Game 17: Rockies 11, Astros 5

Pretty grisly stuff from Minute Maid Park Friday night. Astros now 6-11.

There’s not much point in analyzing a game that was essentially lost in the top of the 1st inning. By the time the Rockies took the field, they’d driven their win probability from 50 percent to 91.1 percent.

You start to see at this point how much defense matters, especially when Chris Sampson is pitching. Sampson has 3 strikeouts in 11.3 innings this year, and that’s how many strikeouts he’s going to get. He can’t afford to walk anybody, like Scott Podsednik twice in the first inning, and he needs his defense to turn grounders into outs. So in 10 batters he didn’t do his part and the defense didn’t do its part.

Carlos Lee sort of waved at Chris Iannetta’s double to left that scored 2 runs. I didn’t see the ball closely but it looked like a fleet left fielder might have had it. If it’s caught, it’s a 4-run inning rather than a 6-run disaster.

The Astros’ defensive efficiency is .670, and here’s a new statistic for you: Slugging percentage on balls in play, essentially taking home runs out of slugging percentage. To compute this, add (singles + doubles + 2 * triples), then divide by (ab – so – hr – sf). The Astros rank 13th in the league in SLGBIP, basically meaning they give up a lot of hits and a fair number of them become doubles and triples. The NL average SLGBIP is .380; the Astros’ number is .411. (Here’s a full chart.) The Giants and the Marlins are the worst in the league at this, actually.

It was good to see Hunter Pence get 3 hits.

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