The Astros were swept by the Cincinnati Reds and have lost four in a row. Averaging less than two runs per game will garner that type of result.
I know, it’s only four games, a small sample to gauge any long term trend. But going into a four-game series against the New York Yankees isn’t a very good time for your bats to go silent. The Astros scored just seven runs in the last four games and the team batting average over the past two weeks is .227, considerably less than the .265 they are batting for the year.
Conversely, the Yankees bats are trending in the opposite direction. Over that same two week period, they’re hitting .271 with a slugging percentage of .460, versus the Astros’ .402. Plus, they have scored 23 more runs than the Astros during that span.
When you have players like George Springer, Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa out of the lineup due to injuries, you’re bound to have a drop-off in offensive performance. Fortunately, Altuve returned to the lineup last night against the Reds. Springer is beginning his rehab assignment today with Corpus Christi and is scheduled to play there through the weekend, and Correa is still weeks out.
The Yankees are experiencing the reverse situation with their lineup. Giancarlo Stanton just returned for the first time this season. Granted, he’s only batting .167 with no homers in the four games he’s played in, but you and I know both know that’s not going to stay that way.
Aaron Judge has been on his rehab assignment for the past five days and is getting hot. He could be added back to their roster any day now. To make things worse, for Houston that is, New York just recently acquired power hitter Edwin Encarnacion via trade. He’s tied for the League lead with Mike Trout with 22 home runs.
The Astros pitching staff is still among the top in the League in ERA and hopefully, they can tame the Yankees’ bats a little. Maybe having Altuve back in the lineup and Yordan Alvarez can continue his display of power, that will be the added spark needed. This should shape up to be an exciting series and possibly a preview of the AL Championship Series.