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?