Posts Tagged ‘“What Else Could Be Perfect For Us?”’

What Else Could Be Perfect For Us?

September 27, 2018

“I wonder what else could be perfect for the three of us?”

 

Most of you in the Houston area have seen the entertaining HEB Food Store TV commercials which feature the Astros’ “Big Three” stars from 2017 ~ namely Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, and George Springer. If so, then you recall the one in which a fun game of miniature golf among them causes Springer to exclaim how “perfect” this fun has been as it also  inspires Altuve to smile and place his hand on his chin as he gazes off to some far horizon.

“I wonder what else could be perfect for the three of us?” Altuve considers.

We then get to watch some funny possibilities in the commercial, but none include the question, “Will the 2018 season be as perfect for the three of us as the 2017 season tried to be?” I say “tried to be” because Jose Altuve was the only member of the Astros Musketeers to use 2017 as a big connecting dot to his eventually possible induction into the Hall of Fame. The two others simply posted productive years and leadership to a young team that was on its way to a dramatic pursuit and capture of the franchise’s first World Series victory.

For reasons of injury and whatever, none of the three most famous contemporary Astro position players have escaped downturns in their personal records in 2018 on a club that features Justin Verlander for a full season as a starter, the addition of Gerrit Cole as full season member of the rotation, the acquisition of Roberto Osuna as one of the best closers in baseball, a general improvement in the relief staff, the total team balance upgrade, and the offensive coming of age by Alex Bregman as a blossoming sky’s-the-limit star.

In brief, Springer needs to regain the confidence and concentration that allowed him to be one of the most feared lead-off hitters in the American League in 2017. Altuve simply needs time to fully recover and get back to full capacity as a great hitter. Nobody, not even Altuve, wins a batting championship every season. And Correa needs to fully recover from the back injury that still plays with his muscles and his mind in matters that require the body to move  abruptly down to catch or swing at a fast-moving baseball. If you’ve ever had a back injury, as I have too, then you also know that the threat of that electrically painful shock at any moment plants a threat that does nothing to relax any free movement.

Here are some statistical comparisons for each of these Astro stars which show 2017 production versus the same data for 2018 through September 26, 2018:

Jose Altuve G AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BA SA
2017 153 590 112 204 81 39 4 24 .346 .547
2018 to 9/25 134 525 84 165 61 28 2 13 .314 .451
George Springer G AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BA SA
2017 140 548 112 155 85 29 0 34 .283 .522
2018 to 9/25 138 539 100 143 69 26 0 21 .265 .430
Carlos Correa G AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BA SA
2017 109 422 82 133 84 25 1 24 .315 .391
2018 to 9/25 107 390 59 93 62 19 1 14 .238 .323

What Else Could Be Perfect For Us Fans, Jose? How about you guys coming together just in time to win us a 2019 season that’s filled with another round of ~ this time ~ Replica 2018 2nd Astros World Series Victory Ring giveaways with the purchase of certain target date home game tickets?

And, oh yes, Good Luck in the near-at-hand 2018 ALDS versus the Cleveland Indians, Astros!

 

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Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

 

“What Else Could Be Perfect For Us?”

September 1, 2018

“What Else Could the Three of Us Do Together That Would Be Perfect for Us?” ~ Asks Jose Altuve in the popular HEB Food TV Commercials.*

* Well, Jose, as we wrote about more generally this morning in our Thursday column, you three guys could get together and, just by being the actual talents you each already are, and solve the mystery of the missing hum in our batting order.

Forever Framber. The absence of early run support for rookie pitcher Framber Valdez, was sorely felt Friday and could not be overcome alone by his great talent and personal confidence in his own stuff. It got him through five scoreless innings and a yield of only two Angel hits, but a run charged to him in the sixth caught Valdez with his first MLB loss when veteran Colin McHugh couldn’t resist letting that runner score and adding a couple of extra runs from his own bag as his Astros reliever that same inning.

As our latest victimized starter to suffer from the lack of early run support, young Valdez deserved a better fate, but that’s not how it works in this era. In low early scoring games, the pitch count almost guarantees that at least one of the starters is going to receive a loss that’s more tied to his club’s lack of early hitting than it is his own quality mound work. It not only happens to the greats of Justin Verlander’s rarified ilk, but to rookies like Framber Valdez as well.

Unfortunately, Jose, you three HEB store stars did accomplish something in the bottom of the eighth that we hope to not see again too often. With the Astros trailing, 3-0, Josh Reddick led off the bottom of the eighth with a single to center and went to third on a sharp double down the right field line by Tony Kemp.

Wow! Hope springs again! With runners on 2nd and 3rd, and nobody out, here comes George Springer to the plate with a chance to either make this a one-run deficit game with a hit that stays in the park ~ or maybe he even ties it up with one of his still famous “dingers” into the Crawford Boxes that also jars the nuts loose from the screws holding the rafters in place at MMP.

Doesn’t happen. After a spirited struggle with some serious heat from the 6’6″ Angels’ Ty Buttrey, George Springer fans for the first out. Alex Bregman then walks against the giant speedballer Angel to load the bases with one out.

“MVP! MVP! MVP!” becomes the crowd’s game soundtrack as you walk to the plate this time, Jose Altuve. Wow! Any Astros fan could write the movie version for Hollywood, We all know when the pregnant moment has arrived, And this is it: It’s our “Popeye” taking on their “Blutto” to the bittersweet resolution of all conflict.

But somebody forgot the spinach.

Jose Altuve goes down swinging hard for the second out. Now it’s up to Carlos Correa to do something about those three potential scoring starers at each base/ He give it his all, running the count all the way out, but there’s apparently too much rust left upon him as a result of the DL time away. Carlos Correa pops a feebly low pop fly down the first base line near the bag. It’s on its way to becoming out number three and the eighth inning rally’s final third failure.

We all witness the frustration in Correa. It is a perplex that we all share, by the way, in this latest moment of joy denied. Again. Carlos Correa tries to strangle the bat on his hapless trot to first during the short air flight of out number three. The ball is easily caught for the third out and the last call for any serious chance of winning this game dies unanswered..

OK, so most of us around here understand that baseball pretty much imitates everything about life, except for the pay scale, but let’s hope this business of you three special guys almost single handedly killing our best chance of winning a particular game in a single inning together doesn’t happen again ~ or, at least, anytime soon.

Just be something near your 2017 selves, if possible, and everything should be OK again.

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A Peek at the AL Batting Average Race 

Through Games of 8/31/18: 

BATTING AVERAGE

1. Mookie Betts

Boston Red Sox

.341

2. J.D. Martinez

Boston Red Sox

.333

3. Jose Altuve

Houston Astros

.326

4. Jean Segura

Seattle Mariners

.317

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AL WEST Contender Scores

Through Games of 8/31/18:

LA Angels 3 – Houston 0.

Oakland 7 – Seattle 5.

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AL WEST STANDINGS:

Morning of Sat., 9/01/18

TEAMS

WON

LOST

PCT.

GB

Houston

82

53

.607

 —-

Oakland

81

55

.596

   2.5

Seattle

75

60

.556

   7.0

LA Angels

66

69

.489

 16.0

Texas

58

77

.430

 24.0

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SEPTEMBER

1

LAA

SEA

@ OAK

2

LAA

SEA

@ OAK

3

MIN

NYY

BAL

4

MIN

NYY

BAL

5

MIN

NYY

BAL

6

7

@BOS

TEX

NYY

8

@BOS

TEX

NYY

9

@BOS

TEX

NYY

10

@DET

11

@DET

@BAL

SD

12

@DET

@BAL

SD

13

@BAL

@LAA

14

AZ

@TB

@LAA

15

AZ

@TB

@LAA

16

AZ

@TB

@LAA

17

SEA

@HOU

18

SEA

LAA

@HOU

19

SEA

LAA

@HOU

20

LAA

21

LAA

MIN

@TEX

22

LAA

MIN

@TEX

23

LAA

MIN

@TEX

24

@TOR

@SEA

OAK

25

@TOR

@SEA

OAK

26

@TOR

@SEA

OAK

27

@BAL

TEX

28

@BAL

@LAA

TEX

29

@BAL

@LAA

TEX

30

@BAL

@LAA

TEX

 

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Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle