Jose Altuve can't be retired. Yordan Alvarez is hitting home runs again. Alex Bregman has woken back up in 2019. Michael Brantley looks like he's played everyday for the last 14 months rather than missing 14 months. Chas McCormick has turned himself into an All-Star caliber performer. Yainer Diaz would win rookie of the year if his manager would play him. Jeremy Peña has found form again. Kyle Tucker leads the league in RBI.
That sound you hear? It's a freight train rolling through. The Astros offense finally looks like the unstoppable forced they had assembled this offseason.
Now, to be fair, weathering the losses of Jose Altuve and Yordan Alvarez is a next to impossible task. Over the last two years, only Aaron Judge has a higher WRC+ than Altuve and Alvarez. They're two of the five best hitters in the game.
But season-long slumps from José Abreu and Jeremy Peña, continued setbacks for Michael Brantley, irregular playing time for Chas McCormick, and a rather pedestrian season for Alex Bregman left the offense scuffling.
Once the second half hit and the team got healthy, the floodgates opened. Over the second half of the season, Houston is hitting .279 with an .829 OPS.
Since the All-Star Break, they've arguably been the best offense in baseball. No team has more hits and only the Braves have outscored Houston.
After their "rock bottom" loss to the Tigers on Friday, the Astros are 5-0. They've scored 10.2 runs per game in those five games, and just set a franchise record with 78 hits over the five games.
The offensive explosion resulted in the first sweep of the Red Sox at Fenway Park in franchise history, and a tie for first place in the AL West.
For the month, the entire lineup exploded. Alex Bregman just hit .318 with 21 RBI and a .959 OPS in August. Chas McCormick and Yainer Diaz combined for 12 home runs in the month. Altuve hit .354 with a .952 OPS in August. Jeremy Peña evolved into a patient hitter and strung together the best regular season month of his career. Yordan Alvarez ended the longest homerless streak of his career. Kyle Tucker only hit .255, but his eight home runs were the most he has hit in any month this season.
Even the struggling José Abreu has gotten in on the action. Since coming off the IL, Abreu is 6-20 with a home run and six RBI.
If the Astros can get contribution from their first baseman, and a continued resurgence from Jeremy Peña, they have one of their deepest and best lineups of the Golden Era. Just like so many envisioned when the season began.