Astros Notes: Bregman in HR Derby, 5 game win streak, Yuli’s on fire
By Brian Murray
As of lately, the Astros fans have had a lot more to celebrate. The dark clouds of a slump have passed, the skies are clear, and things look brighter.
It’s amazing how a five-game winning streak can fog our memories of the past. What slump? We all knew the Astros would get right back on track, and that’s exactly what they’ve done. Houston has back-to-back sweeps over the Seattle Mariners and the Colorado Rockies.
In the last five games, the Astros scored five more runs than in the previous five games. But more importantly, the pitching staff has buckled down a bit more. Comparing those same time periods, Houston allowed half of the runs in the last five games vs the five games prior, to the tune of 17 and 34 respectively.
The first two games of this win streak were won in walk-off fashion. What better way to fire up a team to get things turned around. Some fans were getting concerned about the sudden drop in Houston’s division lead. But that difference has climbed back up to an eight-game lead, up from the 4.5 games before the streak.
There is no other player that you can give credit to for giving this team that needed spark, than Yuli Gurriel. This recent five-game streak started off with a bang. That bang being a walk-off homer by Gurriel in the 10th for a 2-1 win over Seattle.
But Gurriel wasn’t finished with his heroics. The next night he does it again, smacking a double in the tenth scoring Michael Brantley for yet another walk-off performance. Houston beats the Mariners by the score of 6-5.
In the last five games, Gurriel played in just four of them, but he left his mark in all of them. He had seven hits, six of those for extra bases, four home runs, and two doubles. He was credited with five runs scored and seven RBIs in that short span. So, yes, I’d say he was the main spark this past week.
To end on a fun note. It was announced that Alex Bregman will be participating in the Home Run Derby for the second year in a row. He was selected as the fourth seed and goes up against Joc Pederson in the initial round. Does he think he has a shot to win? “I definitely think so or else I wouldn’t try,” he said.