COLD AS ICE

Angry at the Astros for their lack of hitting? Not as much as this guy

LIke most of the Astros, Marwin Gonzalez has been a disaster at the plate in this series. Stan Grossfeld/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

A New Year’s Day tradition is the Coney Island Polar Bear Club, where men swim in frigid waters.

Needless to say, there is shrinkage in the packages of male swimmers.

The distance to Yankee Stadium is 25 miles and if I did not know better I would think the Astros bats were getting ready to swim. For the last three games, the best hitting team during the regular season has shrunk. The come home for Game 6 and (hopefully) Game 7 at Minute Maid Park just one win from elimination in the American League Championship Series, down 3-2.

There is no swag.

Confidence appears to have disappeared into timid bats. Yankee pitchers looked like men against boys in the three straight home wins. And the Astros hitters tried to be Babe Ruth, swinging for the fences only to ground out or hit weak fly balls.

Where have the mucho grande cajones gone?

Let’s check the numbers against the Yankees. The Astros are batting .147 against the Yankees and have scored a paltry five runs. They have gone 11-for-92 (.120) with five extra-base hits, no home runs and 25 strikeouts in the three games in New York. With runners in scoring position, they went 2-for-21, including 0-for-8 in Game 5.

George Springer is 2-for-18 in the series. Josh Reddick is 0-for-17. Alex Bregman (2-for-17) and Marwin Gonzalez (2-for-15) are struggling, too. Even Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa were muted in New York. They went a combined 2-for-22 in Games 3-5.

Dallas Kuechel, who has dominated New York, was mortal, giving up four earned runs in 4.2 innings, striking out 8 while giving up 7 hits.  It did not matter if it was Judge, Sanchez or Gregorius.  Joe Girardi’s hitters think they are Ruth, Gehrig, Mantle or Joe D.

Down 3-2, they will face Luis Severino at Minute Maid Friday night.  Justin Verlander must continue his mastery as an Astro.  But unless the bats come alive, they will be the Not Ready For Prime Time Players and there will be no Game 7.

In five games your heroes have scored a total of nine runs! That’s right, just nine runs. The bats have been colder than a prostitute's heart.

Regardless of how jaded I am covering H-Town Sports over the years, I have bought World Series tickets for games at Minute Maid. I will show up. Let's see if the bats do as well.

Chirp!

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