Season Ends In 8-1 Thud
Altuve Takes Hits, Batting Titles

Hinch and players will try again
(c) Washington Post
Brady Rodgers allowed four runs in the second inning on Sunday and the Angels of Anaheim coasted on that through an 8-1 season finale over the Astros at the Big A. Houston finished the season in third place with an 84-78 record, short of the expectations many had for them before the campaign began.

Jose Altuve reached base with a broken-bat single in the ninth to finish the season with 216 hits and a .338 batting average, both tops in the American League. He set career highs in homers (24), RBIs (96), slugging (.531) and OPS (.927).

Carlos Correa tied Altuve for the team lead in RBIs (96). Evan Gattis led the club in home runs (32).

George Springer played in all 162 games this year, the first Astro to do that since Carlos Lee in 2007. He led the squad in runs scored (116), walks (88) and strikeouts (178).

From the mound, Collin McHugh had the most wins (13), innings pitched (184.2) and strikeouts (177). Ken Giles and Luke Gregerson shared the team lead in saves (15 each) while Chris Devenski (2.16) and Will Harris (2.25) were the only regular pitchers who finished with ERAs under three.

From July 2nd on, the Astros were a .500 ballclub lacking the moment to stay on pace with the playoff teams despite still being in contention until the final week. A poor April (7-17) ultimately doomed them despite an 18-8 June to push them close to the division lead much of the summer.

They were a 10-8 team in extra-inning contests and 28-25 in one-run games. Good division records against Oakland (13-6), Anaheim (13-6) and Seattle (11-8) were offset by another terrible year against the Rangers (4-15).

Now the off-season comes bringing the departures of some of the players we rooted for all season and the addition of others that we hope will push the ballclub over the top.

Crews will begin to demolish the Tal's Hill area of Minute Maid Park and replace it with a more hitter-friendly area.

Changes will continue all winter so check back with us periodically and thank you for looking in on us over the course of the season.

- Bob Hulsey