The Houston Astros followed up devastating news of a season-ending injury to Yordan Alvarez with the best sustained offensive breakout this year.
Just when things were getting bad, things got really good. The Houston Astros bats have been struggling recently, barring the eruption against Seattle with nine runs in a single inning, helped on by who else but Yordan Alvarez and his three-run big fly in his first at-bat of the season.
He hit the injured list not long after and not long after that, it was announced that he would be undergoing surgery on his patellar tendon that would knock him out for the rest of the year. Just like that, the man who seemed to unclog this offense was gone, and the bats went to sleep again.
Until the trip to Colorado. Compiling on the Alvarez injury, Alex Bregman followed up with his own, sending him to the IL and leaving the Astros in a 1-1 game.
Life without Yordan Alvarez looks a lot easier now
All of a sudden, without two of their most prolific bats, the Astros woke up. Just like that. 11 runs later, they saw break-out performances from sleepers—Kyle Tucker, Taylor Jones, Abraham Toro—and from established, yet struggling, veterans—George Springer and Jose Altuve.
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That continued on into the second game with a five-run breakout in the top of the second inning, powered by this same cast of characters (just not Toro this time), followed by another five runs just two innings later
Right now, this is the best thing we can see as fans. We know that Alvarez isn’t going to be back this year. We know that we’ll be without Bregman for awhile. We also haven’t had Michael Brantley and, chances are, he may be gone at the end of the year anyway.
As such, we’ve seen two incredible things for the price of one. We’ve seen the young bats wake up in a big way, particularly Tucker and Jones. Tucker has been supercharging the ball all over the park. And Jones has been having some excellent at-bats.
But we’re also seeing how far the “regular crew” can carry this offense—the Springer’s and the Altuve’s, who we know can change the face of the lineup when they’re hitting.
The name of the game is getting by without Alvarez, and these two games have absolutely given us the hope that the resources we already have can not just bandaid the injury problems, but completely heal them.