The 2017 Astros: Yeah, they are that good!


All sports reveal the truth over time and baseball is no exception. Any player and any team can have 2 or 4 weeks of out-of-their-mind performance, but eventually they will return to earth sometimes with a soft glide, sometimes with a thud. When a player or team is performing well for a couple of months or more, the truth is that this is a good player or team.

The Astros will play their 51st game of the season on Sunday and despite insecurities the fans may have about this team, their 33-16 performance to date screams they are GOOD.

The Astros…..

  • Against their division foes – 14-6
  • On the road – 15-6
  • At home – 18-10
  • In extra inning games – 4-0
  • In 1 run games – 8-4
  • Against the NL – 5-0
  • In their division – 9 game lead over the Angels and Rangers
  • In the AL – 4 game lead over the Yankees for the best record in the league
  • In the majors – 1-1/2 game lead over the Rockies for best in the bigs

Their 3 game sweep at the hands of the Indians at Minute Maid looked like a signal that they were falling back towards earth, but then the Astros put together a nice 4-1 turnaround over the rest of the week to right the ship.

So, do you think the Astros are GOOD, VERY GOOD, THE BEST IN BASEBALL, or OVER-RATED LIKE KEITH LAW?

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206 comments on “The 2017 Astros: Yeah, they are that good!

  1. OP…..you were right, Paulino was added this afternoon. I hope Hinch let’s him pitch if, and ONLY if we have a BIG lead going into the 8th inning! His numbers are not that great since he got off DL.

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  2. While I don’t wish an ingury on anyone……I’m glad Danny Duffy went on DL. We play the Royals next week…..and he’s a tough lefty!! The Lord forgives me!⛪

    Liked by 2 people

  3. OH…..CRAP!!! Musgrove to DL Paulino will start tomorrow. UGH….. all hands on deck!! He hopes to make his next start next week at the Royals. Fires tonight…Paulino tomorrow. YIKES!!

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  4. I doubt they will have enough time to call someone up tonight for Musgrove. Paulino was slated to be the long man tonight and with Fiers going it was a fair bet he might have gotten some action. This may be a game Hinch just tells Fiers he is in there for 6-7 innings no matter what.

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  5. Well, this is the time when our guys get their first real test. The good news is that we can get away with playing .500 ball for quite awhile. Tim, that starter we’ll need at some point might be required sooner than we’d like. Great opportunity for Paulino tomorrow. And a great opportunity for Fiers to control his own destiny starting tonight!

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  6. Hinch added that they will probably call up another reliever from Fresno tomorrow
    Deetz and Ryan Thompson were promoted to Fresno today.
    Tucker and Martin promoted to OF in CC and Garcia promoted to OF in Fresno.
    Albert Minnis retired.

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  7. It’s a good thing the Twin’s defense stinks.

    On the milb front, what’s with the retirements? It seems odd guys wouldn’t accept their release and try to catch on with another team. Heck, I saw Telvin Nash hit a HR for an A+ team earlier this year.

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  8. I’m so glad the arlington little league returned Mike Hauschild! His line tonight:
    6 innings
    5 hits
    2 runs
    3 walks
    3 K’S

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  9. Fiers was not good in the first inning, but neither was his defense. He never threw a good curve in the 1st inning, but it suddenly reappeared after being absent almost all spring. Got K after K on it the rest of the night.
    Minnesota looked like a team that was waiting for the hammer to fall after getting a lead. It did fall.
    Altuve finished the game tonight hitting .320.
    Neither Devenski or Feliz struck anybody out tonight. Fiers recorded all 8 Ks for Houston. Astros pitchers lead the majors in Ks and in K-% rate.
    Guduan is coming to the bigs. Another lefty for the bullpen, he has never pitched in the majors. He has been very good in the month of May at Fresno.
    Altuve, Gurriel and Bregman are hitting the ball hard, especially to the pull side.
    Marwin’s play on the ball at the wall in the 8th wasn’t your classic beauty, but it sure showed great reflexes at the very last second. Marwin is terrific!
    Astros starting pitchers have the second best ERA in baseball at 3.51( behind the Cardinals only) and their W-L record is 25-10.
    The Astros pulled even with the Washington Nationals for the best team BA in baseball tonight at .273.
    Derek Fisher hit his 13th HR tonight for Fresno and finished the evening with a .335 BA and 33 rbis in 48 games. I don’t want to jinx the guy, but he has not struck out in his last four games and only 4 times in his last ten games. This is a big deal for him!

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    • Was told in October of 2016 on this blog that my recommendation of Peacock making the rotation was a bad idea. Yesterday, in a Steve Sparks interview of Jason Castro, the catcher said how proud he was that Brad had made good, and how well-deserving he is of his success. Maybe someone at front office, clubhouse and even a lowly blogger knew a little more about the situation when all this preseason talk of needing better arms? Becky, how did he end up being Op’s boy?

      Was told a week ago to chill out dude, Derek Fisher strikes out too much and would ride the pine if he made the big club. True, players who aren’t as good as others give way to better players, and besides what ever will we do with Aoki? Instead, we should trade Fisher for pitching, since we don’t have any in the minors. It’s okay now since the old “pro” mentions a few qualifying stats a week later. Careful, Derek might be reading and get jinxed all of a sudden.

      And daveb, you went from Fiers showing zero confidence to damn proud of him? Curious, which is it? I’m sure he and Marwin will be be so glad to know you’ve come around to blessing their play.

      So much has been made of Springer’s epic slumps and sending him down the lineup. How’s that theory working out?

      Oh, wise sages, perhaps submit your resumes to replace Hinch and Hudgens, since the fruits of your comments have ripened?

      I’m just glad we didn’t throw the Twins series in the 6th inning yesterday shew!

      Truthfully, I come here for the humor mostly. But it’s time for me to find more serious, and less arrogant treatment. What’s worse is I’ve been reading Chip just as long as any of you, and still recall almost all of your comments (even at the Houston Chronicle). Too well, apparently. There comes a time when the peacemaker gets fed up, Tim. See you around … somewhere else. Someone decided to block my 1st amendment right, and block me. Bravo! -“Gov”

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    • I know you follow the farm system fairly well. That young kid we got in the Josh Fields trade, Yordan Alvarez, is raking in Quad Cities. He turns 20 in late June and is fairly young for that league. He is hitting .380 with a 1.058 OPS. It is trades like this that make me appreciate our front office even more. Although Fields is doing well for the Dodgers this year his future in Houston wasn’t going to be long and the Astros turned him into a young stud hitter that could turn into a gem some day. What are your thoughts on him?

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      • Tim, when the trade was made I wondered if the Dodgers were worried by Yordan’s attitude. They were having some Puig problems and I got the feeling they were souring on Alvarez, as some of the Cuban players have problems adjusting to a free and easy lifestyle.
        I do know that the Astros worked with him in extended spring training for the last four months on his swing and on playing the outfield to expand his usefulness. When he came to us, his reputation was as a 1B only guy, and now he is in the outfield for QC.
        Alvarez has Plus Power, but I believe Astros’ scouts saw something special in him, and he may be a guy who they wanted, but couldn’t sign him, so they went after him in a trade.
        I had a good feeling about him from the moment they traded for him.
        The Dodgers paid a lot of money to sign Alvarez. I wonder what Yuli had to say about him when the Astros were trading for him.

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  10. I had to pick up my youngest son at baseball practice and was listening to the game on XM Radio (Twins broadcast). They felt strongly that the Altuve 2-RBI single was an obvious error on the 3B. Do you agree, could it have been called either way or was it definitely a hit?

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  11. What Mike Fiers did last night was more difficult than it seemed. He was told he was not good enough to stay in the rotation and then almost immediately is stuck back in the rotation. He then has a difficult 1st inning partly due to shaky defense and partly due to two walks when he could have shut the situation down.
    To turn it around and pitch that well when he looked like a candidate for an early shower was impressive.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. I am very happy for Mike Fiers. First of all, I am happy that he finally appeared to get command of his curve, which has eluded him all year. Second, I am glad that he lasted six innings, to give our bullpen at least a bit of a break. Third, I am glad that for the first time this year he finally kept the ball in the park. Fourth, I am glad he got his ERA under 5.00 – Whew!. Fifth, I am glad he finally found a way to strike someone out – even if 3 of his 8 Ks were of Jason Castro.

    That being said, Mr. Fiers’ road back to respectability is far from over. In order to remain in this rotation once everyone is healthy again, I think he needs to string together at least three quality starts in a row, with no more than 1 HR and 1 BB allowed in each of the next two starts. He’s been bad for a long time; one pretty good game after a bunch of bombs is nice, but unconvincing.

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    • The Twins threw a ton of left handed batters at him and he was in big trouble with no curve. But when that curve reappeared and dropped consistently from the letters to the knees at a 12-6 angle, their lefties were flailing at it.
      If he has that pitch working he is a completely different pitcher.

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    • Jason Castro may have helped save Fier’s season. If Castro hadn’t struck out to end the first inning, Fiers might not have been around long enough to rediscover his curve ball.

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    • Mr. Bill, it’s all up to him. If he pitches well, he’ll be in the rotation at least until the day we have a better option via trade. With Morton likely out for months, I wouldn’t hold him to one walk or one dinger though. That might be asking too much. Unless Paulino comes in and owns the place, Fiers will get an extended shot. I’m just hoping at this point that Keuchel, Lance, Musgrove, Peacock and Fiers can all remain healthy and go every fifth day and be mostly effective.

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  13. Why do I have a feeling that the David Paulino we are fixing to see start for the first place Astros is not the same pitcher we have seen so far?
    A guy who has thrown 14 innings total in minor league ball since last year is given a start? I think he has spent the last eight months working on his secondary pitches and the club wants to see him pitch. With a decently rested bullpen and a day off tomorrow, it seems like a good time to see if he has learned some things.

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  14. For those not watching, Correa just shortened his swing and singled to left on a 3-2 fastball to make it 3-0, and then Gattis followed by lining the first pitch he saw into right-field to make it 4-0. I fully believe both batters would have only tried to launch those balls last year. It’s so much more fun to watch them this year.

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      • I thought he looked great. Struck out the side on three change ups. That is what I want to see, a guy with at least three major league pitches and he showed me 3 today. Now, at just age 23, I want to see him use them more efficiently and more effectively. He will get a lot of great advice on how to get better in the coming days.
        Take a look back at his only major league start last season and look at the difference.
        Now that Guduan has made his first appearance, he knows that he has to get that curve ball up about three more inches to get major league batters to bite on it.
        He now knows that major league batters can hit a 97mph fastball if that is all they have to worry about.

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  15. These guys are white hot – in fuego – now that Correa, Altuve and Springer are hitting the top of the order is tough and with Bregman finding his power stroke and Marwin and Gattis and McCann and Reddick and …..
    And then they have Guduan make his debut and mow down the Twins in his first major league inning.
    I just cannot believe what I am seeing

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  16. wow…15 runs…and this is against a good team!! I think we’re seeing what this team can do once everybody is hitting their stride. Crazy.

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  17. I hope we get to keep Paulino up. Didn’t get to watch him, but getting through 4 with only giving up 2 runs, and 8 strikeouts…..I’m very willing to keep him up for another week or maybe more. I’m sure the Twins are glad to see us go, depending on the outcome of the Indians games, they might lose their position in the AL Central.
    I hope I’m wrong, but when these guys have a day off in between series……they have a habit of going brain dead. Going into arlington for 3 with the idiots….and I want our boys to put them in the dirt this weekend.
    FYI…we need to get voting for the All Star game…..Lindo has a 400,000 lead on Correa. Love this team!!!

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  18. I was encouraged by Paulino. As OP noted earlier, this guy had just 13 innings under his belt on the season. Looked pretty composed to me. Too many breaking balls in the dirt, but everything he threw had movement.

    Anyone still ok with moving Bregman in order to get that big arm? I’m not suggesting he’ll ever hit like Altuve, but his offensive stats to start his ML career are better than what Jose posted through the same amount of games. Bregman might be the guy at second if Altuve goes and gets 25 million a year somewhere else.

    Any chance we’ll hear a “piling on” quote from Molitor?

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  19. Not going to argue with anyone about Paulino especially with a win. But he had had control issues not just with the wild pitches. Now I realize that bringing him up so soon was a FO decision and he did as well as could be expected. But he will did a deep hole if he continues with full counts on most batters.

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    • 45, you are correct. But I will add that the pitch tracker gizmo showed at least two strike three’s way earlier in the count of two of those walks. It’s not unusual for a rookie to get squeezed, so I was not surprised, but he put a couple of balls right on the corner and did not get a call. I hope he gets another start.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I was going with “fire the pitching coach” and then Mr Bill comes in with his glowing comments and blows that theory of mine out of the water. 😀

        And “Yes” he deserves another start. Just hope he conquers the jitters.

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  20. We presently have only one position player hitting less than .250/.300. That is pretty impressive. We have 8 position players with OBPs over .333. No wonder we are scoring runs.

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    • Mr. Bill,

      I may be wrong, but this sounds like a endorsement of our hitting coach. 🙂

      All kidding aside maybe we should start giving Hudgens some credit for what this team is doing. Hudgens’ philosophy is to let the ball travel, work the count and get on base. Since he has been here we have seen improvements in the BB rate for Altuve, Gattis and Marwin. I am hoping we will see Gurriel improve in this area soon.

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  21. We now have 8 pitchers [3 starters] with ERAs under 3.25 We also have 10 pitchers [3 starters] with WHIPs under 1.25.

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  22. I couldn’t stand it anymore. Just signed up for MLB.com so I can see the games. And I was rewarded right off the “bat” with today’s game. Gosh, are we having fun now?

    Liked by 2 people

  23. The Rays hung on long enough to get into the pathetic bullpen of the arlington little league. Rays 7- idiots 5
    We are now *12* games in front of them. Man, their bullpen is a hot mess.

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    • I know I saw that😣 made me sad when I read it. They did the same thing last year when we had a couple of games like we had this week. Thank goodness Luhnow and Hinch are more forgiving.

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  24. I feel like another post is on the horizon but I have some thoughts about the Astros:
    I miss Charlie Morton. I felt like every time he took the mound, the opposition was in for a big surprise.
    No matter how good we are, I still think beating the Rangers is the highest priority of the Astros season.
    Facing the Rangers this weekend and still not facing Cole Hamels is weird.
    So this is what it’s like to have pitchers who throw in the high nineties.
    Brendan McCurry and Jonathan Arauz came off of their suspensions this week. McCurry joined the Fresno roster and pitched 2 innings on Monday and Arauz was a late-game defensive replacement for QC last night.
    Colin Moran has played in 40 games and has 33 RBIs for Fresno.
    Max Stassi’s slash line for Fresno is .282/.398/.466/.864. Go figure!
    Fresno’s 5.86 team ERA is still last in the 16-team PCL.
    Astros are near the bottom in only one stat and that is triples. I guess Brian McCann is keeping Evan Gattis from running wild on the basepaths.
    The Astros deserve the day off.

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    • Yes – I am working on the Chippie awards for May – hope to finish later today

      The Astros need a day off for their pitchers more than anything. The days off seem to be coming at a nice frequency.

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  25. I had taped the game and watched it alt last Night, besides being young and not a lot of big time experience, I thought Paulino’s stuff looked good and he has lots of action on the ball. He just needs to learn how to pitch. I know Friers had a good game, but still don’t trust the dude.

    the Twins are still a MLB ball club, they have a lot of holes , but still some decent players and we score 40 runs in 3 games , on the road, insanely impressive.

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  26. Eric Young Jr. was called up to fill Trout’s spot on the Angels roster. He was batting ninth and playing LF for Anawhatever last night and was 2 for 2 with a walk and hit the game-winning HR in the bottom of the 8th.
    Angels in the outfield.

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    • Good. I hope he goes off and puts up All Star worthy numbers so the sportswriters will have to stop writing ridiculous articles claiming losing 7 weeks of Mike Trout is like losing any other player for the year and such.

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      • For them it is, cause he’s not just a great player, he’s one of the few good ones they have on offense. It’d be like us losing Correa, Altuve, AND Springer for the year

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