Some October Astros Baseball Reflections


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.


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3 Responses to “Some October Astros Baseball Reflections”

  1. Rick B. Says:

    And if they don’t end up in the playoffs, let’s remember that .500 was the goal when the season began. They have holes to fill, no doubt, but if they keep progressing they way they have been, then the future is bright indeed, and I’ll gladly eat my helping of crow for my previous opinion of Luhnow and his fellow brain trust.

    Altuve, Correa, and Springer make me think of those days when guys like Biggio, Caminiti, and Bagwell were just beginning to make names for themselves and Keuchel, McHugh, and McCullers make me remember a pitching staff that had guys like Kile, Reynolds, and Hampton. Unfortunately, many of those guys had to go elsewhere to win (or at least participate in) a World Series. Let’s hope that scenario doesn’t repeat itself.

    The window of opportunity stays open for only a brief time – ask the Washingtion Nationals if they don’t now regret that fact that they didnt use Stephen Strasburg in the playoffs a few years ago.

    Go, Astros!! Win (both) and you’re in!

  2. gregclucas Says:

    Bill, I won’t ever prefer the DH but if MY compromise were ever added… it would not allow a “free” out automatically for the Astros since the manager would have access to one “free” PH for the pitcher without taking him out. Either the Dbacks would not walk the #8 hitter OR the Astros could have hit for Keuchel without removing him at the time. (He would have to hit for himself in ensuing ABs or be removed, but with the bases loaded you can be sure the skipper would have used his free PH card.) Some strategy remains.

  3. gregclucas Says:

    We must also allow that AL pitchers should be infinantly WORSE that NL pitcher since the latter is used to going to the plate. Of course the bottom line last night was 21-5 with the Astros scoring 21 while not having a DH!

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