After a rough start to the season, you would think that most public relations teams would tone it down with the Astros. After all, they're tied for the worst record in the National League, and they've yet to win consecutive games this season. So I'm sure that will be exactly the case when I check out Brian McTaggart's latest wo---awhaaaa?
Houston appears on verge of breaking out
They have acne? Noted blogger Murray Chass tells me that means they might be doing steroids.
Another slow start has the Astros looking up at the rest of the National League Central barely two weeks into the season, though their recent play has given them reason for optimism.
The Astros have gone 5-6 since they dropped their first five road games of the season.
That's great. On a ten game homestand, the Astros managed to go 4-6 against three teams that very few people expect to compete for anything this year. The turnaround is here!
Houston just went 4-6 at home and let a couple of games get away in the final few innings.
However, three of the Astros five wins have been by two runs or less--it's not like they're exactly showing signs that they're "breaking out," like they've piled on runs somewhere and just need to be more consistent. Except of course for beating poor Jeff Russell around, who was making his first MLB start and hadn't been properly stretched out.
The Astros lost by an average of 4.8 runs in dropping their first five games of the season, including a one-run loss on Opening Day in which they blew a save in the ninth inning. In the six losses during the homestand, the Astros lost by an average of 1.7 runs.
The Reds and Phillies are a combined 19-12. The Cubs, Marlins, and Padres are a combined 23-23. Shockingly, the Astros played better against worse teams!
Offensively, the Astros are in the middle of the pack in the NL with a .262 batting average. They rank last in home runs with eight, but are sixth with 66 RBIs.
Houston batters have a .691 OPS despite a hot couple of weeks from Angel Sanchez and the pitchers. Just to use one name for reference, Joe Inglett has a career .735 OPS. The Astros have hot starts from two unlikely sources and can't out-hit Joe Inglett as a whole.
We're adults here, Astros. You can admit that you're not very good right now. It's okay--it was sort of expected this year. If the Astros "breakout" and play .500 baseball over the rest of the season, they'll finish with 75 wins. Which is to say, they'll do exactly what they've done the last two years. Just stop.