The Houston Astros have been swept out of the snow in a two-game set with the Colorado Rockies, who had the worst record in MLB entering Tuesday’s game. As the team stays in last place in the AL West and falls to 7-10, the overall productivity of the team has been nothing but below expectation.
As the Astros have only scored eight runs with only six-extra base hits in the past four games, they leave their road trip 1-4 in pursuit of Minute Maid Park for a hopeful bounce back series with the Los Angeles Angels. Cristian Javier will be joining the team for this homestand, as Peter Solomon was optioned to alternate training site. With Jose Urquidy pitching in a blizzard in his outing in Denver, the right-hander was facing issues with his velocity that led to four earned runs.
With all these issues circling the team, it is worth noticing that the bats are unlucky.
With only five hits in Wednesday’s game, the Astros tacked on two of them and one of their three runs in the ninth inning; showing their struggles at the plate continue. As Alex Bregman and Yordan Alvarez saw time in the lineup, the livelihood we are used is still not back.
Excuses will be thrown out every once and awhile, but it is evident this Astros’ team is hitting the ball hard. The issue is nothing is coming from it and looks to be brewing a storm cloud over this early season funk. With exit velocities piercing the 100 MPH mark, hitters aren’t finding grass in the outfield.
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Baseball Savant is helpful breaking down these more analytical numbers of the game. As the Astros are hitting to an expected batting average of .285, their team average dips to .248. This is the second highest XBA in all of baseball behind the Boston Red Sox, who are only .002 higher.
These numbers aren’t the traditional outlook for how well a team is playing, but as this age of baseball is known for hitting for the fences, it would possibly behoove the team to start hitting for average and get on base. Home runs are cool and helpful, but with runners on base, the chances of scoring sky rockets.
At some point, there should be some accountability placed on how Manager Dusty Baker is running the team. It is no where his fault when dealing with the amount of injuries and health and safety protocols that have damaged the team, but he made two mound visits on Wednesday with no intention of pulling the pitcher, which is a weird approach.
Baker is a great players’ manager, but for the sake of talent, he and the coaching staff will need to look for adjustments in hitters’ approaches at the plate. While technology is a big factor in the game today, adapt and survive should always be the mentality for a team battling issues all over the place.
While Thursday’s game will exclusively be streamed on YouTube at 7:10 p.m., the Astros will welcome the Angels to Minute Maid Park for a four game series. Like always, they should look to bounce back and catch a momentum shift, but it depends on the player’s mentalities entering the games. Cristian Javier will make his first start on Thursday, since he was optioned to the alternate training site to establish more endurance in his outings.