After an exciting comeback, walkoff home run by Luis Valbuena on Friday night, the Houston Astros and their fans were on a high, hoping to finish off the last two games of the first half of the season with wins.
But on Saturday, the Astros and manager A.J. Hinch decided to do something they hadn’t done all season. Bench George Springer.
Hinch has been trying to get his stars random days off throughout the season. We know Jose Altuve has rejected his manager’s pleas a few times this season, but it appears Springer lost out on Saturday.
Climbing Tal's Hill
Benching Springer was a
terrible decision by Hinch. In general, I don’t love the idea of giving certain guys days off, Springer included. He’s in many ways the heart and soul of the team, and provides the excitement at the top of the order.
Springer had started in 112 consecutive games, the second longest streak in baseball. The Astros have the advantage of using a DH, something that should allow Hinch the luxury of giving his stars a half day off, while keeping his best hitters in the lineup.
With Springer on the bench, the Astros had to start the .186-hitting Jake Marisnick, someone who unfortunately has proven to be a
It’s not like Springer has had struggles versus the Athletics Saturday starter Kendall Graveman. He was 2-for-8 with a double and a walk in his career against Graveman.
Let’s not forget the most obvious reason why Springer shouldn’t have been benched. The All-Star break. Springer lost out on an All-Star bid and will be off from Sunday night until Friday night, a span of four full days and over 100 hours of freedom.
It really made no sense to give Springer a day off considering all the circumstances. This one day off won’t change anything for him come September. He won’t be any less tired because of the day off.
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I could understand if the Astros were in a span of three straight weeks of baseball and wanted to give him a day off in the middle. While I’d still be annoyed at the decision, I could understand it. But benching him Saturday when he’s off for nearly an entire week after today, it makes no sense.
The Astros went on to lose 3-2 on Saturday, not scoring until the 9th inning. There’s no way of knowing if George Springer would’ve made a difference. It’s possible he could have gone 0-4 or 4-4. We don’t know.
What I do know is the decision seems to have been the wrong and it may have cost the Astros a game, one they may need later on in the season.
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