Top of the Week: It’s only one series, but …
The Houston Astros won the weekend series with the Texas Rangers on Sunday with a 10-0 tail paddling of the Arlington bunch. This was a follow-up to Friday’s 3-2 win that they could have lost and Saturday’s 7-6 loss that they could have won. It is only one series. It is only winning two games out of three. But it was an important series win for many reasons.
- Coming into the series the Astros before the All Star break had lost three consecutive series and six games in a row. They were bleeding like Rocky and Rambo put together.
- They had not won a series against another AL West team since the middle of June against the Mariners.
- They showed some toughness and moxie in coming back from 5-1 in the eighth inning of the middle game to make a contest out of a snoozer. They also stood up to the Rangers in a bench clearing shoving and leaning match and A.J. Hinch of all people showed fire for his team going nose to nose with the Rangers’ manager Jeff Bannister.
- The bats came to life over the weekend, which was a necessity after they went into the deep freeze leading into the All Star game.
- McHugh gutted it out without his best stuff Friday, and Keuchel dominated with his best stuff Sunday. These two have to be the leaders of a second half charge.
- Carlos Correa continues to be a precocious leader of this team, sparking it on offense again and again while playing a strong defensive SS. After struggling with inside pitches before the break, he seemed to have figured things out a bit better in this weekend series.
- Luis Valbuena‘s bat returned from MIA territory, Preston Tucker continued to do a solid job and Evan Gattis and Colby Rasmus helped out along the way.
The questions for you this Monday morning are….
- Is this series more of a reflection of the Rangers poor pitching staff and bullpen than the Astros slumbering bats awakening?
- Is the bleeding officially stopped? Are the Astros ready to go on a run?
- If the Astros get hot for a couple of weeks is that just concealing the real problems the team faces?
- Can they hold on in contention until help (Lowrie, Springer and ???) arrives?