All Things Astros and a whole lot more
So, did anything good come of losing three straight to the Rangers? Anything at all? Well, I think so. But maybe I haven’t taken off my rose-colored glasses yet. So I’ll let each of you decide.
1. The Astros are .500 for the month of May.
Yeah, it’s a plus. Look, going 15-7 in April was great, but if you thought the Astros would win more than two-thirds of their games each month you are insane. Now don’t get me wrong, the Astros can’t keep playing like they have over the last few days. But that team that was sweeping everyone wasn’t the real Astros either.
So May is probably the month where we find out if the Astros are for real. The opponents for the rest of the month include the Angels (currently 13-15), the Giants (14-14), A’s (12-17), Tigers (17-11), Orioles (12-13) and White Sox (10-14).
Now the optimist would say, “Hey, only one team above .500!” I, on the other hand, say, “Here’s a bunch of teams that are better than their records indicate. The Astros might just be the course correction these teams need.”
Finish the season month at .500, and this is a good sign.
2. Remaining .500 can happen with this rotation. No, really!
The Astros have lost one start by Dallas Keuchel this month. How many more times do you think that’ll happen? At worst, I’d say once. He’s got five more starts this month. Collin McHugh has five starts this month. McHugh isn’t quite as invincible as Keuchel, but let’s just say the Astros win three of this starts. That’d be a bad month for McHugh. There’s a minimum of seven wins. Scott Feldman is probably good for a couple of more decent games this month. Let’s say the Astros win two of his starts. Now Houston has nine more wins to go with the three it already has on the month.
That’s 12 wins I think the Astros can put in the bank. That’s out of 29 games. To finish the month without falling below .500 for May, the Astros will need to win 15 of the month’s 29 games. That means three wins from games started by games not named Keuchel, McHugh or Feldman. I think that’s doable. Heck, I think the Astros win four of McHugh’s starts. That means just two other wins are needed.
3. Rock bottom means there’s nowhere to go but up.
Over three games, Jose Altuve went 1-for-10. Marwin Gonzalez went 2-for-10. The Astros had seven extra-base hits over three games. Heck, that’s ridiculously low. Basically, that offense that took a break against the Rangers won’t be taking the day off every game. I’m pretty sure the bats have rested enough to start hitting again. And I’m sure whatever overconfidence was going to the Astros’ heads is long gone.
4. Changes are about to come.
This goes back a few starts, but I think Sam Deduno‘s time in the rotation will shortly come to an end. Does that mean Brett Oberholtzer or Mark Appel? Maybe Tommy Shirley finally gets that chance he deserves. And I don’t think the changes stop at the back-end of the rotation.
Jonathan Villar has to go. Maybe Ronald Torreyes comes up. Maybe it’s time to see Nolan Fontana. If a roster move needs to be made, I think the Astros could do without Luis Cruz. Besides, when Preston Tucker catches fire over the next week, I think Luhnow will decide it’s time to harvest the farm.