Gilbert: Did the Astros turn the corner in May?

From SABR member Bill Gilbert at Climbing Tal’s Hill on June 2, 2014:

Led by George Springer, Jose Altuve, Dallas Keuchel and Chad Qualls, the Houston Astros posted a record of 15-14 in May, their first winning full month since September, 2010. Included was a 7-game winning streak in which the Astros outscored the opposition 39-12. The first 6 games in the streak were started by 6 different pitchers who all pitched well. Springer carried the offense with 7 home runs in 7 games and an eleven game hitting streak.

The highlight of the streak was Major League Baseball’s 8th annual Civil Rights Game played in Houston this year before a crowd of 38,482, the largest home crowd since opening day. Included were Commissioner Bud Selig, Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson, Jim Brown, George Foreman, Dave Winfield and Bob Watson among others as the Astros won their 7th straight game, 2-1, with an improbable 2-run rally in the 7th inning featuring two baserunning blunders and four clutch hits by the bottom of the batting order, Matt Dominguez, Alex Presley, Robbie Grossman and Jonathan Villar.

The Astros batted .251 in May which was 5th highest in the American League. The on-base average of .335 was third highest in the AL. The pitchers had a 3.42 ERA for the month, second only to Oakland. These numbers were a sharp contrast to April when the batting average was .210, the on-base percentage was .282 and the pitchers’ ERA was 4.87. In May, the Astros averaged 4.27 runs per game and allowed only 3.79 runs per game.

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Originally published: June 3, 2014. Last Updated: June 3, 2014.