the evening. Cole mentioned after the game that his slider wasn’t getting the bite he’d like to see and it just so happened that both home runs he allowed were hit off of his slider.
I’d just chalk it off as a bad night and move on to the next game. Cole is good at bouncing back after outings like these. The last time he had a night like this, he came back the next game and only gave up two runs and struck out ten. Although I will say, up to this point in the season, he’s not doing himself any favors in a free agency year.
The Astros’ bats didn’t help Cole out much either. Their clutch hitting was basically nonexistent. They went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and hit into four double plays and a rare triple play. Their lone hit with RISP was Carlos Correa‘s double scoring Michael Brantley. The other three runs were the benefit of two sac flys and a homer by Alex Bregman, his fifteenth.
Alright, that game is over with and behind them. Let’s get on to the good news. Jose Altuve, who’s nursing a strained hamstring, worked out for the third night in a row pain-free. He performed baseball drills, ran the bases, and even did some work in the batting cage. He’ll be joining either the AAA Round Rock Express or the AA Corpus Christie Hooks for a small rehab stint soon.
George Springer was seen batting in the cages for the first time yesterday, which is a good sign. He’s still considered day-to-day and A. J. Hinch said he’d wait and see how he felt after his batting practice. Maybe with any luck, he’ll be back in the lineup for the upcoming series with the Boston Red Sox. But by all means, don’t rush it.
One other side note. Brady Rodgers pitched for the Astros for the first time since 2016. He went two innings and struck out two batters and gave up only one hit. Unfortunately, that one hit was a home run. It’s been a long road back for Rodgers after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Welcome back!