This is the best week of Astros baseball I have seen in quite a while. It is exciting to see the team perform like this, even if I have to stay up past midnight to watch it! That makes picking a hitter of the week that much harder though. Over the last seven days of baseball, Houston had 5 regulars batting over .300 (with 3 of those over .400). Four guys had an OPS north of 1.000. I know these are small samples, but its the hitter of the WEEK...what are you gonna do?
I have a sneaking suspicion that as a fan base, we have a hard time trusting Mr. Carter. For some reason we seem surprised that he strikes out...a lot. I, for one, learned my lesson last season after calling for his head (figuratively, of course) multiple times. He is going to be a guy who strikes out (a bit), gets on base pretty well, and goes on streaks. He is on one of those streaks right now.
Carter has hit safely in his last seven games, and this past week cranked out two homers and drove in five runs. Not all of his RBIs came in on the long ball either. He had some good at bats with runners in scoring position in key situations, and came through. His slash line for the week was .348/.444/.652, which is pretty ok, i guess. I have noticed a bit of a lull in the Carter bashing on Twitter and elsewhere, so maybe others like me have gone through the entire "5 Stages of Chris Carter" and arrived at acceptance. Once you reach that stage, you can just enjoy watching the guy play, even with the Ks.
I just want to find someone to blame for losing one of our best hitters. Any suggestions? Bud Selig? The East Coast Media? The Illuminati? I know it was just dumb luck (dumb unluck?) that caused us to lose Jed until the All-Star Break, but it would make me feel better if there was someone or something to direct my frustration towards.
Since he will obviously not be appearing on any top hitters list for a while, I wanted to make sure he got some recognition before he takes his little unscheduled vacation. This week Lowrie continued to look impressive from both sides of the plate. Out of his eight hits, four of them were for extra bases (3 doubles, 1 HR). He scored six runs and drove in three more. His OPS over his last 5 games was a hilarious 1.449. To say he will be missed in the lineup is an understatement. Get well soon, Jed.
So...It's almost as if we could just pencil this guy in for best hitter each week. He hits, he steals bases, he even gets the occasional walk or two. But this week, I heard a stat I had never heard before. Altuve is not only on a 7 game hitting streak, he is also on a 6 game multi-hit game streak. It is still relatively early in the season, but over the last six games, he has raised his batting average from .288 to .348. He ended the week going 4-6, scoring 2 runs and stealing a base.
One of the TV broadcasters put it best last night when he said (paraphrasing) that opposing teams have a hard time coming up with a plan for Altuve, because he can hit so many types of pitches, and you have no idea where he is going to hit it. This was right after he took an inside fastball down the opposite field line. Jose was fun to watch last season when the team was bad, and it should be even more fun to watch him this season with some sustained team success.