2016 Astros: Who do you think they are?


There is a point in the classic “bad guys as quasi-heroes” movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, where Paul Newman and Robert Redford just cannot shake the posse that is pursuing them. The posse is close enough to be seen, but far enough away to not be identified. At this point Newman mouths that famous quote, “Who are those guys?”

Similarly, it is extremely difficult to look at the Jekyll and Hyde Astros and know who they really are.

  • Are they the early season 17-28 underachievers or the Johnny-come-lately 20-8 overachievers of the last month?
  • Is George Springer the .296 BA / .953 OPS beast of May or the .190 BA / .613 OPS wimp of June?
  • Is Doug Fister the soft tossing injured, struggling pitcher of 2015 or the 2016 ace of the Astros?
  • Is Dallas Keuchel the brilliant 2015 Cy Young Award winner or the 2016 Cy Old Award stinker?
  • Is Carlos Gomez the .136 BA / .459 OPS Lost Boy of May or the solid .279 BA / .802 OPS contributor of June?
  • Is Luis Valbuena the crummy producer of an April .540 OPS or the purveyor of a strong .874 OPS ever since?
  • Is Ken Giles the lights out pitcher who posted a 1.56 ERA with 3 HR in 115 IP with the Phillies or the deer in the headlights pitcher who has posted a 5.40 ERA with 5 HR in 30 IP with the Astros?
  • Is this the team that could not come from behind for the first 10 weeks of the season or the one that has suddenly found its magic, mojo and walk-off might?

This could go on and on. It is no wonder that after 73 games this team is only one game over .500. There has been a see for every saw on this teeter totter of a season.

It is also no wonder that there are as many folks doubting this team going forward as believing they have turned the corner. Both sides have reasonable arguments for their sides of this argument.

So, from your standpoint…..who are those guys?

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185 comments on “2016 Astros: Who do you think they are?

  1. Kyle Tucker is back off the DL in Quad Cities and has a 3-run jack already.
    The Astros’ GCL Babies started their season off with a 10-0 win today.

    Like

    • I think it was a great debut. He did not look overmatched or nervous. He doesn’t have to try to overcome any failure to produce in his second game. He got the run home. He got to run home. He walked twice so he has some OBP. Finally, his team won his first major league game.

      Like

  2. Corpus Christi is 50-25 after their 3-0 shutout over a good Frisco team tonight. Alex Bregman was instrumental in the first two runs and Frances Martes was dominant for seven full innings. He gave up three hits and a walk and his last four innings were lights out. Aaron West closed it out for the two inning save.

    Like

  3. -I think KC definitely went to the well once too often letting Chris Young face the Astros.
    -You know a team is rolling when they score 13 runs and their leadoff hitter goes 0 for 6.
    -I think Valbuena should have scored on Springer’s high chopper.
    -Feliz gave up a run but he is getting so much great experience out there. Especially against a good hitting team.
    -Valbuena is hitting .259!
    – The Astros haven’t had to use Sipp, Gregerson or Harris in this series yet.
    -The Astros are 1.5 games out of the wild card.
    -Tough error on Springer. A lot of RFers don’t even get there.
    -Devenski was perfect.
    -Ian Kennedy has been tough on Houston. Can the Astros break through and take this thing tomorrow?
    -Six games left until the halfway mark of the season.

    Like

  4. Martes got his win tonight, Fresno currently 1-0 Hauschild left giving up one run.
    David Paulino is currently serving a team suspension…..not sure what he did and Luhnow wouldn’t elaborate on it, other than to say “we have rules”. I think it looks like the boys are back! Seven in a row…..sounds good😀😀!!

    Like

  5. Knock-knock! Is this the Luhnow residence? I have a singing telegram for someone named ‘J-Now!’ Are you ready?

    Let me find my key. Hmmmmmmmmm.

    Zippety–doo-dah, zipety-ay; My, oh my, what a wonderful day
    Plenty of baseball, yet to be played . . . Zippety-doo-dah, zippety-ay!

    I used to hope the ‘Stros would win 80, now I’m pretty sure!
    Now I just can’t wait for the day when we kick in the door! [in Arlington, that is!]
    Now every time I look at the box score, I have to pinch myself twice!
    ’cause I love crooked numbers and blow-outs they really are nice!
    I’m walkin’ on sunshine, with Jose’!
    I’m walkin’ on sunshine, with A.J.!
    I’m walkin’ on sunshine, with ‘Say Hey’ –
    and don’t it feel GOOD, yeah! yeah!

    Now there’s a party goin’ on round here!
    A celebration, with expensive ballpark beer!
    So bring your I-Pad – and all your cool stats too!
    We’re gonna celebrate sabermetrics with you, come on JNow . . .
    CHIP-A-LA-TION – Let’s all celebrate and have a good time!
    CHIP-A-LA-TION – Watch Becky tap dance while Bill throws down rhyme!

    Alvin? Al-VIN!
    O-Kay!

    Hello, JNow, whatcha computin’?
    I love the Plan your executin’
    Ain’t you got no fork for me .. . . cause I’m eatin’ crow and now I’m your groupie.
    Lalalalala Jnow – I’m your groupie!

    Zippety–doo-dah, zipety-ay; My, oh my, what a wonderful day
    Plenty of baseball, yet to be played . . . Zippety-doo-dah, zippety-ay!

    Like

  6. Knock-knock! Is this the Luhnow residence? I have a singing telegram for someone named ‘J-Now!’ Are you ready?

    Let me find my key. Hmmmmmmmmm.

    Zippety–doo-dah, zippety-ay; My, oh my, what a wonderful day
    Plenty of baseball, yet to be played . . . Zippety-doo-dah, zippety-ay!

    I used to hope the ‘Stros would win 80, now I’m pretty sure!
    Now I just can’t wait for the day when we kick in the door! [in Arlington, that is!]
    Now every time I look at the box score, I have to pinch myself twice!
    ’cause I love crooked numbers and blow-outs they really are nice!
    I’m walkin’ on sunshine, with Jose’!
    I’m walkin’ on sunshine, with A.J.!
    I’m walkin’ on sunshine, with ‘Say Hey’ –
    and don’t it feel GOOD, yeah! yeah!

    Now there’s a party goin’ on round here!
    A celebration, with expensive ballpark beer!
    So bring your I-Pad – and all your cool stats too!
    We’re gonna celebrate sabermetrics with you, come on JNow . . .
    CHIP-A-LA-TION – Let’s all celebrate and have a good time!
    CHIP-A-LA-TION – Watch Becky tap dance while Bill throws down rhyme!

    Alvin? Al-VIN!
    O-Kay!

    Hello, JNow, whatcha computin’?
    I love the Plan your executin’
    Ain’t you got no fork for me .. . . cause I’m eatin’ crow and now I’m your groupie.
    Lalalalala Jnow – I’m your groupie!

    Zippety–doo-dah, zippety-ay; My, oh my, what a wonderful day
    Plenty of baseball, yet to be played . . . Zippety-doo-dah, zippety-ay!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Knock-knock! Is this the Luhnow residence? I have a singing telegram for someone named ‘J-Now!’ Are you ready? Let me find my key. Hmmmmmmmmm.

    Zippety–doo-dah, zippety-ay; My, oh my, what a wonderful day
    Plenty of baseball, yet to be played . . . Zippety-doo-dah, zippety-ay!

    I used to hope the ‘Stros would win 80, now I’m pretty sure!
    Now I just can’t wait for the day when we kick in the door! [in Arlington, that is!]
    Now every time I look at the box score, I have to pinch myself twice!
    ’cause I love crooked numbers and blow-outs they really are nice!-
    – I’m walkin’ on sunshine, with Jose’!
    – I’m walkin’ on sunshine, with A.J.!
    – I’m walkin’ on sunshine, with ‘Say Hey’ – and don’t it feel GOOD, yeah! yeah!

    Now there’s a party goin’ on round here!
    A celebration, with expensive ballpark beer!
    So bring your I-Pad – and all your cool stats too!
    We’re gonna celebrate sabermetrics with you, come on JNow . . .
    CHIP-A-LA-TION – Let’s all celebrate and have a good time!
    CHIP-A-LA-TION – Watch Becky tap dance while Bill throws down rhyme!

    Alvin? Al-VIN!
    O-Kay!
    Hello, JNow, whatcha computin’?I love the Plan your executin’
    Ain’t you got no fork for me .. . . cause I’m eatin’ crow and now I’m your groupie.
    Lalalalala Jnow – I’m your groupie!

    Zippety–doo-dah, zippety-ay; My, oh my, what a wonderful day
    Plenty of baseball, yet to be played . . . Zippety-doo-dah, zippety-ay!

    Just put all tips in the empty beer mug, if you please.

    Like

    • Yup…he’s only here when things are bad. There’s a name for someone like that but I’m gonna be nice for some reason.

      Like

  8. To follow up on a discussion yesterday about Dallas Keuchel – he was interviewed on the radio pre-game yesterday. Commenting on the game on Friday – he said once the Astros scored the 9 runs in the first – his game plan flew out the window. His job at that point was to keep the ball in the zone (not down the middle but not getting the batters to chase pitches outside the zone). He was basically saying he’s throwing to contact with the knowledge he won’t give away a 12 run lead and he just wants to get them to hit away and get back to the dugout.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Powerful lineup for this afternoons game! Reed is playing first base, Altuve is DH, Gattis behind the plate! Let’s get a sweep!
    Mr. Bill…….I’m working on my shuffle-ball-change, and I gotta hand it to you…….you’re a man of your word!!! Did you hear that Luhnow??!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Despite injuries and poor performance by other starters the Angels still decided to option Nitro to the minor leagues instead of activating him from the D.L. He will still be a serviceable BOR, but that’s probably his ceiling and those type pitchers are easy to find. We lost the Conger trade, but I doubt the Astros are going to miss the players gone from that trade.

    Like

    • Don’t know about MrBill but I vow to never praise this team again. Not that I don’t love them but every time I say something good it brings them bad luck.
      They do better when I keep my mouth shut!

      Like

    • I’m in this for the long haul. No bandwagon, no rose-colored glasses, and no Kool-Aid for me, though; just a sense of humor and a commitment to persevere.

      Like

  11. I hate to complain about a series win, but a sweep would have been so much better. I know you want to trust your starter, but this isn’t the first time we saw the wheels come off in the seventh for Fister. Also, Morales destroys us. I assume it’s because we said so many bad things about him when we didn’t want to sign him and lose a pick a few years back.

    Like

  12. We won the series. We got beat today by a pitcher who was throwing terrific and our pitcher, who wins by keeping the score down, couldn’t match Kennedy. No shame in taking a series on their home field in front of three huge crowds.
    Now on to the City of Angels, where we need to do it again.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. To scar Hernandez and Alex Bregman will be assigned to Fresno after their All Star game!! Getting kinda crowded in Fresno on the infield.
    Astros weren’t the only ones who lost today! We went to the casino and I lost too!
    Since I have to start my treatment in about 10 days, and I can’t be around people without a mask on.

    Like

  14. I thought we dominated the series with Royals and established we are past them. In my eyes, its a 4-horse race w/BOS, BAL & TEX. Yes, that includes us.

    Yesterday, my complaint was the same as last year’s playoffs. HINCH didnt act quickly enough with the hot hand – period. You had the Dragon after Sipp walks Gordon. Pull your specialists!! He lost the battle now JERK his a*% out!! We’re down 2-1 and Morales you let beat you by not pitching around him? Twice? SsDD, coach…

    Yesterdsy just seemed lax bc it sure looks to me like Royals have huge respect to a Man for the Stros. Giving one back to them wasnt such a big deal. Thats the way I look at it – we left our hearts on the field first two games, thats a hard act to follow vs a prideful yet nothing like last year, team. We didnt even get a chance to rock their Showboat pitcher..

    No, Chippies, its a new day in baseball in Hou. Embrace it! We need Reed to be Reed, and a few starters to hunker down. We should be pleasantly on the rise very soon, despite glaring Keuchel and Gomez issues. I dont wanna get into it, but we should cut bait with Gomie..

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll take 26 runs in two days any day of the week, and twice on Sunday! AND……you are 100% correct on Gomez. Reed will adjust his plate appearance, so I’m not worried about that. There will be NO sending him back to AAA, they brought him up to be “that” guy at 1st base. He’s got to learn to swim with the big boys, and I don’t think he will dissapoint.

      Like

  15. Hoping the Astros make the grade I was talking about earlier. 3 – 4 games above 500. I’ll also take anything above that. Just surprised it took them so long to get on track. Let’s continue the party.

    Like

    • Enjoy, Kevin! I think if we keep limiting the Astros killers (Pujols, Trout, etc.) to AB’s with no RISP its manageable for our pitching staff, and offense to take care of the rest.. Even if the Angels surprise us this series (doubtful), we’ve clearly bested the also-rans in our division, and served notice to TEX they have to keep winning. Wonder how they respond if we catch them late in the season, turn the tables on them?

      Leads me to another point, Op. This tandem mention, where you made good sense as to why our guys havent logged necessary innings, seems like such a tightrope! I look at a guy like Musgrove, or even Fister, LMJ and Feldman.. We obviously have a strategy to limit innings, surely in an effort to save their strength down the stretch. A good example of this working is in Feliz’ case. His fastball is really plus, and he doesnt seem to lose command in spot long relief. Im excited at the prospect that he improves to a solid top end, and saving him in 2016 seems wise.

      Your thoughts on who tandem may be good for, and how it’s hurt individuals this season? I dont want to pigeon-hole you by answering early in a guy’s career (anything can happen), but I’d like to have a good idea what little if any genius lies in spreading guys thin? Some of the benefits I see is that it keeps guys hungry, gives them more chances to adjust to different teams and it gives us a bit of stealth in giving the enemy less scouting reports (working on pitches like Martes has)… I could name more, but Directive#1 coming into this season was finishing strong!

      Like

      • Begging oldpro’s pardon, but I wanted to throw out a few thoughts:
        1. Tandem’s prime, original purpose was to audition more guys as starters.
        2. Luhnow was also trying to get a competitive advantage on health. They have theories and needed data to back it up that gradual increase in usage as pitchers age will lessen catastrophic injuries.
        3. I would posit Luhnow was trying to artificially increase prospect value. In theory, pitchers would maintain an advantage over hitters. The stats show that for most pitchers they become less successful the more times they see a hitter per game.
        4. Finally, we have had a poor 40 man roster early in the Luhnow years but not enough depth to risk DFA guys without options. The tandem allowed them to cheat a bit at upper levels and not start service times or burn option years gambling on who was ready…they just tried to leave them down on the farm.

        Like

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