Correa to Altuve to Chance

October 5, 2015
Jose Altuve again led the AL with the most hits and stolen bases for the 2nd year in a row.

Jose Altuve again led the AL with the most hits and stolen bases for the 2nd year in a row.

Congratulations to our Houston Astros for making the 2015 AL Playoffs as the second wild card!

OK! So the Astros slipped out of the AL West title that they seemed to hold firmly for most of the season. We also said all summer that a club that wants a division crown also has to play well in September – and that ancient verity again proved to be true. – Wipe out that four game sweep that the Astros coughed up to Rangers on their last fated visit to Arlington and, in your minds only, suppose it into a 2-2 split that might have been with Texas. Had that split occurred, the two top AL West teams could swap places today in their actual finish. – The Astros would have won the AL West with a 88-74 mark and the Rangers would have finished second with an 86-76 mark.

But that isn’t how things play out, is it? The games don’t play out in our minds, or on paper, as the old wisdom prescribes. They play out on the field. And, who knows? Maybe a one-game ticket win over the Yankees in The Bronx is more favorable as an entry point for the Astros as a chance to play a series that starts in Kansas City with the Royals is a better shot than the Rangers now face in a series with the red-hot Blue Jays that begins in Canada!

i.e., We shall see.

Rookie Carlos Correa bedazzled the AL at short and also hit 22 HR in only 99 games.

Rookie Carlos Correa bedazzled the AL at short and also hit 22 HR in only 99 games.

The Pecan Park Eagle likes the chances of a club that has the arguably best keystone combination in baseball in shortstop Carlos Correa and second baseman Jose Altuve. Just look over the stats of each man – and they are only the recorded part of their story. Nobody’s perfect, but these guys make plays that other clubs have to concede as unplayable hits. – And they do it with such “spice and sparkle”, as people back in the 1930s once said – or with such “fervent ginger”, as cranks and writers from the 19th century into the “Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance” era of the 20th century’s first decade once proclaimed.

Current Complete 2015/Career Stats for ….

Carlos Correa ….

Jose Altuve ….

Tinker to Evers to Chance? There is an irony connection to this comparison of Correa and Altuve to Tinker and Evers of the old Cubs of Chicago. The first decade of the 20th century Cubs had first baseman Frank Chance, another future Hall of Famer, as the anchor man and poetic signature on their successful completion of double plays. – The 2015 Astros, on the other hand, leave first base to the open matter of “chance” – and to whomever seems best up to playing the position on a given day. – Do the names Singleton, Valbuena, Gonzalez, Carter, and Quasimodo ring any bells?

Go Astros! ~ Beat the Yankees!



Need Help with Your Hitting and Base Running?

October 4, 2015

Carter Hits 10

Carter Runs 9Nothing personal, Chris – and I’m not trying to be mean here. I’m just constantly surprised today by how many contemporary major leaguers seem to lack, or forget, the fundamentals of the game when it comes to learning the strike zone and picking up on what the pitchers are learning to do to send batters on a fishing trip into those inside and outside, high and low areas of the strike zone that are as barren of any payoff for hitters as the Dead Sea is to fishermen.

I also don’t get what’s going on with talents like yourself. Your first base skills have improved remarkably, and nobody will crush the ball any harder than you when you make contact. The balls you hit out of the park seem on their way to another world. It just doesn’t happen often enough to justify the fact that you have been mired under .200 for way too long. You have the intelligence, the temperament, and the athletic ability to learn and fight your way out of this ceiling on greater opportunity – and you must do so before that same ceiling freezes you out of a much longer MLB future. You have one – but only if you can learn to cut down on the strikeouts and hit for a better average, especially with runners in scoring position.

The base running issues I and some others have with you seem to have more to do with focus than anything else, but it does appear that your size and slugging ability also has left you out of some of the fundamental practice on the basics  of base running. That doesn’t fly. You got tagged out a couple of nights ago after sliding into 3rd base safely for then breaking contact with the base as you were arising from the dirt. C’mon, Chris! The 3rd baseman had the glove-enclosed ball resting on your back the whole time you were getting up. Of course, you were called out. As soon as you broke contact with the base under those circumstances, you were going to be called out.

Then, in the first game blow-out win over Arizona, you were the runner at 2nd base when a ground ball was hit in front of you to shortstop. You kept on running – straight into an easy 6-5 put out. – What were you thinking? I’m sure you’ve heard the old rule about grounders when you are the runner at 2nd. It they are hit behind you, especially slowly, go for it. If they are hit in front of you, especially, if they are hit sharply and you are not a speed-burner, hold back on any advance, if at all, until you see the shortstop’s actual play on the ball. – I have to believe you know that rule – as well as the big one. – Never run your team out of scoring opportunity. – Make that mis-run. It’s a better fitting phrase.

Please take what I’m writing here in the right spirit. We fans want to see our guys succeed and I happen to like you and also think you’ve got a level of talent as a power hitter that you have yet to reach. You just can’t afford to avoid the reality that most careers in baseball are hinged upon whether or not the decision-makers still are regarding a player as a prospect – and not as a suspect. Once you move into the “suspect” category, there really is not much of a chance of ever getting out again.

Age is the time clock here too. And here’s the easiest test: Ask yourself.- How many prospects do you know in the 25 and younger group? Then ask – how many prospects do I know in the 26 and older group?

Go get ’em good and early next spring, Chris Carter. You can do it – but will you?

Some October Astros Baseball Reflections

October 3, 2015


Regarding that 21-Run New Astros Game Scoring Record ~ Let’s hope the team doesn’t need 4 of them in the games of Saturday and Sunday. This is no time for the bats to go back to sleep as the Astros drop two 1-0 games to end the season. I’m not predicting, I’m just saying … based upon the past after big scoring wins, the thought occurs.

Changing My Mind About the DH ~ I’m sorry, folks. Maybe it’s my age, or my thirst for action, but I’ve become an AL/DH convert. I got absolutely no thrill out of watching Dallas Keuchel come to bat with the bases loaded last night by courtesy of an intentional walk to Jason Castro.

You know the next batter must be pretty harmless, if the other club is willing to let Jason Castro have a free ride – just to get to the guy that follows.

And Arizona was right, of course. A grinning Keuchel struck out to end the inning – and the possibility of an even earlier rout of the D-Backs.

Base Running 101 Needs to Be on the Agenda Next Spring ~ I’m still cranked about that appealed out at 3rd base on Chris Carter in the last game at Seattle. I said this yesterday, but feel the need to include it again under today’s reflections: Put Base Running 101 on the agenda for next spring training, Astros!

Runners like Carter at 3rd base need to learn: When you are down in the dirt, holding onto the bag after being called safe, that you need to keep two options in mind: (1) Stay in touch with the bag and ask for a timeout that will allow you to arise without being called out for letting go contact with the bag; or, (2) keep in mind as you are arising without calling time out and the fielder continues to hold his ball-in-glove hand on your back as you attempt your rise from the dirt that it is absolutely essential that you keep some part of your body in continuous contact with the bag as you work your way again to a standing position. Otherwise, as happened with our Mr. Carter, you will be called out by the contact that has now become an out-tag.

Catching ~ As pitchers become more reliant upon that breaking ball in the dirt to get a strikeout with a potentially critical run riding with the runner on 3rd base, catchers need to keep in mind and learn to execute what Alan Ashby suggested last night: “Don’t try to catch it with your glove from a squatting position. As you see it coming, get your body to the ground and block it from getting past you.” – Does that make any sense, Hank Conger?

Pitching ~ One of the Astros’ relievers, Pat Neshek, lost at least two of the games on this last home stand and the only loss in Seattle on this road trip. I don’t for sure, but it appears to be one of those cases of a guy just putting too many pitches over the fat part of the plate at critical moments. Once the hitters get past his herky-jerky delivery, what they see looks good enough to eat – and even better to hit. He needs to put out of service for now.

Managerial ~ Although it appears that Astros field manager A.J. Hinch already sees it, this is no time to risk using Neshek again in the 2015 season. We cannot trust him with the ball when the game is on the line. There will be plenty of time to evaluate his future value to the club, if any, once the current season is finally drained of what remains of bright possibility.

Our Three Bright Stars in the Field ~ All we have to do is think of their names as we watch their growing list of contributions. Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve, and George Springer. – Carlos Correa’s 22 home runs is now the all time franchise record for an Astros rookie. – Jose Altuve is only five hits short of 2oo for the second season in a row with two games left to play. – George Springer is showing signs of moving to a higher level of production as a hitter for average as the season nears its end.

Our Three Bright Stars on the Mound ~ Dallas Keuchel is now a 20-game winner a leading candidate for the Cy Young. If Collin McHugh wins at Arizona today, he will have 19 wins for the season. Lance McCullers is shaping up as a young and powerful figure in the Astros starting rotation.

Weekend Hope ~ There is only one. That is – that we end up in the 2015 playoffs – somehow.


eagle logo

And Down The Stretch They Come

October 2, 2015
After Thursday's 5-3 loss to the Rangers, the Angels are new the biggest question mark in the race for a WC-spot, but

After Thursday’s 5-3 loss to the Rangers, the Angels are now the biggest question mark in the race for an AL WC-spot, but “it ain’t over til it’s over!”

AL West Standings, Morning, Friday, October 2, 2015:

RANGERS-y 3 vs. Angels 87 72 .547 ~
ASTROS 3 @ Arizona 84 75 .528 3
ANGELS 3 @ Rangers 83 76 .522 4

x -clinched division title; y – clinched playoff berth

The magic number for the Rangers over the Astros for the AL West title is now “1”.

The magic number for the Astros over the Angels for the 2nd wild card spot is now “3”.

Our best bet now? Let’s hope for the Rangers to punch out the Angels while the Astros win-out against Arizona. We won’t have to win a single game against the D-Backs if the Rangers now win-out, but we can’t afford to think that way. (“E” to TPPE, see PM ADDENDUM below.) The Astros need to think “win the game we are playing today” for the rest of the way – even into the playoffs, if we punch our SRO, last WC-spot ticket. We could force a one-game playoff for the AL West title by winning out, but that would require the Angels to take their last three games against the Rangers, but that is less likely to happen.

Besides, either way, our next prize could be a one-game playoff at Texas against the Rangers for the AL West berth  – or a one-game playoff in New York against the Yankees as the #2 WC team. – Here at The Eagle, we like the Astros’ chances in one road game better at New York than at Texas.

About last night. – Valbuena and Carter both made up for some bonehead fielding and costly base running earlier with some late inning HR heroics, but I still would like to see spring training next year do a little more to incorporate catching pop flies, sliding, and keeping some part of your body on the base after a close play on 2nd or 3rd in which the fielder is resting the ball on your back as you attempt to rise from the dirt.


PM ADDENDUM: Thanks to Mike McCroskey, I have been correctively reminded that we cannot afford to think that way because the Twins also have a 83-76 record tie with the Angels. We have no choice but to win out because the Twins could still slip by us with a miraculous run of wins over the Royals at home in Minneapolis if we do not.



The AL West Win-Out Scenarios

October 1, 2015
The Pecan Park Eagle and his Gammie Beeville, TX, 1939 "Never Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch!"

The Pecan Park Eagle and his Gammie
Beeville, TX, 1939
“Never Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch!”

With the Astros down to 3 games at Arizona and the Rangers and Angels meeting in Arlington for 4 games to conclude their seasons, FOX SPORTS frames this zany down-to-the-wire pennant race very well. – We could end up in the AL West with a three-club tie that would require a 2-game divisional crown playoff prior to the scheduled 1-game meeting between the two AL wild cards at the home of the club with he best record:


The Angels close the season with four games at Texas. The Astros close with three games at Arizona. If the Angels win three of four in Texas, and if the Astros sweep the Diamondbacks, that would leave the Angels, Houston and Texas with the same record.

That scenario would guarantee the Angels a postseason spot because they have a better record against both Texas and Houston. Those two clubs would then play a one-game playoff on Monday with the winner advancing to play the Angels on Tuesday. The winner of THAT game would win the West, and the loser would go play the Yankees in the Wild Card game.



What happens, however, if the Astros win-out in their 3-game series in Arizona that starts tomorrow, while either the Rangers or Angels win all 4 games they have scheduled against each other, starting today, Thursday, October 1, 2015? Here’s a two-table look at that scenario.

Table One shows the final AL West standings, if the Astros win their 3 and the Rangers take their 4 against the Angels:

RANGERS   IF WIN 4   90   72   .556   ~
ASTROS   IF WIN 3   87   75   .537   3
ANGELS   IF LOSE 4   83   79   .512   7

Table One provides a clear finish for Texas. The Rangers would take the AL West division title place in the playoffs. The Astros would also clinch a wild card spot, eliminating the Twins, who already have 76 losses, but also possibly allowing Houston to slip past the Yankees for the 1st wild card position by one game, while opening the door for a possible tie for the second wild card spot between the Yankees and Twins, who could possibly wind up with tied with 86-76 records.

Table Two show the final AL West standings, if the Astros win their 3 and the Angels take their 4 against the Rangers:

ASTROS   IF WIN 3   87   75   .537   ~
ANGELS   IF WIN 4   87   75   .537   ~
RANGERS   IF LOSE 4   86   76   .531   1

Table Two results would set up a one-game playoff between the Astros and Angels for the AL West title. The game would be played at Anaheim because of the Angels’ superior head-to-head season record against the Astros. The loser would get one of the wild card spots, depending upon how the Yankees do over this final weekend. The Yankees would have to lose all four of their remaining games and the Twins would have to win all four of their last ones to set up a tie between those two clubs for the second WC spot.

General Thoughts

No matter how you slice it, it’s been an interesting season. The only thing that has saved me from disappointment this just concluded month of September is the fact of September itself. I was finally able to parlay all my seasons with the game into a memory that never left me through all those high-flying days of the summer of watching the Astros gliding along in first place in the AL West.

One thought prevailed: “The Astros still have play this well in September.”

They didn’t. And here we are. But the tempering remembrance that the season also includes the games of September did prove for me the validity of an ancient wisdom that all of us know, but often forget, and I heard it originally from my great-grandmother at her country home near Beeville so many years ago. And “Gammie”, God Bless her, was born prior to the Civil War.

Modern social observers have  spruced up the thought in these terms:

“Disappointment is the downside of expectation!”

My preference is for the way Gammie and others from her now gone generation put it:

“Never count your chickens before they hatch!”

No matter what happens now, I’m ready for October, one day at a time.


Note: Today’s new column notice came from the few small Bcc e-mails I am sending to a few groups of 20 people I practically cannot do this for everyone on the total mailing list in this manual form. So, please pass the word to anyone else you may know who gets the column, but may not get this notice.

We are still working on finding a reasonable server that will allow The Pecan Park Eagle to publish mass e-mail notifications of our normally daily columns to the hundreds who welcome them. Until that happens, we will not be publishing regularly, but we do expect to get back to our old pace soon. In the meanwhile, readers may always go the site on their own to find whatever may be ne new material by clicking this link:

Thank you for both your loyalty and your patience.







Rangers Still Holding the Catbird Seat

September 27, 2015
rare photo of an actual catbird

rare photo of an actual catbird

In spite of Saturday’s Six Astros homers and 9-7, stop-the-bleeding win over the Rangers, the boys from North Texas still hold their smiling spot in the “catbird seat” as probable winners of he AL West champions ticket into the 2015 AL playoffs for a World Series table for two.

With seven games left, including a final road game against the Astros today at Minute Maid Park, the Texas Rangers hold a 3.5 game lead over our Houston heroes. The sudden improbability that their second place intrastate rivals will suddenly become one of the hottest six-game road teams in history as the Rangers also discover that their own kind of winning momentum is like the thousand pound rock, rolling down hill. – How often do fast rolling half-ton rocks suddenly reverse directions going down the hill on their red hot dates with Mama Gravity? – Only those who recall the 1951 Brooklyn Dodgers know the answer to that question.

Going into Sunday’s game, the Astros need to again beat the Rangers in their final meeting of the season just to stay ahead of the Angels and Twins for that second wild card spot and a chance to knock off the Yankees, the higher ranked wild card holder, for a full spot in the four club AL Division Series against either the Blue Jays or Rangers, who are now both tied for the best record in the AL.

That route won’t be any easy-go for the Astros, but worthwhile ambition ever is?

It’s time to do as old Bidge used to always remind us Astros fans. We need to take each game left, one day at a time, as the only game that needs to be won – and then just do it. The Angels and Twins are going to be nipping at the Astros all the way over the next week – and not from an anterior perspective. Unless the Astros are able to heed and fulfill the wisdom of Craig Biggio, and A.J. Hinch too, for sure, they are only a loss today, coupled by an Angels win, into becoming just one of the posterior-biting desperado clubs themselves.

On this Sunday morning, the Astros are only a (0.5) half-game up on the Angels – and a (1.5) game and one-half up on the Twins.

Well, let’s be honest, the Astros, Angels, and Twins are all desperado clubs this week. The only difference is, as all Houston fans know – is that the Astros held a lease on first place in the AL West for almost the entire 2015 season. – Much to our deflation, however, they just forgot to renew the deal to include September.

By the way, if you are interested in that od expression, “in the catbird seat,” here’s an interesting note about it from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary site:

“In the catbird seat” was among the numerous folksy expressions that legendary baseball broadcaster Red Barber used to delight listeners. Some say he invented the expression; others say that he dug it up from his Southern origins. But the truth may be far stranger than those rumors. In a 1942 short story titled “The Catbird Seat,” James Thurber featured a character, Mrs. Barrows, who liked to use the phrase. Another character, Joey Hart, explained that Mrs. Barrows must have picked up the expression from Red Barber. To Red, according to Joey, “sitting in the catbird seat” meant “‘sitting pretty,’ like a batter with three balls and no strikes on him.” But, according to Barber’s daughter, it was only after Barber read Thurber’s story that he started using “in the catbird seat” himself.


PS: At The Pecan Park Eagle, we are still working without a replacement plan for new column notices now that the faceless, human-less, and gutless Google has shut us down by categorizing our mass email Bcc notices as Spam. In the meanwhile, please feel free to just check into the site on your own to see if there is any new material you may have missed. A publication deadline and another minor health issue of the past week has also intervened to cut down our normal daily production, but we will be back soon. Thanks for both your loyalty and your patience. – Bill McCurdy.



Slip Slidin’ Away

September 24, 2015


“Slip slidin’ away
Slip slidin’ away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you’re slip slidin’ away”

~ Paul Simon

For whatever reason of coincidence or thematic association, Wednesday afternoon’s results at Minute Maid Park today were remindful of that classic old Paul Simon song.

I had to watch it at home with a bad head cold, but it wasn’t any prettier from the unobstructed, high definition, multiple angle coverage provided by the up-and-earnest ROOT television network. My only advantage is that I didn’t have to drive out the Katy Freeway at rush hour when the clock of doom finally struck for certain in the bottom of the 9th.

“Slip slidin’ away,” all right. It sure is.

Throw in “some’s gotta win, some’s gotta lose, Good Time Charlie’s got the blues.”

Somebody has to fold in this tight race to the 2015 MLB playoffs – and why shouldn’t it be the Astros? When a club that has just rallied to capture their first one-run lead in the 7th, why shouldn’t the Astros be the ones to blow it in the 8th by again putting the game in the hands of “all motion/no stuff” reliever Pat Neshek to give up that cruncher David Freese two-out double to left center that made the difference. This was the second game that Neshek has lost for the Astros on this once critical, now critically disappointing home stand.

Now all the Astros have to do is sweep the Rangers in three at home and probably win out or post nothing less than a 5-1 record on their final road trip next week to avoid this season becoming just the latest letdown in our club’s long history of same. And please, we all know – it’s not just Neshek. Someone other than Altuve or Correa has to bring their bats into these games earlier – and in critical scoring situations. – We need to stop giving up 3 to 4 runs in the first inning to clubs like the Angels or Rangers – and then rolling up “three and out” innings until somebody on our side starts a desperation move in the 8th or 9th. – Yes, we need to play each game as though we already understood that it is OK to have good hitting and good pitching in the same game.

C’mon, Astros! ~ Spare us fans from the bitter end that is the foreboding message of the Paul Simon song. We heard it playing Wednesday – and we already know it by heart.



The Alleged 100 Worst Players of All Time

September 20, 2015
"Am I really the worst player of all time?" ~ Mario Mendoza

“Am I really the worst player of all time?”
~ Mario Mendoza


Darrell Pittman sent me a link this evening to the DeadSpin.Com’s list of the 100 worst players of all time in MLB history.

Not surprisingly, Mario Mendoza, icon of the infamous “Mendoza Line” for low batting average was named as the worst, followed by another easy punch, the selection of funny man Bob Uecker as the second pick.

The first Astro to show up on the list is Curt Blefary at the #15 spot. Blefary was the wonderful bargain that Spec Richardson grabbed for Houston from the Baltimore Orioles ages ago. What a deal! It only cost the Astros a future multiple-year 20-game winner in lefty Mike Cuellar, plus however many fan strokes and heart attacks that resulted as residual citizen casualties.

Eddie Gaedel, all 3’7″ of him, who took ne walk for the old St. Louis Browns and then retired with a career OBP of 1.000 was ranked a peg ahead of Blefary at #14. And that says a lot. For one thing, it says that the vertically challenged Gaedel, who never had played baseball prior to his major league debut, was regarded by the folks at DeadSpin.Com as superior to the 13 men who have preceded him in the poll, if there even was one. The whole thing could be the creative genius of some lone baseball wizened one.

Other Astros on the list include #18 J.R. Phillips, #22 Brian L. Hunter, #31 Jose Lima, #61 Mark Lemongello, #67 Casey Candaele, #73 Enos Cabell, #86 Tuffy Rhodes, and #92 Anthony Young.

Even if every guy here pegged as an Astro also played for other MLB teams, there are a total of 9 chosen for this infamous list as having played some big league time for Houston. In only 53 years of existence, far less half the time that professional has existed, could the Astros possibly contributed 9 names to any list of the 100 worst players of all time – regardless of how sordid, murky, or flippant the original standards were.

Have a nice Sunday – and please remember – I will not be sending these notices much longer. So, please, either stay with us on your own by checking the site at or else, contact WordPress about a subscription through them that will automatically notify you of new columns. The WordPress link is

Regards, Bill McCurdy, Publisher/Editor, The Pecan Park Eagle




Milo Gave Back to Houston Big Time

September 18, 2015
Milo Hamilton 1927 ~ 2015

Milo Hamilton
1927 ~ 2015


During the four years I served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame (TBHOF), no one was more helpful to the effort in Houston than Milo Hamilton, the radio Voice of the Houston Astros from 1987 through 2012. Appropriately, Milo was honored as the 1992 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award winner for baseball broadcasters, a rare and coveted recognition that only goes out to the best of the best at what they do.

Milo Hamilton also was a force of energy in this community as a volunteer participant in more charitable causes that we could possibly hope to list over the course of short time and column space this morning. All I know from the personal experience we had with Milo as the only Master of Ceremonies we knew during the TBHOF’s brief time in Houston was that nobody could have done it better. He brought positive energy and an upbeat sense of humor about all things to his role as time-management director of the annual banquet program. And he had the greatest projected voice of clear speech I’ve ever heard from a program MC. Every guest in attendance easily could hear every word that Milo said – and, just as importantly, feel all of the genuine enthusiasm he transmitted through his manner of expression.

Milo could have brought enthusiasm to a most tasty three-minute egg boiling contest. He also brought that same kind of broadcasting energy to quite a few Astros baseball seasons that otherwise were about as interesting as a boiling egg.

Milo Hamilton’s death on Thursday, September 17, 2015, at age 88, is our profound loss. We already miss him.

Holy Toledo, Milo! Your departure means that Houston baseball just lost one of its biggest friends!

Rest in Peace, Milo Hamilton. Our love and affection goes with you.


ADMINISTRATIVE NOTE: Since 2009, The Pecan Park Eagle has used Gmail to send “new column” notices to hundreds of readers without a problem – until this week. Three days ago, however, for some unclear reason, Gmail has mistakenly identified my Gmail address as a probable spam base and made it impossible for us to send our usual daily notices.

It would seem to be an easily resolvable problem if it were possible to speak with a human being at Gmail, bu that is not an option. Gmail, like all Google programs, apparently expects users to find their answers for help from the robots, and, after three days of trying, I give up.

While I still do not have a way to reach everyone at once about this issue, here’s what I choose to suggest to those of you find this notice:

(1) If you wish to have an automatic “new column” notice, please go directly to WordPress and register as a WordPress subscriber to The Pecan Park Eagle:


(2) Simply check in to The Pecan Park Eagle daily to see what’s new. There usually will be. I sometimes publish my columns either late at night or early the next morning.  – No foul for checking more than once on the same day. – Just go direct directly to our site:

We resuming our columns today in the hope that those of us who counted upon our contact through Gmail will now find our way back together in spite of Gmail or some transferred reliance to some other fickle server site.

Thanks for both your patience and loyalty – and please help us spread this word to others you may know who have relied upon those Gmail notices for confirmation of new material.


Bill McCurdy, Publisher, The Pecan Park Eagle


eagle logo

All Time Astros Hitting Stats

September 15, 2015
Darrell Pittman Our Baseball Researcher

Darrell Pittman
Our Pecan Park Eagle Baseball Researcher
“Nobody Does it Better or with More Passion for Accuracy!”

He’s done it again. Big time, this time.

The indefatigable baseball researcher we all know as Darrell Pittman has come up with just about all the nuts and bolts that have gone into Houston MLB batting history against right and left handed pitchers, separately and collectively, since the franchise began in 1962, and running through the completion of last season’s 2014 data.

If you bear in mind that “RH” signifies right-handed batter, “RP” symbolizes right-handed pitcher, and that “LH/LP” bear the same values for players performing on the southpaw side, the following table will read easily on just a few of the data items that Darrell has captured.

There is much more to the data base. I simply could not come up with a readable format for displaying it here on short notice, forcing me to fall back on my personal rule about data charts and tables: “If you can’t make it neat – relax and delete.”

If anything, the data stands as confirmation that opposite hand hitter-pitcher match-ups do result in an overall advantage to the batter.

Through 2014, the Houston MLB team batting average was .254. For me, that information simply confirmed why I still harbor affection for .300 as the “Mantle Crying Line” for greatness with the stick. Mantle forever lamented  that his performance fell hard off the hitting cliff after 1964 and carried him through his final four seasons to a .298 finish in 1968, his last call, for hitting, at least.

When he has time, I will ask Darrell for his sources on the compilation of this data – and the much more me he sent me that is not shown here. When that narrative is available, we will add it to this column as an addendum to this post.

Meanwhile, enjoy what you may derive from this limited display and please do not be shy about posting your comments and questions below.

RH v RP 118159 29474 2852 .249 .378 .311
LH v RP 86703 22543 1764 .260 .385 .334
RH v LP 66449 17222 1469 .259 .386 .328
LH v LP 15603 3665 221 .235 .330 .300
All v RP 204862 52017 4616 .254 .381 .321
All v LP 82052 20887 1690 .255 .375 .322
All v All 286914 72904 6306 .254 .379 .321

Thanks, The Pecan Park Eagle.


Addendum source Information from Darrell Pittman, 9/15/15 (same date as column):

The data source is Retrosheet. More specifically, the season batting splits pages that start at:

and go up through:

I used the first section of each page, labeled “Batting Splits”. (The lower section, labeled “Pitching Splits” appears to be opponents’ batting against our pitchers.) The software just downloaded and added up the “Batting Splits” figures from the season pages.

~ Darrell Pittman




Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 68 other followers