The Astros are back in the swing of things. They have completed a homestand and a road trip after the mid-season break. Since we covered the mid-season awards last week, this time around I am covering all the games since they came back from their time off. So since it is covering more games, I am going to add an extra player. Actually they all deserve it so that is just a weak excuse to not have to make a hard decision.
Over the first nine games of the unofficial second half the Astros went 6-3 and scored 42 runs to their opponents 25 runs. There was a lot of offense going on , and a lot of guys contributing. Here is just a sample.
I can't say enough about how good Marwin has been lately. I have typed his name and stats in these posts more often than anyone would have thought. Over eight games he posted a batting average of .350 (7-for-20). Two doubles and a homer helped him to an even .600 OBP, and a 1.035 OPS. This production is coming from a guy who played third base in five games, second base in one, and first base in two games. Producing like that while providing coverage in the field in so many places has provided the team with a lot of value.
Since the break Gattis has hit for a .294 average. That is good I guess. His OPS is up above .800, which is also good. He hit a homer, which is expected. He only struck out three times in 36 plate appearances...better. But then HE HIT TWO MORE TRIPLES! This doesn't include the one he hit last night, to bring his season total to seven. That is good enough for fourth in Major League Baseball. He may not look so comfortable patrolling the left field area, but he looks totally comfortable cruising around the bases and smoothly sliding into third base. (Just for fun, go look at the league leaders and see how Gattis compares in the speed category with the folks on that leaderboard.)
Altuve is looking more like 2014 Altuve to start this second half. Over nine games he went 14-for-37 (.378) with two doubles and a BIG home run (the walk-off variety to complete the sweep of the Red Sox). His OPS was just a smidge above one, helped out by the homer and four doubles. A big part of his success is predicated on his ability to put the ball in play, as he normally doesn't draw a lot of walks. Over these games Altuve only struck out one time, so he was making contact. He also walked three times, which you don't see often.
It's good to put the kid back on top of the heap again. His power stroke came back with a vengeance since the break. His slugging percentage in that time is a meaty .767 on the back of two doubles and four home runs. Speaking of home runs, he had his first multi-homer game against the Red Sox. He also drove in six runs and scored eight more. His average for the week was a solid .300, and he seems to have been a bit unlucky as his BABIP was in the low 200s. Personally, I think Tucker needs to be in the lineup every day. But nobody who matters asks me what I think (which is probably for the best). With that being the case I will just enjoy what I get.