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How critical is a mid-April rendezvous in Arlington?


The Astros had Monday off and before a three game series with their in-state nemesis the Texas Rangers. It is early. It is very, very, very early in the season. But there are arguments for why this might be an important series for the Astros. Consider the following:

  • The Astros won the 2015 season series with 13 teams last season and the only significant series loss was to the Rangers as they only won 6 of 19 games.
  • The season series loss to the Rangers was the main reason the Astros ended up as the Wild Card team and not the AL West champion they might have been.
  • On August 2 they had a 4 game lead on the division. Between then and September 25 they went 20-31 and lost 8 straight to the Rangers in that time period. They went from 4 games ahead to 4.5 behind in the division and the Rangers were the ones who drove the stake in their collective hearts.
  • After finally winning a series against the Tigers, the Astros are 5-8 and 2 games behind the division leading Rangers in the AL West in 2016.

It was obvious that the Astros melted during the hottest portion of the pennant race last season and that the Rangers were holding the biggest blow torch. They have the potential after this 3 game series of ending up anywhere from 1 game ahead of the Rangers to 5 games behind the Rangers.

So, some questions to ponder:

  1. How important is this series to the team or is it just the next 3 of 149 more games this season?
  2. Are the Astros any better set-up to play the Rangers this season than last?
  3. What are the most important areas for the Astros in slowing the Rangers down in 2016?
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About Dan P

Dan Peschong is a full time engineer and a long time Astros lover from the days of Joe Morgan to the days of Jose Altuve.

192 comments on “How critical is a mid-April rendezvous in Arlington?

  1. 1oldpro
    April 20, 2016

    In the first inning, the 3&4 hitters strike out with 2 runners on and Springer has no clue that Altuve is stealing 3B so he just follows along and gets thrown out by a mile. Of course, Hinch screws up the third way by challenging a call that was never going to be overturned.
    In the second inning Marwin screws up by not getting the runner home, Gomez does what a two year old always does and Castro does what Castro always does.
    After that, Fister does what every Astros pitcher does after the other Astros screw up: Walk a batter and then give up a homer. What a baseball team!
    I think that the guy who has read too many predictions about the Astros being great is AJ Hinch. He has not gotten this team ready to play. Seriously, this team is not ready to play major league baseball.

    Like

    • daveb7
      April 20, 2016

      Yeah, compare our young team to a young Cubs team.

      Like

  2. Billy Castillo
    April 20, 2016

    When is Stassi due back? Castro looking like JR Towles at the plate…

    Like

  3. Dan P
    April 20, 2016

    Instead of watching the game I am working at the kitchen table trying to cling to my engineering job in the oil patch.
    Based on the comments so far – I think I would rather not watch and keep my dinner down…..

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Becky⚾
    April 20, 2016

    F.N.A.L.L.Y.!!!! TYLER WHITE!

    Like

  5. Dan P
    April 20, 2016

    OK – so I started following the game on mlb gameday – it is just killing me. I think I’m headed to bed early and will hope there is good news when I wake up because there is no good news when I am paying attention.

    Like

  6. Becky⚾
    April 20, 2016

    I’m done with these guys until they learn to play baseball. Totally disgusting loss.

    Like

    • sandy
      April 20, 2016

      It’s really sad. Sure would like to know what happened.

      Like

      • sandy
        April 20, 2016

        None of them act like they even care.

        Like

  7. Mr. Bill
    April 21, 2016

    One thing I have noticed about the hitters for Kansas City and Texas – when they get two strikes on them they start fouling off marginal pitches, making our pitchers throw them a decent strike. When our guys get two strikes on them nothing of the sort happens. They do not adjust their stroke, hence they do not foul marginal pitches off. They swing like it is the only pitch they will ever see and either strike out or pop-out. Hence we struck out 9 times last night while they struck out five times.

    And the base-running outs just keep adding up. We look like a bunch of little leaguers in their first year of leads and steals. Coaching staff – are you there?

    Like

    • Devin_
      April 21, 2016

      This was the knock on Springer and a bogus reason for delaying his start time a few years back. If you look at our system, Luhnow has been trying to draft players who do have patience and a two strike approach. White is the only one who has made it to the majors. Correa is inconsistent in that regard, but shows promise.

      Like

    • Steve Fredrich
      April 21, 2016

      I haven’t watched all their games but it struck me the other day that the Astros have been drawing a lot of 3-2 counts. A little noodling around on Baseball Reference reveals that the Astros are actually seeing noticeably more pitches this year: 4.12 per PA so far, compared to 3.86 last year. Royals this year are at 3.88 per PA and Rangers are at 3.81. Also, Astros are walking 8.8% of the time this year vs 8% last year. They are swinging at fewer first pitches this year (29.4 vs 33.5% of the time). So on some measures you might argue we are seeing more plate discipline from them this year. On the other hand, their SO percentage is actually UP from last year (27.1% v 22.9%). Special thanks to Castro, Kratz, Marisnick and Gattis , all 40% or more SO rate.

      Their clutch stats are just abysmal this year. They have has 52 AB with 2 outs and RISP with only 6 hits. Correa, Tucker, Marisnick, Castro, MarGo, CarGo, Gattis and Kratz are a combined 0-24. And Mr. Bill and others are right on about the base running. Counting caught stealing we have given up 17 outs on the bases, more than 1 per game. That’s horrendous.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Steven
        April 21, 2016

        Whoa there, Steve’s that use stats like that around here, that spot is already taken.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Dan P
        April 22, 2016

        We have lots of room for Steve’s – but you Dan P impersonators better watch out.

        Like

  8. Tim
    April 21, 2016

    If there is one thing I have learned watching the Astros/Rangers series the past 1+ years is that Jeff Banister definitely deserved the MOY over A.J. Hinch. He has out-managed Hinch in almost every way possible when the Astros have played the Rangers. It’s gotten comical to see every move Banister makes work out for the Rangers while Hinch continues to make bonehead decisions (not sacrificing runners over, letting Castro bat against a LHP with a runner on 3rd and 1 out late in the game, etc.). Take away that 10-game winning streak last year, when the Astros sort of caught the league off guard, this team is below .500. Maybe Hinch isn’t that good of a manager. He continues to make head-scratching decisions while Banister seems to be making all the right calls (well, at least it appears that way).

    Like

  9. Zanuda
    April 21, 2016

    No joy in Mudville!

    Like

  10. 1oldpro
    April 21, 2016

    What’s wrong?
    **After the first two games of the season, Carlos Correa’s stats are alarmingly low and the Astros are 3-9. It’s been bad, I looked it up.
    **Their #1 starter lost to the Brewers, which meant a series loss to a bad team.
    **The Astros worst hitters aren’t hitting at all and their best hitters can’t hit with men on.
    **Astros pitchers have a bad inning every game except one, which ended in a 1-0 win.
    **There doesn’t appear to be a dominant top prospect pitching in the high minors who can help, because the club does not allow any minor league pitcher to go out and dominate. They pull their pitchers early.
    **Other teams are throwing inside to the Astros and even hit them to get them to back off. There is no retaliation from the Astros, probably because none of them throw hard enough to hurt anyone.
    **The Astros gave up a ton to get another closer, never dreaming that they would rarely have the lead in the ninth inning. Even if Giles were perfect, a team doesn’t need two closers if they trail most of the time That trade looks like a huge pimple because of the team losing.
    **Carlos Gomez and Jason Castro are two sure outs, one in the middle of the lineup and one at the end. Two rally killers spaced perfectly to give other team’s pitchers a way out of a threat.
    **The Astros waltzed through spring training with joking around and starters rarely playing at crunch time. The young prospects finished every game and the regulars never played under pressure. Games were closed by pitchers now pitching in the minors.
    **Even though Marisnick is totally clueless at the plate, he has no way to get better because the club refuses to send him down and work it out. He is like the worthless son of a business owner who becomes a boss, even though he drags the company down and they are failing, it’s the other guys who get laid off and he stays.
    **Nobody picks anybody else up at the plate on this team. One guy fails and the next guy fails right behind them. It is happening virtually every night.
    **The best base stealers on this team are actually terrible baserunners, which is why we lose so many baserunners on the basepaths. They are like fast wide receivers who run bad routes. They are faster, but they don’t get open. It’s very frustrating to watch.
    **The phrase “one bad pitch” applies to our pitching staff a lot.

    Liked by 2 people

    • sandy
      April 21, 2016

      I agree. So how do they turn it around? Do we need to replace the coaching staff or the whole front office?

      Like

      • 1oldpro
        April 21, 2016

        I think they should bench Gomez and let Marisnick hit every day for a week and see if he comes out of it and if not, send him down to Fresno and put Gomez back in.
        I think they should work on baserunning constantly, I think Altuve should call off White on popups to the right side like he did to Carter last year.
        I think the Astros should stay the course through May and see if they are a good club playing poorly or a bad club playing poorly.
        If they haven’t come around by the end of May, I would start trading players who aren’t in the team’s plans for next season, one by one as the opportunities arise until the high priced-non producers are gone and the prospects I want are taking their places and also look for players I can use next year who might be available at trade time and deal for them if I can.
        We play the Rangers so many times a year that they will eliminate us themselves if we keep playing them like this. That makes the decision a little easier.
        If the Astros lose tonight, they will trail the Rangers by 5 games. It would take a 10 game winning streak to get back in it and the Astros do not have the type of pitching to go on a 10 game winning streak. The other way to catch up is winning almost every series and to do that would take a complete turnaround by the Astros at the plate. That appears to be the most promising scenario. Scoring 5 runs a game would be the most likely way to turn it around. This team might be able to win 60% of their games scoring 5 runs a game, but it would take all season to do it that way.

        Liked by 1 person

      • sandy
        April 21, 2016

        They reall need a 3 or 4 game winning streak. I don’t see that happening though with this rotation.

        Like

      • Devin_
        April 21, 2016

        I wouldn’t focus on the Rangers in the short term. In the last 10 games we are 3-7 and Texas is 7-3. It’s likely they will run into a stretch where we flip those records. Also, a five game deficit in April requires us to gain just one game per month in the standings on them. If Houston is a contender we should see the bad baseball put into the rearview soon. If not, they are not contenders.

        We aren’t getting blown out. A few games were put out of reach by our bullpen. The ship can be righted by fundamentals.

        On pop-ups, our propensity to shift clouds the waters. A normally positioned 1B should take any pop-up to their left or in front. A 2B is responsible for anything behind the 1B in fair territory. Foul ground is a judgement call, but the 2B always has the right to supercede a call by the 1B.

        Like

      • 1oldpro
        April 21, 2016

        Devin, the Astros are taking your advice and definitely not focusing on the Rangers in the short term.

        Like

      • Steven
        April 21, 2016

        I would agree with Devin in so much as to say we need to focus on being better before we can be good enough to focus on anyone. I would say at least 6 of the losses were self imposed, lack of execution at a critical time. Those losses are going to happen, but they are happening at an unacceptable rate.

        Like

    • Nance (@Bbfanlady)
      April 21, 2016

      Great analysis OP!

      Like

  11. astrosfan57
    April 21, 2016

    Well the game didn’t go as I had hoped it would last night but I was pleasantly surprised with how Fister buckled down when needed to and only gave up two runs, and Giles somehow got himself in a world of trouble after the White error and managed to get to shallow pop flys and a strike out to get out of the bases loaded no out situation.
    I could not believe all the bone headed mistakes that we are making on the bases. I have never seen a team make stupid mistake after stupid mistake in all my years of playing and watching games.

    Like

  12. Dan P
    April 21, 2016

    In the engineering / construction there is an extreme tool used at times called a stand down. If there is a serious safety incident the company can choose to stand down and not do work for a day while they address the incident and re-train the employees.
    I think this team needs a base running stand down and retraining. They need to put some folks on permanent red light until they show they can be trusted. And if the base coaches are also to blame that needs to get addressed also.

    Like

    • Zanuda
      April 21, 2016

      Dan, Agree with you 100%. I too know about stand downs. If that doesn’t work we may need to make changes at the PM and executive management level.

      Like

    • Diane
      April 21, 2016

      Can you stand down for a whole season, Dan? (Calling all Chipsters: Pile on and reduce expectations to zilch, then maybe the boys of spring will do their thing.)

      Like

  13. 1oldpro
    April 21, 2016

    I kid you not: in 50 plate appearances, Gomez finished ahead in the count only 14 times. In those 14 PAs his slash line is .167, .286, .167, .452. When he’s behind it’s much lower .063, .063, .063, .125!
    The only time he hits well is when the count is even: .333, .333, .524, .857. Is that weird or what?
    Don’t ever throw Gomez a first pitch in the strike zone. Let him get ahead in the count or behind. If he’s even in the count, throw him a pitch away. The only time he really focuses at the plate is when he’s even in the count.

    Like

    • Steven
      April 21, 2016

      Yes odd. I think its just short sample because his career numbers look like most hitters, great at 2-0 or 3-0, plain silly bad at 1-2 or 0-2.

      I do think the guy is not the same guy that played in Milwaukee. It’s looking like, between Fiers and Gomez both, that Luhnow may have been fleeced. Santana is outperforming both, but its early and Domingo’s K rate is nowhere near what it will end up being.

      Like

    • Diane
      April 21, 2016

      OP, laughed at your comment above about the ‘Stros “definitely not focusing on the Rangers in the short term.”

      Like

  14. Diane
    April 21, 2016

    May be my imagination but believe Mr. Hinch was ducking behind dugout posts to hide during second inning.

    Like

  15. Kevin
    April 21, 2016

    Well; I thin k you all have covered it, just a really bad team right now top to bottom and its only 4-21 geez. I shard 2 weeks ago it all started in SPRING BREAK!
    Hinch doesn’t even look the same or talk the same.

    Interview yesterday he sounded like a beat up scared 8th grader.

    Like

  16. Zanuda
    April 21, 2016

    With so much promise a year ago we have managed to go from the penthouse to the outhouse.
    Reasons are (Many already pointed out by most of us):
    1) Bad trades made last year and the off season. You may find a diamond in the rough occasionally but that’s a 1 out of 10. It’s called being cheap.
    2) Bone headed base running plays by the players
    3) Bad hitting (All or nothing is not going to work). Situational hitting is non existent.
    4) Not allowing the young players to come up and play because we’ve bought into the mentality of letting the highest price player play (even if it costs us games).
    5) Bad coaching and management decisions. And yes some very astute observers made this comment in ST.
    6) Bad situational pitching.
    7) We seem to have lost the “chemistry component” of the team.

    I’m sure others have plenty to add that I probably missed.

    Liked by 2 people

    • sandy
      April 21, 2016

      That pretty much sums it up and the problem is unless the FO realizes this it’s only going to get worse.

      Like

    • Diane
      April 21, 2016

      Laughing again, Zanuda, which ain’t easy today.

      Like

  17. daveb7
    April 21, 2016

    I know it’s not entirely fair to go back but I’m keeping an eye on one of my favorite former Astro prospects. Domingo Santana is hitting a serviceable .259 with a quality .365 OBP and an .810 OPS. I expect more from him as he settles in. How many of us here would like to see Santana in right right now and Springer playing center where he belongs? And don’t forget all the other guys we gave to the Brewers.

    Oh and Nick Tropeano has an 0.84 ERA in two starts this year. So yes, I think that so far anyway, that Angel deal and that Milwaukee deal are two of Luhnows worst to date.

    And if VV keeps up his present work, that’ll be an ugly deal regardless of what Giles does. I admit, I was on the fence about that trade. Besides the 0.724 WHIP, Vince has walked just 3 guys, and leads the NL with 29 K’s. Those are great stats for a late guy out of the pen. It’s easy to say now that Vince might well have been good to have around this year, in any role.

    I know, Luhnow orchestrated a first trip to the post season in a decade, but what if he had done nothing and just used the talent already in house? I think we would have gotten there regardless, and been much better off today and moving forward.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 1oldpro
      April 21, 2016

      I disagree, dave, only because by the time Luhnow arrived there was no talent at the major league level because Drayton had shipped it away in trades for prospects that seemed nice but were not, in hindsight. There was no talent at the minor league level because Drayton sided with Selig and would not sign the high draft choices and the ones we did sign should never have been drafted. OMG, I won’t name their names!
      Thirdly, Luhnow would have had no money because the TV deal Drayton worked out was a total farce and Luhnow could not have signed any players to build a team out of. We would not have gotten thereregardless.
      Luhnow did the only thing he could do: tear it down and dedo it completely. He tore it down and restocked it, but because he is a numbers guy and not a baseball guy, he didn’t know what to do with the players once he got them.
      His biggest mistake was hiring all people who thought like him and did not hire a baseball guy to develop players properly. All the gripes players have with this organization is with how the players have been developed and treated in the minors. Luhnow wouldn’t hire anyone to do that right. He hired his kind of guys. And he made huge mistakes finding proven players because he was not enough of a baseball mind to account for what they were GOING to do in the future. He is a mathematician who sees what players HAVE done and then tries to see how past stats can predict the future. His plan was numbers, not baseball sense. When his numbers failed he panicked and started throwing dollars at players he thought might work, but he’s not very good at that
      Guys like Hamels, a baseball player, don’t want to deal with that crap. They’d rather go somewhere where they would be able to win, not fill some kind of pitching quota based on a formula that some guy came up with sitting at a computer. Hamels didn’t want to come here. Why was that?

      Like

      • daveb7
        April 21, 2016

        1OP, I agree with you for disagreeing. I should have been much more clear. Obviously, Luhnow has been the architect of a rebuild still in progress.

        I was not specific. I don’t like the deals we’ve made going back as far as Conger. That’s all I was focusing on. I probably should have added Kazmir too, along with the Brewers deal and the Phillies deal.

        But I think we do agree on quite a bit, based on the second part of your reply. Maybe Luhnow should be the GM of minor league acquisitions. Because I think we both agree that he might know what to do with guys once he has them. And he has done an unremarkable job in trading for major league ready talent to date. That’s all I’ve tried to illustrate, the most recent examples.

        I’ll reiterate one thing. As it turned out, I think this club might have gone to the post season last year without any of the deals I mentioned. And at least from my standpoint today, we’d have been better off right now if he had not made those deals. Who was the expert that said, “sometimes the best deal is the three we did not make”?

        Like

      • daveb7
        April 21, 2016

        1OP, I meant of course to say that Luhnow might NOT know what to do with guys once he has them.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Tim
        April 21, 2016

        Dave,

        I agree with you completely in that Luhnow has an eye for young talent, but he seems to fail at acquiring major league proven talent. He did a remarkable job rebuilding the farm system, but then he has, so far, failed miserably, in the deals he has made to acquire ‘proven’ veterans like Kazmir, Gomez, Conger and Fiers, to some extent sans the no-hitter (I’m not going to say Giles has been a failure yet as I think he will be good). If there was a way to have Luhnow simply in charge of the draft and minor leagues I would feel much more comfortable. The one trade he did well, in my opinion, was the Cosart trade, but again, that was primarily acquiring prospects for major league players.

        Like

    • Andrew
      April 21, 2016

      Assuming no trade for Kazmir & Gomez, I think they would have gone as far as they did.

      Like

    • Devin_
      April 21, 2016

      Yeah, I would rather have VV, NiTro, or Oberholtzer than Fiers or Fister (despite the strong effort yesterday). Feldman was a FA signing and didn’t cost prospects. However, I won’t write off the Giles trade just yet. We saw the price of bullpen arms got ridiculous thanks to the retirement of Mariano Rivera and success of KC. The Kazmir and Gomez trades sting because we have up a lot and didn’t get production justifying the cost, but everything is 20/20 in hindsight.

      Also, recall that I criticized the Cosart trade…and he isn’t pitching better than our F-squad.

      Like

  18. Andrew
    April 21, 2016

    Fister had a quality start (unexpectedly) and Giles got himself out of trouble as skillfully as he got into it. If somebody knocked in Altuve one of the 17 times he was on base, that game’s an easy win and people are heaving sighs of relief.

    I’m starting to think that a “major overhaul” would actually do more harm than good. But I’m going to let things simmer a bit before delving into it.

    Also, 0-for-4 with a strike out for DeShields. Hah!

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      April 21, 2016

      Andrew, I don’t want a major overhaul either. But there are six high priced(for us) players on this team who probably are not going to be here next year.
      If, and only if, we are not contenders in June it would be my advice to answer calls for them and make calls concerning them and try to trade them for a few prospects by August 1st trade deadline and start bringing up the players we want to be on the team next spring.
      That would not be considered a major overhaul, but a fruition of the plan. Get those pitchers and position players here early and give them some experience this year, so they know what they need to do to get ready for next year. I’m talking guys like Bregman, Kemp, Reed, Moran, Heineman, Gustave, Hoyt, Shirley, Musgrove,Feliz and anyone else who they might count on. Give them a taste and let the players behind them move up.

      Like

      • Andrew
        April 21, 2016

        I count Rasmus, Gomez, Feldman, Fister, Valbuena…and Castro?

        Like

      • 1oldpro
        April 21, 2016

        Andrew you got 5 out of my 6. I keep Rasmus and try to resign him and trade Neshek. We need outfielders and don’t need $6.5 million RH relief pitchers. And, so far, Rasmus looks like a new man.

        Like

      • Andrew
        April 21, 2016

        Not coincidentally, Rasmus just hit his 2nd HR of the night. I’m all for keeping him, though at this rate his price tag in 2017 might be $20 million!

        Like

  19. Mr. Bill
    April 21, 2016

    At this stage I just want to see a win. All the rest is just window dressing. General Quarters. All Hands on Deck. Battle Stations. Fire one.

    Like

  20. Mr. Bill
    April 21, 2016

    So far, Eric Kratz is batting .213 points under his career average.
    His OBP is.264 under his career average.
    That is all.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Tim
    April 21, 2016

    The Astros have a remarkable record at the games I attend. Needless to say I’m at Globe Life Park tonight doing my part to get this thing turned around. Go Astros!

    Like

    • Mr. Bill
      April 21, 2016

      Tim, I am not sure anything can help them right now. Death spiral in full swing.

      Like

  22. Dan P
    April 21, 2016

    Snakebit

    Like

  23. Kevin
    April 21, 2016

    Man will it ever get better Geez

    Like

  24. Tim
    April 21, 2016

    I’m sorry, folks. I tried, but this place is just the Temple of Doom for the Astros.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Kevin
    April 21, 2016

    Is there Mulligans in baseball. Tim 2016 is the Temple of doom for this Mash Unit.

    Like

  26. daveb7
    April 21, 2016

    You know, being in the hunt last summer might have been the worst thing that could have happened to this club in retrospect. Luhnow went out and tried to improve the team. Can’t blame him for that, but the results might include somewhat of a set back this year.

    Like

  27. Kevin
    April 21, 2016

    I know its just me, but I’m thinking our pre anointed HOF SS might have got a little big for his britches in the off season. Humility is a SOB

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nance (@Bbfanlady)
      April 21, 2016

      I’m thinking a lot of guys may have come in to the season with big heads….

      Liked by 1 person

    • sandy
      April 21, 2016

      Kevin, I’ve been wondering about that myself.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kevin
        April 21, 2016

        Dang man it’s amazing how we have regressed so far in 2016, in every aspect of the game of baseball. )(*&&&()

        Like

    • Diane
      April 22, 2016

      It’s not just you, Kevin. I didn’t want to say anything bad about the guy, so I didn’t. Just noticed several weeks or so ago, the sunglasses were on even during some interviews. Well, I thought maybe there’s an eye problem, not my business. Then comments about how nice it was to be in Mexico where the fans spoke Spanish. Then all the hoopla surrounding him in New York. They’ll be telling him to get out of this low-lying swamp as soon as he can and into the dry and heady spotlights of the Big Apple. I still like him and hope it all comes together, for all our sakes.

      Like

      • 1oldpro
        April 22, 2016

        The thing he said that worries me was that the huge Adidas deal would take care of him and his family until free agency got here. Very unsettling to me.

        Like

      • daveb7
        April 22, 2016

        Maybe the kid has already realized that this is not the organization for him. So be it, but go play some baseball in the meantime and increase your value.

        Like

  28. Devin_
    April 21, 2016

    I’m on the bench Gomez to send a message bandwagon. You don’t swing so hard you fall to a knee or knock your helmet off when you are below the Mendoza line.

    Like

  29. Nance (@Bbfanlady)
    April 21, 2016

    I don’t see a team leader like the Rangers have in Beltre……

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Becky⚾
    April 21, 2016

    Did not get to see or hear the game tonight because my husband and I are in Norfolk to watch our Navy Commander in a change of command ceremony on Saturday!
    Lots of pomp and circumstance, Jeff will fly his plane away from the base and the new XO will fly his his in to the base. This is his last bit for the Navy as he is planning to retire in the fall. Couldn’t be more proud of this fine young man, he is the epedemy of what is good in the country as a man who has served this country with poise and guts. I love him so much and I’m one proud mother that I have him to love for 45yrs.
    I’m tired of dissing this club…….unless and until they start playing like they are being payed to, I’d rather concentrate on getting well, and celebrating one fine man who happens to be our son.
    Baseball will continue to be played. We will win again someday, and we will continue to get excited, and pi$$ed off, but baseball WILL continue to be played. I’d rather enjoy this weekend watching an amazing man finish an amazing journey.
    Becky⚾

    Liked by 7 people

    • Mr. Bill
      April 22, 2016

      Enjoy, Becky.

      Like

  31. Nance (@Bbfanlady)
    April 22, 2016

    Congratulations to you and yours Becky! You definitely have your priorities straight!

    Like

  32. Tim
    April 22, 2016

    The silver lining in this miserable season is the Astros will have a high draft pick in 2017. This is the one area where I trust Luhnow. Yes, I have already punted on this season. It’s going to be a disaster.

    Like

    • daveb7
      April 22, 2016

      Half empty again Tim. You’re on an emotional roller coaster.

      Liked by 2 people

    • daveb7
      April 22, 2016

      Tim, another thing. If the season really does turn out to be a disaster, then it will be time to seriously consider whether or not Luhnow is the right guy to have around going forward.

      Like

      • Tim
        April 22, 2016

        Agreed.

        Like

    • Steve Fredrich
      April 22, 2016

      Hang in there, man! It’s baseball: it can turn on a dime.

      Like

  33. Tim
    April 22, 2016

    Also, and this is very hard to say, the Rangers are just a better organization than the Astros. Starting with the owner, GM, manager, players, scouts and farm system they have us beat in all facets. It is so tough to admit this, but the reality is that it can’t be ignored any more. The Astros are a good organization with hope for the coming years, but the Rangers are a great organization with smarter people than the Astros making the important decisions. Reality bites!

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      April 22, 2016

      Tim, you and I used to go back and forth about Luhnow. I would criticize and you would defend.
      What worries me is the farm. Suddenly it doesn’t look so good. I know the major league club is better than they have been playing, but the minor league clubs aren’t playing well, either. What’s up?

      Like

      • Devin_
        April 22, 2016

        The last two drafts were pretty bad is what’s up. Ignoring Bregman, Tucker, Cameron, and Reed there aren’t too many guys we can talk about with excitement. Look at all the guys chosen in the top ten picks last year who profile as relievers.

        Like

      • Tim
        April 22, 2016

        OP,

        My opinion of Luhnow is not nearly as high as it was last season. I still give him kudos for turning this franchise around so quickly with his steady, but quick rebuilding of the farm system. His strength is in the draft and player development and in these areas he has done a great job. I didn’t want to deadpan his trades of prospects for major league players until I had a chance to see how the players acquired performed. In this area I think he has failed, in a big way. Leaving the Giles trade out of the equation can you name one trade he has made that involved the Astros trading prospects away that has worked out for the Astros? The Gattis trade is the closest one, but only because the prospect acquired appears to be the best part of the trade. What I would like to see is to get Nolan Ryan more involved with trades and let Luhnow continue working on player development and the draft.

        Like

    • sandy
      April 22, 2016

      Sad, but all true

      Like

  34. astrosfan57
    April 22, 2016

    So should we start to worry about Kuechal or is this just a usually start for him in Arlington?

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      April 22, 2016

      I don’t think we should worry as much about Keuchel as we should about the Rangers.

      Like

  35. daveb7
    April 22, 2016

    You’ve got to look at the Cubs too. They have much more money to work with. But they sure did assemble a 100 win club quickly, mostly with really solid young talent. A couple of us were laughing months ago when Fowler gave up a lot of money to go back to the Cubs without the guarantee of a starting job. Today, that’s thought provoking. And there has to be something in the leadership department that makes their young team act so much smarter on the field than our young team. Joe Madden brings value to that organization, even if he is making more money than any manager in the business. When you compare us to other organizations, it’s true, we’re just not that good.

    Like

    • sandy
      April 22, 2016

      But why? This team looked so promising last year. The numbers don’t lie, but was it just luck?

      Like

      • 1oldpro
        April 22, 2016

        They had a great start last year fueled by unsustainable hitting by Marisnick and Altuve and great performances by the pitching staff.
        The rest of the year they were a sub .500 team and they were a .500 team in the playoffs. They are playing terribly with negative dWAR, slightly negative pitching WAR, negative baserunnig, and 2.6 oWAR according to Fangraghs. But the terrible BARISP pretty much negates the oWAR so we are left with a team who has played below average in three areas, separate from not being able to sustain rallies offensively.

        Like

    • Andrew
      April 22, 2016

      I think the worst thing to do would be to compare the Astros to the Cubs.

      Like

      • daveb7
        April 22, 2016

        Andrew, is it cruel, irresponsible, or both?

        Like

      • Andrew
        April 22, 2016

        Could be a little of both. I don’t see a positive to it.

        Like

  36. DiveBomber108
    April 22, 2016

    I’m ready to stop watching Luis Valbuena swing and miss. Let’s see Colin Moran or Matt Duffy or someone else.

    And I’m almost ready to see Gomez sit more. Put Rasmus or Springer in center and let Preston Tucker play the outfield.

    Liked by 2 people

  37. daveb7
    April 22, 2016

    Sandy, we had some real offensive holes last year, at first, at DH, in center, at third against lefty pitching, behind the plate. A few guys stepped up to cover for those weaknesses. And we had a really solid rotation and a pen that over performed until they were obviously gassed at the end of the season. But it remains that the 2015 Astros were a .500 club if you take away that win streak in April.

    I still think we are a better offensive team in 2016, and will get even better once moves are made to bring a couple of guys up. But right now, our starting pitching is suspect. The loss of McCullers should not be enough to screw up an entire rotation on a contending team. It sure has been though. Maybe I misjudged this club, but I keep reminding myself that it is still very early. A six game win streak at some point soon would have everyone feeling much better.

    Like

  38. Mr. Bill
    April 22, 2016

    April, Darlin’, don’t let the screen door hit you on the way out.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. astrocolt45
    April 22, 2016

    Boy I thought I would be the last person to defend JL but he left a playoff club intact. He dumped 3 non performers. He kept White on the 25 man. He took a shot at Foster. This “start” is on the players. Yes he could have picked up a player or two but right the only two that would help would be Superman and Ozark Ike.

    Like

    • daveb7
      April 22, 2016

      Yeah, he left a playoff team intact that was a .500 club going into the playoffs. Like I said earlier 45, I think we would have gotten into the playoffs without any of those deals made last year. And we’d be much better off for it today, at least in my opinion.

      Like

    • Andrew
      April 22, 2016

      Preston Tucker has 35 PA’s. Whose fault is that? I would venture to say not his, because in that semi-limited number, he’s hitting about as well as could be expected.

      The problem I and others have is that there are still glaring holes at 3B, CF, C, which means that for a decade running now there’s a black hole at the bottom of the lineup.

      Getting White into the lineup has been an excellent move. But only doing that and expecting bounce-back years from the other three guys is proving to be foolhardy.

      Like

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This entry was posted on April 19, 2016 by in Astros.
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