ALCS: Astros Rolling Even as Jose Altuve Struggles, No Longer an Astro
A look at how the Astros have fared so far this season in their quest to win their first playoff series since 1997, and the best and worst of their prospects for their playoff run.
The Houston Astros have a habit of going on runs early, and when it doesn’t go their way, they usually come back with a two-run homer or an extra-inning rally to take the lead. They’re 4-3 in their initial 17 games, 10-1 in the first eight games and 6-2 so far in the playoffs.
The Astros have made a handful of pitching changeups (Kershaw, Hernan Perez, Hector Ambriz) and bullpen additions (Tyson Ross and Joaquin Arias) that have worked out well. Their bullpen has been the most successful unit in the American League, allowing just two earned runs over 20 innings and striking out 39.
But Houston has a long way to go until they can be considered serious contenders for a postseason series win.
“This is the biggest problem,” manager Bo Porter said after the Astros lost the first two games on Thursday. “You have to get a lot better offensively and a lot better defensively. The pitching and the defense has been terrific, but the offense has a long ways to go.”
Since the season started, Porter has made two pitching changes to go with some other shifts in philosophy. Houston began the season with a platoon of Zack Greinke and Dallas Keuchel, but in the last week it’s been one pitcher, each of which came off the disabled list on Sunday, who has dominated.
“Greinke has pitched better in the first seven games. It’s been a mixed bag,” Porter said. “I wasn’t sure if we were better offensively, but we’ve done some things right.”
It hasn’t been just the offense that has gotten the Astros to where