Jim Crane is right. If the Astros do not make the playoffs in 2015, the season will have been a disappointment.
Say all you will about the unexpected success. Shout it out loud that 2017 is supposed to the year anyway. Yeah, yeah, the organization is in rebuild mode and 2015 wasn’t supposed to be the year anyway.
Still, it will be an empty feeling if the Astros are not playing baseball after October 4.
It’s come down to this weekend perhaps. Make it or break it. Do or die.
I posited a few weeks ago — while the Astros were still somewhat comfortably in first place — that it could come down to a do-or-die situation for Houston. That the Angels and Twins, and not the Rangers, were the real threat. And, here we are.
Just seven games over .500 and still not at the magical break-even point for the season, the Twins and Angels are running almost neck and neck with the Astros. They’re licking their chops at Houston’s three-game series with Texas this weekend. And Houston is a 3-7 over the past 10, not exactly where you want to be in the midst of a stretch run.
Sure, attendance is up this season, Jeff Luhnow and A.J. Hinch have found a couple more solid pieces to add to Jose Altuve’s build-around success and the Astros seemed almost destined to be above .500 (right?).
But, admit it, if Houston doesn’t even back into the playoffs, it will be — as Crane noted — “a big disappointment”.
None of the major players (read Luhnow, Hinch, etc) will be fired if they don’t. There won’t be a major shakeup, not even on the field. Sure, Chris Carter, Hank Conger, Colby Rasmus and others will be gone, but the core will remain.
This time, Jim Crane is right. Nine games to go. The most important nine games of the season. No more talk of 90 wins this season. Face it, 85 wins may be a challenge.
The season begins tonight with a three-game weekend series with the Rangers. Let’s see what ya got!