January 17, 2021

Fact-checking the Houston Astros’ slow start (ESPN)

The numbers stand out more than they normally would after 16 Major League Baseball games — for reasons we are all too familiar with that involved banging garbage cans and other Houston Astros-related nonsense in 2017 and into the 2018 season:

Jose Altuve: .183
George Springer: .182
Alex Bregman: .224

Those were the batting averages for three of the Astros ‘ All-Stars following Monday’s win, and let’s just say those numbers — along with Houston’s 7-9 record — were putting smiles on the faces of baseball fans across America, even if those fans can’t attend games to boo the Astros.

Do those low batting averages mean anything after barely two weeks of action? Other than giving fans a chance to scream “Cheaters!” at their television sets, that is? After all, Anthony Rendon is batting .143, Eugenio Suarez is hitting .132, Gleyber Torres and Christian Yelich are both at .157, Rafael Devers is at .175, and Cody Bellinger is at a meager .176 with little power output. All superstar hitters last year and bums so far in 2020. Nobody is calling them cheaters.

“It’s definitely a tough spot for us right now,” outfielder Josh Reddick said after Sunday’s brawling loss to the A’s to…

Read “Fact-checking the Houston Astros’ slow start” at ESPN