Jose Altuve: Key to Houston Astros’ resurgence?
The Houston Astros have had a tough time stringing together win since really the 2008 MLB season. This year has been no different, until the Astros finally put together a good string of five wins and have won their last two series against the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Angels.
Houston is far from being “back”, but this success is partially due to one of the bright spots in the Astros batting line up: second baseman Jose Altuve. The 23-year-old from Maracay, Venezuela has lifted the Astros with his timely hitting and clean fielding this season, and is a big reason why the team has had some recent success.
Altuve is batting .297 with 65 hits and 21 RBIs on the season, but is batting .301 with five hits in the last five games, all wins. Altuve has been hitting pretty well recently, but he has been on his defensive game as well. He has a .988 fielding percentage with only three errors and has turned 50 double plays, a number that should surpass his 83 double plays turned from 2012.
With a payroll that totals less than what New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez will make in 2013, it’s tough to expect the Astros to be able to compete day in and day out, but they seem to have turned a corner as a team in the last week with Altuve leading the way.
The Astros will look to sweep the Angels in their four-game series today in Anaheim, CA. They will then travel back to Houston, TX for a three-game home series against the Baltimore Orioles starting June 4. Altuve will play a key role in keeping the Astros’ winning streak alive, and it will be interesting to see if the team can continue their streak which is the longest win streak in the majors.
They did have a five game win streak from April 30 to May 5 last season, but haven’t extended a win streak to seven games since 2010. You’ve got to think that the team believes in themselves and they know they can beat more talented teams when everything clicks, and everything will need to click for them to keep this winning streak going.