The Astros are in a bit of a funk having lost five of their last six games and 8 of their last 13. They are wasting some terrific starting pitching with non-clutch hitting and non-clutch relief pitching. In this 2018 season, the Astros have become really good at winning big (10-1 in games decided by five or more runs) and losing small (4-6 in one-run games).
Absorbing the comments on the blog, it seems that a lot of folks are panicking about their team and ready to jump off the ledge or even more sadly becoming apathetic about their team’s apathetic (or pathetic) performance to date.
So here are 10 reasons to get off the ledge, or return to near the ledge, to be interested, but not suicidal or apathetic.
- They have played only 36 games (21-15) ; they have 136 games to go. It is possible they can play better in the next 77% of the season than they have to date.
- Even after all of their recent struggles, there are 24 teams in Major League Baseball with worse records than the Astros.
- Other “sure thing” teams are struggling worse than the Astros are this season. Cleveland (17-17), Washington (18-17), Cubs (16-15) and Dodgers (15-19) are all far underperforming the pre-season expectations for them and are worse than the Astros.
- The Astros have not been buried in their division by their performance, only trailing the Angels by one game to date.
- Hitting rough spots is pretty normal even in the best of seasons. Look at 2018. In April the Astros lost four of five at one point and four of six later in the month. In May they lost four of six at one point. June? Five of eight. July? Four of seven. August? Nine of 11 and separately, six of nine. And September? Lost five of six at one point.
- The Astros do not have any hitter, other than Max Stassi, who is exceeding expectations at the plate to this point. Maybe not all of them will get hot, but common sense points to them progressing towards the mean.
- The Astros have the best rotation in the majors. They have a shot every night out to win and when the hitting does come around, the team has room to absorb some digression by the starting staff.
- There is the possibility of help coming up from the minors at some point this season. J.D. Davis (.425 BA/1.129 OPS), Tyler White (.327/ 1.029), Drew Ferguson ( .345/.948 ), Tony Kemp (.336/.840) and Kyle Tucker (.292 / .796) all could assist in pumping up the offense.
- The Front Office should be trusted. They earned the trust by picking up the huge piece needed in 2017, Justin Verlander. If something is needed they will work to fill the gap.
- Baseball is a streaky unpredictable game. In the Astros worst stretch of 36 games last season they went 15-21, six games worse than the start to this season. They could be in a lot worse shape than they are.
So, did that….
- Make you feel better?
- More apathetic?