Okay, so now it’s been only six games. Still too small a sample and too early to identify trends, but that big ol’ light sure looks like a freight train coming at us. At this point, it’s not Bo Porter on the hot seat, but hitting coach John Mallee who will be working overtime with the videos, saber metrics and perhaps psychology. Since strikeouts are the elephant in the room, thought I’d project the next 156 games if certain Astros keep up the pace. Hard to imagine any of these players having the opportunity if they keep coming up empty, since players like Brett Wallace would end up in Oklahoma City and others might end up on the junk pile. Nonetheless, here are season-long projections for several of the Astros’ (ahem) leaders in the K category. Each of these would surpass the current record (145, Lee May, 1972): Brett Wallace: 351 Ks. Chris Carter: 297. Rick Ankiel: 270. Carlos Pena: 182. Jose Altuve: 162. While it’s quite unlikely Wallace, Carter or Ankiel will reach those high plateaus, those numbers do indicate how stupid crazy the first week of the season has been. To put it in perspective, Craig Biggio didn’t reach 351 Ks in his worst three strikeout seasons…combined. Even Lee May took three seasons in an Astros’ uniform to reach 364. And Wallace is on pace for 351 this season. Oh, in case you’re wondering, Brandon Laird is hitting .375 with a HR and six RBI in Oklahoma City’s first four games. Only three Ks. And, a few other notes: The top four listed above have more Ks (41) than the entire Astros’ team has hits (39). The Astros are the only AL team without a stolen base. Of course, you can’t steal first. No stolen bases and no caught stealing. Does that mean the Astros haven’t even attempted a SB? The team is last in walks (9), HRs (2), runs (17) and average (.199). I’m sure there are more. Meanwhile, the record for fewest walks in a season by an Astros’ team is 340 in 1981. Yes, that 1981. The strike-shortened 1981 season when Houston played 110 regular season games. After six 2013 games, the Astros are on pace for 243 walks. Put that in perspective. Yes, Jed Lowrie is hitting .500 with three HRs and six RBI in his first seven games. And three strikeouts. Still wondering if he’ll play 100 games though.
Now, it’s been six games and the K elephant is still in the room
Houston Chronicle | Apr 8