Astros hitting coach John Mallee arrived at Safeco Field in Seattle at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday for a 7:10 p.m. game. By 3 p.m., Mallee was working with J.D. Martinez, who was hitting off a tee. By 4 p.m., Mallee was throwing inside a netted cage, working one-on-one with Astros batters at the same time media members weaved their way through the team’s locker room, asking hitters what was wrong and how the obvious holes in their swings could be fixed. While questions mounted and surreal strikeout totals were produced during the Astros’ first seven games of the season, Mallee stuck to his daily routine. And when the team’s bats finally broke out – courtesy of a 16-9 beatdown of the Mariners on Tuesday – Mallee finally had a little early-season vindication. The Astros (3-6) totaled 24 runs and 38 hits during their final two games in Seattle, winning their first American League road series 2-1 and bringing a collection of suddenly hot bats into Angel Stadium for a Friday-Sunday series against the Los Angeles area’s high-priced AL team. Before the Astros broke out, Mallee broke down his daily routine. He and his hitters altered little during a frustrating 1-5 start at Minute Maid Park that featured two shutouts and nearly becoming the victim of a Yu Darvish perfect game. Even when the Astros fell 3-0 to the Mariners on Monday in the series opener, Mallee stayed on target.
Hitting coach Mallee kept faith in process as Astros’ bats missed targets
Houston Chronicle | Apr 12