• Brian L. Barefield

In the Blink of An Eye

Houston Astros go on a 12- game-winning streak to set up for a great season

Brian Barefield | 6/22/2018, 10:23 a.m.

When I was in school, we learned what a reflex blink was. It occurs in response to an external stimulus when objects appear rapidly in front of the eye. Older individuals use to say, “In the blink of an eye, your whole life can change.” Well, if you have blinked your eyes in the last two weeks, and I know you have because it’s an involuntary reflex, you can’t help but notice how hot your World Champion Houston Astros have gotten. The Astros went on a 12-game winning streak (ended in a 2-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays earlier in the week) to remind the rest of Major League baseball that last year was not a fluke.

Houston had struggled to find consistency at the end of last month and the beginning of this month in the win column. From May 26 – June 5th, the Astros had only won four out of ten games with a three game losing streak during that time. A brutal ten-game road trip was looming that would take them through Arlington to play the Rangers, Oakland to take on the A’s, and a final stop in Kansas City to face the Royals.

Well, a funny thing happened while they were gone away from home for that extended amount of time. Houston went undefeated on that road trip. It marked just the seventh undefeated road trip of ten- or more games in the Majors dating back to the 1953 season. The Astros also scored at least six runs in seven consecutive games during that streak.

“We are on a long road trip and away from our families for 10 days; winning every single game makes it a lot better,” said Astros shortstop Carlos Correa upon arrival back in Houston to begin a lengthy ten-day homestand.

No one benefited more from the road win streak than designated hitter/catcher Evan Gattis. He was named American League Player of the Week for the week of June 11 – 17, going 10 – 24 (.417), with four homeruns and 15 RBI. Gattis leads all Major league players with 23 RBI for the month of June and became the first player in franchise history to have consecutive 5 RBI games. This is a great improvement for a player who was hitting a dismal .196 with one homer during the month of May. Any true Astros fan knows that adversity is nothing to a man who once worked as a janitor, valet, ski-lift operator, and, even a cart boy at a local golf club. “Some guy didn’t show up one day, so I kind of fell into that job,” Gattis once told an reporter back in 2013.

The win streak put the Astros up a season-high 24 games above .500 and are off to their second-best start in franchise history. Houston is right on pace to match their win total (101) from last year and would give them their third 100-win season in franchise history.

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