Wednesday countdown: Something’s gotta give, Astros push for playoffs


Who here has been watching the scoreboard?

I have the MLB app on my phone, and generally I don’t watch anything other than the Astros. Not this week. I’ve been watching the Rangers’ games and Angels’ games and even the Twins’ (when they’re not getting rained out).

Every game matters. Every inning matters. Every pitch matters. And not just in the Astros’ games.

In March — when I was predicting the Astros would go .500 and maybe win 85 games — if you’d told me Houston would be playing meaningful baseball on Sept. 29, I’d have told you to wake up and smell the rebuilding. Yet, here we are watching our beloved H-town Nine play games that matter.

And what matters most?

  • The loss column. It’s what Houston can control. At this point it’s not just about winning more, it’s really about losing fewer. Lose fewer games than the Angels, pray the Rangers’ losses exceed the Astros’ losses. Keep those Twins at bay.
  • Maintain control of your own destiny. Right now, Houston has lost control of its destiny. If the Astros win out, the Twins win out and the Angels lose just one, there would be a convoluted tie breaker for that second wild card spot. No one wants to play an extra game before the play-in game, but if that’s what it takes, the more baseball the merrier.
  • A ballpark is a ballpark. It’d be a long way until Houston plays at home again this year — if they ever do. That means treating Seattle, Arizona and (hopefully) New York like just another place to play ball.

Compare that to last year. What mattered then?

  • Jose Altuve’s batting title. Sure, I’d like Jose to get to 200 hits again, but I’m not tuning in only for his ABs.
  • Dallas Keuchel and Collin McHugh’s win total. Again, I’d like to see Houston get a 20-game winner (plus a 19-game winner) but only because this team so desparately needs wins.
  • September call ups. Last season, the more the merrier on the call ups. This season, I think Jeff Luhnow has called up plenty of players.

What are the consolation prizes? In the event that Houston doesn’t make the playoffs — or even the play-in game — do those moral victories matter?

  • Houston most likely has this year’s American League Cy Young winner, Rookie of the Year and, quite possibly, Manager of the Year. Will those small victories keep you satisfied during the long, cold winter of discontent?
  • The overall improvement. Extra baseball or not, this has been a better team in 2015, and that bodes well for 2016 and beyond. Will that improvement ignite your optimism for the future?
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162 comments on “Wednesday countdown: Something’s gotta give, Astros push for playoffs

  1. Well, just now he and Blum saying Carter needs to learn how to slide and stay down and stay on the bag, Previously, talking about Castro needing to keep the glove on the ground. There were some other remarks that I don’t recall.
    Point is neither of them are sugar coating anything.
    Just now talking about Altuve freezing as Springer gets a hit.

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  2. They are going to lose this game, and they should. They can’t hit, they can’t field, they can’t catch, and our pitcher can NOT pitch. Shame…..real shame. I’m not sure what happened to Scott Kazmir…..he has completely lost the ability to pitch, if that’s the case he won’t be pitching anywhere next year.

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      • It won’t let me comment on my phone or my desk top ( yes I still have one of those)!!
        I was able to log out on my tablet, but it keeps asking me to use another password. I really never intended to sign up…..but I guess I didn’t get out of it before it signed me up!! I’ll leave them an email tomorrow….maybe someone in support can get me out.

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  3. Well, I’m done watching. The worst part for me was the base running. Carter overslid and everybody was ranting about Altuve not scoring. But Rasmus not running hard on the ball that fell in and Castro not running hard on his ball that the guy dove for and missed told me that this team is done.
    Kazmir obviously has something wrong, but there he is still pitching until he gives it up, with nine guys in the bullpen and a day off tomorrow and everything riding on this game.
    I’ll talk about next year but I’m done with this lousy team for this year.
    Jim Crane, I know you are a good for nothing, but could you possibly get mad and lop some heads off. I would sure feel better about the future.

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      • Yeah, I saw it on ESPN.com. I just can’t watch anymore. Watching Gattis swing like a two year old and Rasmus just taking a called strike three with two runners on made me so mad I can’t even say my night prayers without stuttering.
        Errors and dropped popups and wild pitches.
        I actually have six hours of driving tomorrow to get my wife to a checkup with a neurosurgeon.
        Maybe I will wake up in the morning and find out Seattle is actually worse than we are. God bless you all. G’night.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I get up at 5:15 so I went to bed with us losing 2-0. Woke up this morning wondering what happened all the way around.
    Looks like a roller coaster ride last night – the good with the bad.
    – We can’t let Kazmir anywhere near a playoff start.
    – If they make the playoffs, the Chris Carter who fell out of an alien space ship two weeks ago will be the key offensive cog
    – Weird how they can’t field when Kazmir pitches
    – Harris and Sipp and don’t give up the ship.
    – I can’t believe they still have a chance – thought they were going to free fall a week ago.
    – Don’t give up on this team because this team never gives up

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