Feast or famine approach personifies Astros

At any moment, anybody can reach back and go deep

Feast or famine approach personifies Astros

HOUSTON -- The Astros' offensive approach is frustrating, fitting for a franchise and fanbase who've weathered a decade of such emotions.

They have a Major League-record 11 hitters with 10 or more home runs but an American League-high 1,392 regular-season strikeouts and are defined by aggressive swings no matter the count -- a true feast or famine approach that's carried them further than most prognosticated before the season.

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Game Date Result
Gm 1 Oct. 8 HOU 5, KC 2
Gm 2 Oct. 9 KC 5, HOU 4
Gm 3 Oct. 11 HOU 4, KC 2
Gm 4 Oct. 12 KC 9, HOU 6
Gm 5 Oct. 14 KC 7, HOU 2

"But if you have guys that are capable of hitting home runs all up and down the lineup, literally any given time they come up to the plate, I like our chances," veteran catcher Jason Castro said.

Houston relished its time at hitter-friendly Minute Maid Park in Games 3 and 4, mashing five home runs in the two-game span. Four came in Monday's 9-6 loss -- a Royals postseason record for home runs allowed in a game.

Now back to the spacious Kauffman Stadium, where Houston hit three home runs in Games 1 and 2, for Game 5 at 8 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1, the Astros' power remains its most lethal offensive weapon as they battle for their first berth in a League Championship Series since 2005.

"We've got power through the lineup, and a walk here, a base knock there and a home run and it's three runs," designated hitter Evan Gattis said. "I feel like we can always score runs really quick."

Gattis saw it firsthand on Monday. Holding a tenuous 3-2 lead in the home-half of the seventh, 11 pitches to Carlos Correa and Colby Rasmus produced back-to-back home runs that swelled the lead to 6-2 in front of a deafening crowd of 42,837.

Carlos Gomez, who epitomizes this Astros offensive approach perhaps better than anyone, preceded those theatrics with a solo shot of his own in the second. Playing through an intercostal strain hasn't slowed the aggressive Gomez, who ends many of his swings on one knee or without a helmet.

Leadoff man Jose Altuve and right fielder George Springer occasionally follow suit. Altuve even ended up on one knee himself after a swing in Game 4.

That's all fine

"We're not perfect hitters. We don't have perfect approaches. We have had a couple guys fall down trying to swing," manager A.J. Hinch said. "So we're very creative with how we go about it, but the reality is, if you do give us a pitch to hit, there is not a ballpark that can hold us."

Chandler Rome is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.