How many times have you seen this?
The Astros have a runner or two on with two outs and .....
The inning is over.
Close your eyes and visualize this for a minute.
Who was batting when you visualized this?
Statistically it should have been either one of two players- Maldonado and Gurriel. I know you are thinking here you go again hating on Maldy and Yuli. I guess you can say that, but I do not consider it hate. I believe it is telling the truth.
Let me give you the facts and THEN you tell me if it is unfair hate.
The table below shows how the Astros players have done in this situation before last night's game.
You can focus down on whatever stat you want and follow the heat map for it. As normal, red is good and blue is bad. For me the critical stat when we discuss keeping the inning going or killing the rally is OBP. As a team the Astros have a 0.327 OBP in 968 two-out and a runner on situations this year. The heat map tells the story of the relative performance in OBP. I also included the wRC+ below to fully capture their clutch performance in a simple number.
Rally Makers- those doing GREAT with two outs and runners on. The clutch guys
Altuve- 0.431 (134 wRC+)
Alvarez- 0.425 (156 wRC+)
Bregman- 0.420 (187 wRC+)
Tucker- 0.368 (141 wRC+)
Maldonado- 0.181 (6 wRC+ - wait SIX?!?!)
Gurriel- 0.215 (50 wRC+)
For the purpose of this exercise I would not label anyone with less that 50 PA because the sample size is too small.
Who has made the most outs in these situations?
Gurriel- 73 out- 11.2% of the outs in only 9.6% of PA
Maldonado- 68 outs- 10.4% of the outs in only 8.6% of PA
Last night Maldy got a hit with two outs with Yuli at second and I thought as I looked at the data I have compiled here "how rare is that? Too funny considering what I am writing."
So there you have it. This confirms what I thought my eyes have been seeing. Two players have been particularly horrible- worse than normal with a runner on and two outs killing 141 innings between the two of them. If they had been Astros average hitters, 22 more innings would have continued.
I have been asked multiple times about next year and how this offense can get better. There will be plenty of time for that as we get to the off-season. Step one in my view would be to cut Maldy's opportunities dramatically and not have Yuli return. Stop the Rally Killers and the batting will be better.
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