The Houston Astros were coming off a game where George Springer accounted for their only run. Then the top prospect strained his right hip flexor and hit the DL. In the two games he was gone, the Astros scored a measly two runs. Each day, Springer told manager Bo Porter that he was ready to go, saying that as long as he wakes up in the morning, he’s ready to play. But Porter wisely erred on the side of caution so as not to aggravate his injury.
When Springer was slated to start again hitting second in the lineup on Saturday against the Seattle Mariners, Porter made note of how much happier he is with the five-tool player in the lineup.
Springer didn’t miss a beat. Following a leadoff walk by Jose Altuve, he took the first pitch he saw since returning from injury and deposited it into the right-field bleachers. Several innings later, with Altuve again on first base, Springer pulled a ball into the left-field stands to put up a 2-for-5 night with two home runs and five RBIs, obviously his best game since joining the pro-ball club.
Springer got off to a rough start, but in his last 10 games, he’s hitting .324 with four home runs, 12 RBIs and eight walks. His 11 strikeouts are actually an improvement, which includes not striking out at all last night.
Springer credits his success at the plate to Altuve’s tendencies to get on base. Altuve, he says, is such a threat to steal that they have to throw him fastballs to keep the speedy second baseman honest.
Whatever the case, it is an awesome sight to see so much clicking at the top of the Astros’ lineup. Now the task is to get some guys to start clicking at the bottom of the lineup.