Sometimes, the postseason can get the best out of you, even when you didn’t have a very good, remarkable regular season or didn’t stay consistent all year long. That’s exactly what we’re witnessing with Chas McCormick and Yuli Gurriel throughout this October, in which the Astros have won six games in a row. After stumbling for the biggest portion of 2022, they’re cruising in the postseason.
McCormick comes from posting a 1.4 bWAR after having an almost identical offensive season to last year. He registered 12 doubles, 14 home runs, 44 RBIs, 88 total hits, and a .245/.332/.407 slash line over 119 games.
Regarding Gurriel, the Cuban legend won the batting title in 2021 but regressed a lot in 2022 with what we could say was his worst regular-season performance ever. Despite hitting 40 doubles for the third time in his career, Gurriel only hit eight homers, drove in 53 runs, struck out more than ever (73), and posted a .242/.288/.360 line with a career-worst .647 OPS. His season was worth -0.3 bWAR, a huge decline from last year’s 3.7 mark.
However, luckily for the Astros, both have found their rhythm during the postseason.
After playing only twice in the ALDS against the Mariners and going 2-for-7, McCormick has played a key role in the ALCS. Against the Yankees, he’s 3-for-9, with two home runs, three ribbies, and two walks. His two four-baggers were key reasons why the Astros won games one and three.
If we take into account the postseason and the regular-season games in 2022, McCormick is 6-for-17 against the Yankees this year with three round-trippers and five runs batted in.
Going back to Gurriel, he’s tallied 10 hits across 26 at-bats over the postseason, along with two long balls and two driven in. He’s slashing .385/.385/.615 with a 1.000 OPS. His two homers in Game 1 of the ALDS and ALCS helped the Astros big time to get the win in both contests.
His 10 hits so far allowed Gurriel to become one of just 17 ballplayers with at least 80 hits in postseason history. In Astros’ history, only José Altuve (93) and Carlos Correa (82) have more hits than La Piña.
As I said, sometimes baseball gives you a second chance. Fortunately for them and the Astros team in general, McCormick and Gurriel’s second chance has come in the postseason.