It's the unofficial midway point of the season, and I got a little curious about the 09 Astros Pre-ASG vs. 08 Astros Pre-ASG. Let's take a look:
First, the overall team batting statistics:
2008: 44-51 (last place, 13GB), .260/.321/.409, 96HR, 414 RS/458 RA (-44)
2009: 44-44 (3rd place, 3.5GB), .267/.330/.405, 71HR, 368 RS/398 RA (-30)
Overall team pitching statistics:
2008: 4.49 ERA, 26 saves/37 opp, 0 CGs, 611K:314BB
2009: 4.21 ERA, 21 saves/38 opp, 4 CGs, 626K:293BB
2008: .288/.330/.410, 22XBH-29RBI, 48K:16BB
2009: .245/.278/.392, 20XBH-30RBI, 54K:11BB
An already-bad K:BB ratio has deteriorated even more, and all of the offensive stats have receded, as well.
2008: .347/.443/.653, 55XBH-73RBI, 61K:56BB
2009: .271/.403/.526, 37XBH-55RBI, 59K:66BB
It's hard to compare Pre-ASG Lance to this year, as Lance absolutely tore it up in May 08 - going so far as to even get noticed by ESPN, something anyone west of Philadelphia and east of Los Angeles has a hard time doing. But it would be nice to imagine where the Astros would be today if 08 Lance had been batting in April and May instead of 09 Lance.
2008: .283/.344/.365, 18XBH-19RBI, 40K:24BB
2009: .252/.313/.338, 12XBH-21RBI, 43K:19BB
This is just brutal. A three-run homer in Sunday's game made the difference in the only positive statistical split.
2008: .275/.316/.423, 33XBH-44RBI, 45K:19BB
2009: .329/.357/.473, 37XBH-49RBI, 26K:10BB
Miggs is basically the reason that the Astros are within striking distance, however fleeting that may be. Cut his Ks by 19, and has improved offensively in just about every way.
2008: .214/.239/.350, 10XBH-20RBI, 24K:8BB
2009: .281/.350/.362, 11XBH-27RBI, 27K:19BB
Mine eyes deceive me! Walks are up, OBP is up by over 100 points.
2008: .302/.351/.547, 46XBH-76RBI, 38K:29BB
2009: .308/.353/.485, 41XBH-49RBI, 28K:24BB
RBIs are so hard to quantify, because obviously RBIs have to do with guys getting on base in front of you. And Lance wasn't really doing that much in the first couple of months of the season. The most glaring stat otherwise is the slugging percentage. So far, Lee has 13 homers, down from 21 homers at the All-Star break in 2008 (in fewer games, admittedly, but not eight homers worth of games).
2008: .218/.273/.291, 13XBH-15RBI, 76K:25BB
2009: .286/.360/.407, 26XBH-25RBI, 72K:38BB
Bourn is the Astros' MVP of 2009 so far (note: foreshadowing). His progress from 2008 to 2009 has been astounding, and while I think most of us thought he would get better - he couldn't get any worse - I doubt anyone could imagine a world in which Bourn's OBP is behind only Lance and Pence.
2008: .263/.304/.429, 33XBH-46RBI, 75K:21BB
2009: .298/.366/.473, 30XBH-37RBI, 50K:36BB
That K:BB ratio is much better this year, and as a result, he's not as free-swinging as previously feared.
2008: 7-8, 4.56 ERA/1.38 WHIP, .285/.329/.465 against, 94K:28BB, 18HR
2009: 5-4, 3.85 ERA/1.23 WHIP, .256/.310/.421 against, 95K:32BB, 14HR
Roy has settled down since April, and has reasserted himself as The Man.
2008: 4-4, 3.48 ERA/1.28 WHIP, .249/.308/.410 against, 65K:23BB, 8HR
2009: 8-6, 2.96 ERA/1.28 WHIP, .250/.317/.389 against, 106K:40BB, 12HR
While the campaign to anoint Wandy "This Year's Cliff Lee" seemed a little premature, Wandy's stuff is much better as the strikeout numbers would indicate. He has fully established himself as the #2.
2008: 5-4, 4.28 ERA/1.39 WHIP, .272/.327/.450 against, 44K:24BB, 11HR
2009: 6-5, 5.08 ERA/1.48 WHIP, .292/.348/.511 against, 51K:25BB, 14HR
Moehler might be the most frustrating pitcher on staff. He looks like he's one pitch away from imploding in every game, and he's been the only pitcher to throw a quality start and get a Goat of the Game in the same outing. Batters are teeing off on him, and his six wins are deceiving. Such is life when the key to success is command of the corners.
And the last pitcher we'll look at today...Valverde
2008: 4-2, 24 saves. 3.80 ERA/1.31 WHIP, .243/.310/.452 against, 52K:16BB, 8HR
2009: 0-2, 8 saves, 3.43 ERA/1.10 WHIP, .215/.267/.418 against, 26K:6BB, 4 HR
Hasn't pitched as much so far, obviously, because of the leg injury, but Valverde is a guy who succeeds and fails in equal spectacularity (new word). Nine of the 17 hits he's given up have been for extra-bases.