The Houston Astros were the hottest team in baseball over the past two weeks, but a speed bump in Detroit combined with leaving runners on base has brought them back down to Earth. A.J. Hinch knows his former players better than any other opposing manager in baseball, which is why his rebuilding team plays so well against a juggernaut.
From Zack Greinke’s respectable start to another bullpen collapse, the starting pitching couldn’t spare our eyes from another implosion. Taylor Jones was optioned to Triple-A for Andre Scrubb to bring another bullpen arm into the picture. Jones wasn’t getting consistent at-bats anymore, so a stint in Sugar Land could help him out.
With the Astros coming off a dominant last two weeks, they are behind in this offensive category.
With a great stretch of putting runners on base, you can expect a larger number of players getting stranded. It happens, while it is another aspect of the game. But this season, the Astros are bottom two in leaving runners on base, which has been evident in the last three losses.
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Missed opportunities with runners in scoring position can be made as an argument for a team not winning, but if the bullpen hadn’t surrendered six runs, it would be another discussion. More runners on base leads to more possible chances to score and more left on.
As a team, the Astros are 29th in MLB with an average of 15.72 runners stranded per game, only in front of the Los Angeles Dodgers. This number being high shouldn’t be something to immensely worry about since the Astros lead the league in runs per game (5.68). It just helps provide an explanation for why the offense has opportunities to backup the bullpen.
The Astros did have a rally going in the bottom of the ninth inning, but with the bases juiced and then two runners on, Jose Altuve and Michael Brantley couldn’t produce more than one run. You know it is a tough night when these two go for a combined 1-for-9. It is just another number out of 162, as Houston looks to not lose a series for the first time in June on Tuesday.
Houston is back on the field on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. with Jose Urquidy off the rubber against a pitcher to be named later for the Orioles.