Over the weekend, the Astros easily won two bookend games from the Toronto Blue Jays and lost the middle game when they fell behind, kept rallying and then had a bullpen meltdown bury them late.
After a late-game rally against the Yanks that turned a potential ugly 2-4 road trip to an acceptable 3-3 road trip, the Astros return home for the longest homestand of the season. They will play ten games in ten days against the Blue Jays sans, the injured George Springer, the Angels sans, the released Astro killer Albert Pujols and the Rangers sans class (OK, I have to keep stirring that in-state rivalry).
After last season, it may feel strange to say that the Astros are in the early season after 29 games since that would have been just short of half a season a year ago. But, they have covered less than 20% of the 2021 season, and so some concerns may be the result of small sample syndrome, while others may be true concerns that are not going away.
April was a physical and emotional roller coaster for the Astros as they swung from a 6-1 start to the season, down to a 1-9 middle of the month, over to a 7-2 finish. The Astros were hit hard with COVID related losses (Pedro Baez, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, Martin Maldonado and Robel Garcia) and injury losses (Framber Valdez, Jake Odorizzi, Baez, Andre Scrubb, Blake Taylor, Enoli Paredes). The plus .500 record was good, all things considered.
The blog will give out some April Chipalatta Awards in our next post, but today we will look ahead to the month of May and those things that “may” come for the Houston Nine.
The Astros have been an interesting study in inconsistency to date. They started off 6-1, then lost nine of the next ten to bottom out at 7-10 and now have been on a mini-run by winning 5 of their last six to get back over .500 at 12-11. Today we will just highlight some thoughts that have occurred to us on this Hump Day in April.
It has been a long time since the blog has revisited the classic WTSWTM, more easily understood as What They Said – What They Meant. Simply stated, several Astros related quotes are pulled from mlb.com and reprinted here. Then we untangle the coach or player speak and tell you what the person really meant…
Apologies to Stevie Wonder. But not everyone believes in Superstition, though there is probably some of that sentiment in his song. And on a side note, did Stevie who has been famous since his early teens ever consider changing over to Steve or Steven? “Ladies and Gentlemen, put your hands together for Steven Wonder!!” Doesn’t work, kind of like when Dwight Shrute on The Office references William Joel. But I digress. A lot.