Houston Astros History: A Random Plate Appearance!

There have been 9,521 regular season games and 135 postseason games in the Houston Astros’ first 61 seasons.

Through their first 61 seasons of existence to this point, the Houston Astros have played in a total of 9,656 regular season and postseason contests.

61 seasons in Major League Baseball have given the Houston Astros plenty of good and painful memories. I came up with the idea of doing a series of random plate appearances as a fun mental experiment. When I used random.org, I chose a year from 1962 to 2022, a game from one to 162 (98), and a plate appearance from one to 762 (98). (six).

Baseball-box reference.com’s score for a July 26, 1987 game led me to an inning referred to as “first.”

The Game

It was a road game between the 48-49 Houston Astros, who were 3.5 games behind the 52-46 Cincinnati Reds in the NL West, against the 53-44 New York Mets, who were 8 1/2 games back in the NL East behind St. Louis. Finally, after a four-game series, the Astros were hoping to come away with a draw.

The Scene

The Mets had Dwight Gooden (7-3, 2.78) on the mound. Gooden was barely 22 years old when he and the Mets have crowned champions of Major League Baseball (incidentally eliminating the Astros in the 1986 NLCS). Danny Darwin got the start for the Astros (7-6, 3.38). Thirty-one years old at the time, he was in the 10th year of a 21-year MLB career. In 1990, Darwin had a 2.21 ERA and an MLB-leading 1.027 WHIP while with Houston, topping the NL in both categories.

astros game

Billy Hatcher singled to lead off the game against Gooden in the top of the first inning and then swiped second base. Second baseman Hatcher was picked off by Gooden but managed to advance to third on a throwing error by Doran (failed rundown). After that, Gooden got Denny Walling to fly out to the infield and Glenn Davis to ground out for a score of 6-3.

We’ll be keeping an eye on Wally Backman’s plate appearances, and Darwin got Lenny Dykstra to fly out. Darwin got Keith Hernandez to fly out to Hatcher to make it a 1-2-3 frame.

I could have picked a better focus for this essay, but it was generated at random. To keep things random, I’m going to publish as many of these as possible until someone takes me away.

The Astros had a 47% chance of winning going into Backman’s plate appearance and had a 49% chance of winning coming out of it. With a leverage index of only 0.61, the scenario didn’t have much of an effect. It’s still possible for any plate appearance to tip a game in one player’s favor or the other. In this case, it wasn’t. This would be the final out of the game.

astros game

Hernandez’s fourth-inning one-out RBI-single put the Mets on the board first, scoring Dykstra from second base. After six innings, the score was still 1-0 in Darwin’s favor. He had given up four singles and one walk while striking out four and allowing a total of 22 hitters to get through his pitching. While playing Gooden, Ken Caminiti hit a sacrifice fly to score Alan Ashby and allow Darwis to escape punishment for a hard-luck loss.

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Charlie Kerfeld walked both Dykstra and Backman in the bottom half of the eighth inning and was replaced by Dave Meads. Darryl Strawberry’s infield single loaded the bases before Meads got Hernandez out. Despite drawing a walk, Kevin McReynolds scored the winning run when Howard Johnson struck out.

The Astros had just a 16 percent probability of winning in the top half of the ninth inning. Houston’s chances had been reduced to 4% after two quick outs by reliever Jesse Orosco, but then something occurred. After singles from Caminiti and Davey Lopes, Gerald Young knocked in Caminiti to make it a tie game. An RBI double by Hatcher gave the Red Sox an early 5-2 lead.

In the ninth inning, Dave Smith came in and only allowed Dave Magadan to get a one-out double. To conclude the game, he struck out Mookie Wilson and got Dykstra to ground out.

It’s a series split after a road triumph over the reigning champions. The Reds, who had fallen 6-0 to the Montreal Expos, were now a full game behind the Astros, who had risen to.500 (for at least a day) with their victory.

Do you have a strong sense of longing? Even though I couldn’t find a copy of this game in an archive, here is one from just two weeks before.


The Astros finished the season with a record of 76-86, good for third place, despite a 27-37 record in their final 64 games. Having experienced the playoffs, this team would not return to the playoffs until 1997.

The 1987 team was led by Darwin, Hatcher, and others. What are your memories of them? Is it too soon? When I was a kid in South Florida, I was determined to collect every baseball card I could find, but I didn’t have a team to root for. I was always fascinated with numbers. When I was a kid, I couldn’t even begin to conceive how many statistics I would be able to access now.

Thank you for reading, and be sure to come back often for the latest Astros news.

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