Nothing has gone right for the Astros heading down the homestretch towards what they hope is the playoffs. That is except for Chris Carter. Chris Carter has come through with six home runs in his last ten appearances. His three-run home run last night against the Mariners was the key to keeping the Astros in the race for the American League West and Wild Card Race.
Carter has been red hot in September since getting a second shot at first base with the Astros rotating players at the corners and left field. In Sept., he is batting .344 (11x32) with two doubles, six home runs, 10 RBIs, five walks, nine strikeouts, and 1.401 OPS.
It's a far cry from where Carter was in June and July, he batted .175 (24x137) with nine home runs and 52 strikeouts. Its no surprise why we saw less of Carter, and more of Luis Valbuena and Marwin Gonzalez at first.
The majority of Carter's season fed into the notion that the Astros should have found a way to part with Carter in the offseason or at the trade deadline. But, the problem is the Astros are one of the few teams that see the value of a batter hitting .196 with a 101 wRC+.
The loathing of Carter can be justified. A player that was in the top 15 in pitches per at-bat in 2014, but had a 16.7% swing and miss rate is tough to swallow. He seems content with strikeouts without showing an frustration at the plate.
Chris Carter is who he is. His emotions will always be even keel minus a smirk after hitting a home run a Rangers pitcher once and a while. He goes through slumps. In June of 2014, he batting .164 (19x82) with five home runs. In July and August, he batting over .270 with 20 home runs.
When he's locked in, the Astros can ride him till the wheels fall off. Yes, it's a struggle to watch day in and day out. But you have to ride the hot hand while you still have time to -- these last three games.