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Astros History: Two Houston Reliever Win 58 Percent Of Their Decisions

Forgive me a slight rounding error on this one. For Houston's 58th game of the season, we're going to look at two Astros reliever who won 57.9 percent of their games with the Astros. Round up, and you get a winning percentage of 58.

Who are these two bastions of winning-ness?

The first is Doug Henry. Houston acquired the right-hander during free agency in 1998, signing him to a two year, $1.5 million dollar deal and then re-signing him after the 1999 season. He ended pitching three seasons in Houston, though he didn't make it through the entire 2000 season before getting traded to San Francisco for Scott Linebrink.

Henry picked up 19 decisions with Houston, going 11-9 in three years. His best season was in '98, when he was 8-2 and introduced Young David to the term "vulture." As in a reliever who comes in, possibly gives up the lead but takes the win from a hard-working starter. Doug Henry was said vulture that season, and he set a career-high in victories that season.

In '98, he was primarily Billy Wagner's setup man, striking out 59 in 71 innings with a 3.04 ERA. Houston picked up the very effective Jay Powell with Henry for the '98 stretch run to give them a very formidable back of the bullpen.

The other guy I wanted to highlight is Larry Andersen, who is most famous now for being the outgoing part of the Jeff Bagwell trade, but was also a very effective pitcher for many years. In five seasons in Houston, he won twice the games that Henry did and lost twice as many. That's right, he went 22-16 over 410 1/3 innings in Houston.

Andersen also had a 2.57 ERA over that stretch, striking out 346 batters in those 410 innings. The only team he had a higher strikeout rate for was the Boston Red Sox (25 Ks in 22 IP).

Andersen and Henry were not that far apart, as Andersen's last season was 1990, but in that short time, releiver usage changed dramatically. Andersen averaged about an inning and a half per appearance while Henry averaged just over one inning per appearance. That doesn't sound like a huge difference, but average that .5 IP over 200-odd appearances and those innings compound quickly.

Anyways, these two provide a neat contrast both in usage and time with Houston, so it's pretty cool their winning percentage with the Astros just so happens to be identical.