Zuo: Houston’s hometown heroes

From Miriam Zuo at The Hardball Times on September 23, 2019:

August 25, 2017: Hurricane Harvey makes landfall at San José Island, Texas at Category 4 intensity.

The Houston Astros—already 77 wins into their historic season—take the field at Angels Stadium for the first of a three-game series. After the team falls behind the Angels in the first inning, J.D. Davis hits a home run in the third and George Springer scores on a wild pitch in the sixth for a 2-1 win. Though the Astros lose the next game 7-6, they go on to win the third game of the series, effectively clinching the series in Anaheim.

Over 1,500 miles away in their hometown, things aren’t going as well. Harvey continues its catastrophic sweep of the Gulf of Mexico coastline; as it moves inward, it weakens quickly, dropping from Category 4 to a tropical storm within a day. Along the coast, thousands of homes have already been destroyed—the residents of Port Arkansas, Rockport, Corpus Christi, and other coastal communities suffer the brute force of the hurricane. But for those living in Houston—me included—the worst part of our experience is yet to begin: the flooding. More than 30 inches of rain pour over the metropolitan area, with some areas reaching up to 60 inches. Since Houston isn’t built to deal with record-breaking levels of rain, the water levels in the street continue to rise. Hour after hour, evacuation recommendations spread throughout the city and the suburbs.

When the evacuation status in my neighborhood ticks up to recommended, my family and I are conflicted. We’ve had flash flooding and extended storms in Houston before, especially during the waning days of summer, and we’re fully stocked with water and non-perishable food. Some of our neighbors plan to bunker down for the next few days because we’re not in the mandatory evacuation zone, so for a couple of hours, we teeter on the edge of staying. Then our roof begins leaking in the guest room. We watch the wall with concern as it gradually soaks through (and grumble about the cost of repairing it afterwards), but it doesn’t affect our movements, which are, despite the relentless rain, surprisingly normal.

Read the full article here: https://tht.fangraphs.com/hometown-heroes-2/

Originally published: September 23, 2019. Last Updated: September 23, 2019.