{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Astros' tight infield defense a boon to Harrell

|
Astros' tight infield defense a boon to Harrell play video for Astros' tight infield defense a boon to Harrell

NEW YORK -- With sinkerballer Lucas Harrell getting the Yankees to hit the ball on the ground with regularity, inducing four double plays during Monday's 9-1 Astros win, Houston's slick infield defense had a chance to show its stuff. Third baseman Matt Dominguez, second baseman Jose Altuve and the shortstop combo of Marwin Gonzalez and Ronny Cedeno have played terrific and worked well together.

As a result, the Astros entered Tuesday leading the Major Leagues with 35 double plays and added to that total in the first inning with a 4-6-3 twin killing.

"We're all still trying to figure out where we like to play and things like that -- what balls I can get to in the hole and what balls Ronny and Marwin can get to," Dominguez said. "I think we're all just starting to kind of jell, and it may sound weird, but we're in a defensive groove right now and starting to feel more comfortable."

Porter credits the work of bench coach Eduardo Perez for positioning the infielders properly, based on the information he receives from the club's analytics department.

"I've always said this: Quality defense starts with the ball before it's pitched and being in the right position," Porter said. "We've done a great job from an organizational standpoint in providing these guys with information to position themselves properly, and they've done a great job of letting their abilities show."

Porter hopes Harrell's ability to pitch to contact and let his defense do the work will serve as a lesson to the Astros' other pitchers.

"We have a pretty good defense," Porter said. "If you make the team put the ball in play and the pace of the game is good, the plays are going to be made. We've only gotten in trouble when it's a lot of deep counts and guys are being walked, and it compiles baserunners and the pace of the game slows down. We've been extremely happy overall with the defense as a whole throughout the course of the season."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español