Astros driving towards the halfway point


While the All Star break has always been considered the mid-point of the baseball season, in truth the 81 game mark occurs about 10 days sooner most years. The Astros have 11 games to go before the halfway mark (about 20 games to the ASB), which includes two series with the relatively lowly LA Angels of Disney Land, one series with the World Champion KC Royals and the first two games of a series with the similarly mediocre Chisox.

While anything can happen in baseball, it is probable that the Astros need to be at or above .500 by the halfway mark to be thought of as possible contenders and not pretenders. Their 17-8 record over the last 25 games (16-5 against teams from someplace other than Arlington) has shown that they are playing their best ball of the season right now.

The starting pitching has been on a stead rise since clocking in with the worst ERA in the league early on and is now the ninth best in the AL. The bullpen is again in an excellent spot sporting the third best ERA in the AL after again, being near the bottom of the AL to begin the season. The hitting has been it’s usual hot mess of inconsistency. The lack of consistent run scoring, lack of situational hitting and lack of hitting with RISP has been the biggest reason that 17-8 record in the last 25 is not about 21-4.

So, the questions for you dear readers are these:

  • After 11 more games what will the 34-36 Astros record be? (Or simply – how many of the 11 will they win?)
  • At what point will this front office decide if they are buyers or sellers?
  • If they are buyers, who is on your no trade list from the minors? From the majors?
  • Who would you like to see them trade whether they are buyers or sellers?
  • Who do you think they will bring up in the next month if anyone to help this team?

 

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178 comments on “Astros driving towards the halfway point

  1. Answering Mr.Bill on this “new” page of comments…..so what I hear you saying is that you are hoping they don’t do well between now and the ASB (so they don’t become dumb buyers) more than actually thinking they will not be that good.
    Maybe I am putting words in your mouth here.

    Like

    • You are. I love this team and I always want us to to do well. But since we are bound to lose some of these games [after all, we are 1 game over .500, not 10, 20, or 30], I am at least hopeful that the flaws in the PRESENT team will be clearly pointed out in whatever losses we have, so that we don’t see another ugly trading season like 2015 repeat itself. We have a serious problem at 1B, 3B, DH, 2 OF positions, Lefty reliever, and 9th inning relief. We also need any players we obtain or promote to be above average at both OBP in general and hitting against left-handed pitching in particular. But last year we had almost the same ‘gaping hole’ issues that we have this year – and the FO did NOTHING about it in its mid-season trades. What they did instead was trade a posse of high-level prospects for both Kazmir [when our starting pitching was our strength] and for Gomez [which just kept our best CF, Springer, out of his natural position and invited Marisnick to engage Gomez in a hotly-contested race for the least productive outfielder on the club in terms of offensive production].

      I therefore have LESS THAN ZERO confidence in this FOs capacity to either entertain the idea of trading away they guys who need to be traded before they go arb or FA, OR the acumen and baseball saavy to negotiate trades involving our organizational prospects for the flawed and oft-times ‘damaged’ veteran players the ‘selling’ teams want to market. I think Mr Luhnow/Mr. Crane have way too negative a WAR in the trade-at-mid-season market for me to feel at all optimistic if they are sent to the table as ‘buyers’.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Here is why I think they may continue to be on a run:
    – Walk-offs are just as contagious now as RISP failure was earlier in the season
    – You can see them being more relaxed and better focused in late situations
    – They are getting on base late in the games, even some of the tail end Charlies with the heart of the order coming
    – With the type of pitching they are getting – they can get by with the amount of offense they are getting – but yes more consistent offense
    – Yes they have holes as they have stated – but CarGo is giving them better ABs lately as is MarGo at 1B and even occasionally Castro/Gattis at C. Valbuena is not great but he is better than he was earlier in the season.
    – What I am seeing is that the tail end Charlies are taking turns having decent games

    I do fear that Luhnow will once again show that he is going after the wrong people in trades. But I believe the team will continue to improve. And who knows maybe Luhnow will make the right moves this time around.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I was thinking of the amount of walk offs last night! I remember this team had *ONE* lousy walk off in 2013, and look at these kids now! One on Sat and another one on Tues!
      Dan…..I hope like he!! Luhnow doesn’t trade some of these great prospects for another Gomez, Kazmir, or Conger.

      Liked by 1 person

    • If we make it through the trade deadline without losing Mr. Reed, Mr. KTuck, Mr. Bregman, Mr. Teoscar Hernandez, Mr. Fisher, Tyler White, Tony Kemp, Mr. Laureano, Mr. Stubbs, or any of the MiLB pitchers you and I have been praising consistently for the past year, in exchange for this year’s version of Bob Eucker, Mario Mendoza, and Rag-Arm Rasmussen, I’ll sing a medley of Zip-uh-dee-doo-dah, ‘My Favorite Things’, ‘Feelin’ Groovy’ and ‘Walkin’ on Sunshine’ on Jeff Luhnow’s doorstep, OP1.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ll settle for that. At least you didn’t ask me to sing or dance. Wait, scratch that last comment. Don’t even think about it!

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      • Mr. Bill…..I can still tap dance a little, but I cant sing! Have I told you how much I admire your baseball brain, just like I do Old Pro!! You make me think, and you make me laugh! We *all* love this team, and want sooo badly for them to succeed, and get better. Sometimes I’m guilty of looking at this team through “rainbow” glasses, and I have to remember to remain calm when they do stupid stuff! Good or bad this is our team…..all we can do is vent, and this blog is the only place we have to do just that.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Juan Minaya is now with the White Sox, and with that news in hand, Brady Rodgers finally moves into the Top 30 of Astros prospects at #27.

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  4. Here is why I think the Astros run will continue…

    1. I just bought 3 roundtrip tickets to Baltimore departing on August 18th and returning August 22nd to catch the Astros 4-game series against the Orioles. It is the annual summer baseball trip with my boys and I know the Astros won’t let me down by going in the tank before we arrive.

    That’s it. I have no other reasons and I trust in #1.

    Like

    • Tim, outdoor baseball in Baltimore in mid-August will be a hot ticket no matter how you look at it, or who you are rooting for.

      Like

  5. Eury Perez was just traded to the Rays for Cash Considerations. Is Cash the twin brother of the person we received in the Hank Conger trade?

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  6. Eury Perez started the year hot as a pistol, but his departing slash line turns out to be: .267/.298/.683. He only walked 5 times, he only scored 17 runs, and he only notched 16 RBIs. We bought a cheap FA lotto ticket; it just wasn’t a winner. Good luck with the Durham Bulls, Eury!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Valley Cats lost…..they need to get on track.
    Fresno Grizzlies / Musgrove pitching (Fresno won) McCurry got his first save!

    6 innings
    3 hits
    1 earned run
    I walk
    7 strike outs.

    Corpus Christi Hooks*****this is AWESOME:**** (Hooks won)
    Cy Sneed took over the last 4 innings.
    4 innings
    2 hits
    1 walk
    0 runs
    *10* strike outs!!!

    All I gotta say is *W O W* !!!! We have some dang good arms boys and girls!
    Can’t wait to see Brady Rogers line tomorrow night!
    Lancaster won their game with a walk off!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. 2-1 to start the second half of the Texas League season, the Hooks’ record since May 31 is 20-4. There is a lot to be excited about with that team.

    Like

    • The Fresno Grizzlies have won all four games they have played since Tony D and Tyler Heineman got tossed Monday night.
      That’s what I was hoping would happen.

      Like

  9. Thanks, Becky, Old pro and Mr. Bill for keeping us up on the minor league doings. I don’t always take time to check on them and glad you do.

    Like

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