The Astros have shown signs of life the last week winning five of their last seven games after their 7-1 thrashing of the Cleveland Indians and former Cy Young winner Corey Kluber Monday night. Their record stands at 13-20 and they are 6.5 GB in their division behind the Seattle Mariners and 5 GB in the Wild Card race. The recent spurt has been mostly due to an improvement in the starting pitching with an ERA of 3.30 over the last 7 games and an even better 2.16 ERA over the last 5 games.
Given that, the Astros are facing a difficult turn over the next two weeks. How they perform over this coming time period may well determine if their performance on this last home stand was a drowning man resurfacing for good or coming up for the last time.
Including Monday night’s game, the Astros will be playing series against four teams that are all currently over the .500 mark. They play the next two at Minute Maid against the Indians and two pitchers that as Mr. Bill pointed out yesterday have been poison to the Astros. Then they go out on the road to play four games against the 19-13 Red Sox, who have won 11 of their last 15 games. After that they play three at the 23-10 White Sox, who are the best team in the American League to date. Then they finish the two-week run with three games at home against the Rangers. Yes, those Rangers who look at the Astros like a homeless dog looks at a tossed steak.
At the end of the two weeks the Astros could be hopelessly behind in the race. It is probably too much to expect them to gain ground during this time, but if they can play .500 during these two weeks they may have built a decent foundation for better times to come.
- Do you see this as a critical two weeks in the fate of the Astros?
- How do you think they will fare over this time period?
- What kind of record would signal the end for them come May 23?