Houston Astros: Who’s Hot, Who’s Not (Vol 4)
After another two weeks of competitive baseball, here are the Astros who have been hot and not.
We’ve reached the summer in this MLB season, and the Houston Astros are playing, what you might call, “so-so” baseball. The Astros are 7-8 in their last 15 games, and it has been in a weird flex of momentum over these past two weeks.
Things look good after they won a three-game series out in Oakland, but then the Astros got swept by the lowly Texas Rangers in Arlington where the offense suddenly died in the bullpen began to come apart at the seams.
Houston then had a downer five-game homestand against two of the best teams in baseballs in the Dodgers and the Padres. Although they only went 2-3 in those games, their bullpen gave up walks and runs in bunches to the point that no lead was ever going to feel safe again. Despite the crash from the bullpen, Houston did manage to beat ace Blake Snell and self-titled “moralist” Trevor Bauer and his natural spin rate pitches.
However since those five games, the Astros have looked much better as a unit. They won three out of four games at home against the playoff perennial Boston Red Sox, then followed this up with a road series win against the Buffalo Blue Jays.
Despite the recent record, Houston’s offense continues to putt up good numbers. The Astros ranks7th in batting average (.251), 12th in slugging (.410) and 6th in OPS (.753) over the last 15 games — impressive considering they faced some elite pitching in the Padres and Dodgers.
Houston’s pitching is playing fairly well over the last two weeks – at least on the surface. The Astros are 9th in ERA (3.63) and 15th in WHIP (1.24), while only allowing opponents to hit .215 against them during this time. However, when you dive into the numbers, the late inning (7-9) pitching stats start to get alarming. Houston starting pitching ranks an impressive 6th in ERA during the first 6 innings of a game, but have been an abysmal 28th in ERA in from the seventh inning on. This shouldn’t surprise anyone after watching this bullpen give up dozens of walks to the Dodgers and huge bombs to elite hitters over and over for two weeks straight. It’s been a rollercoaster time for this bullpen, and Brent Strom will need to tame these wild arms soon.