2018 Astros: Thy name is resiliency


There is little doubt in the minds of Houston Astros’ fans that the team as currently configured may well be the most talented and deepest in their history. There is no doubt in those same minds that this team has not played up to its potential this year. They have been very good, but have blown chances to be transcendent.

It is fairly easy to point to 3-4 games or more by each of their starters where lack of offensive support cost them a win. The bullpen has been overall good but has blown some games that had good starts too.

But that is not what this post is about. This post is about a team facing adversity and showing real resiliency. Tuesday and Wednesday’s wins over Seattle said as much about this team as their 12 game winning streak did.

The Astros had just lost five games in a row and looked bad in doing it. They had not lost more than three in a row so far this season. The last of those losses came against the Mariners and had narrowed their lead over the M’s to three games and it did not require a bunch of squinting to see the Astros being swept and leaving the Pacific Northwest with a wafer-thin one-game lead.

The Astros had lost team leader Brian McCann long term to knee surgery. Star SS  Carlos Correa has been out more than a month. All World 2B Jose Altuve went down with a bum knee to help trigger the losing streak. The team went out and picked up a reliever Roberto Osuna with the dark shadow of domestic violence, which caused the players to have to handle uncomfortable questions leading into these critical games.

And then early in Tuesday’s game George Springer dove for a long line drive and caught a bum shoulder instead of the ball. It looked like the time for the team to collapse upon itself considering that most of those still in the lineup had been totally ineffectual recently. But over the next two games, the Astros received solid pitching, but more importantly big contributions from some of the worst recent offenders.

On Tuesday the Astros started off like many recent games by allowing a well-pitched game by Charlie Morton to go unsupported. But they came back with a 2 run homer by Evan Gattis and 3 RBIs including another 2 run HR by Josh Reddick and 3 scoreless innings by the bullpen for a 5-2 win.

On Wednesday they scored early and often on the way to an 8-3 win. Marwin Gonzalez who had not hit a HR right-handed this season hit two in this game. JD Davis and newly recalled Jake Marisnick both had two hits including Jake’s huge early dinger and both peeked over the Mendoza line. Max Stassi had been struggling behind the plate and at it, but put this game away with a huge 3 run HR. Dallas Keuchel settled down after early troubles and the bullpen nailed it shut as the Astros extended their lead to 5 games over the M’s.

The Astros could have folded like my parent’s old card table, but they bounced back from adversity and won the most critical games of the season to date.

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87 comments on “2018 Astros: Thy name is resiliency

  1. That they have. They are the Astros. They still have their best ball ahead of them, with or without Osuna. I’d still rather see where we end up without him.

    Excellent series win. I just don’t have the same enthusiasm though.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Interesting point, DB. I other wondered about me, not anyone else, if there was a little relief knowing they hadn’t won it all in 50 years. Knowing somehow they would fold down the stretch. Then when they did win the WS, it is like they need to win EVERY YEAR, or they let me down. But the enthusiasm is not there for me either.

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  2. Well said Dan. Our problem is that we expect them to win every game (sarcasm). Not really, but we’re already spoiled from last year. I once went to a Met’s/San Fran game in NY with a long time friend. He was a big Giants fan and we used to watch games in the bay area. The Giants won the game but the fans had me puzzled. One minute they were singing the praises of the Mets and then they were ready to throw them to the wolves. They were also very hospitable to us. Sometimes we are the same way. When we play good baseball and win it’s all roses and cherries. When we stink, we want to throw rotten tomatoes at the guys. It’s just human nature or in this case “baseball nature”. The Astros will still always be my team no matter what.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. The Astros have Verlander/McCullers/Cole scheduled against the Dodgers this weekend. LAD has TBD/TBD/TBD.
    They’ve been having injury problems with their starters so they will probably bring up three lefty junk throwers we’ve never seen…..

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  4. Some of these reports are contradictory. Some say his family is still together and others say he is under a restraining order.
    So what happens if this guy is found guilty? Do we get our three pitchers back?

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    • Ok, speaking hypothetically, if he is found guilty, MLB could overturn the trade or force Toronto to make reparations if it can be shown they knew about his guilt and hid that from the Astros. If they were open during negotiations and did not conceal anything we’d probably get nothing back. However, MLB has a history of making some teams even out deals after something comes to light.

      I like Billy’s comment though…as I’m kind of hoping if this scenario were to occur Luhnow would ask for Perez back and tell Toronto they could keep the other two in exchange for some maple syrup.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Of course everything is still an allegation. But published tidbits allude to a significant event, to put it politely. And it seems most teams stayed well away from the opportunity. I don’t believe for a second that Luhnow is not fully aware of what has transpired with Roberto Osuna and his spouse. I’m also positive that the Astros have done all of their due diligence as it applies to protecting themselves from loss in this business deal. One day, the full truth will likely come out. Photographs could be published. The cynic in me thinks that whether he is found guilty or innocent, the eventual stain on our organization could be the most sordid part of this whole quagmire.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Dan, It’s a damn shame that your post on resiliency has been hijacked by the issue at hand. I’m guilty as charged and will try to stick with baseball on the playing field.

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  7. After spending the entire month being scanned and poked to death, the news is AWESOME! PET scan was C L E A R!! The on going problems that I’m having is something I will have to deal with the rest of my life, and believe me, that’s a SMALL thing right now! Thank ALL of you for remembering me in your prayers, you will never know how much I appreciated them! I walked past the treatment room and my favorite nurse came running to hug me! The room was empty, but I remember those dark days in that room. I will see my oncologist in Feb 2019, so until next year let’s cheer our favorite baseball team to another great year! I really hope we as fans, and the organization can move past the negatively that surrounds our team right now. They don’t deserve it.
    What a glorious day I had today! I love each and everyone of you❤ Becky⚾

    Liked by 8 people

  8. One thing I was very happy about during the last game was the play of Stassi. He and Keuchel seemed to be on the same page the whole game. Keuchel never seemed frustrated and rarely even shook him off.

    His bat also came back to life. I wonder if the stress of trying to stay on point with the staff, and even getting publicly shown up a couple of times (at least thats what it looked like to me) might have affected his hitting?

    I also wonder if one of the reasons Maldonado was brought in ,in addition to adding skill and depth, was to give Stassi that veteran presence and influence that has been missing since McCann went on the DL.

    Great job receiving, great defense, great controlling the bases and great offense. I can live with that.

    Liked by 3 people

    • And I’ve noticed Stassi has not been taking anything for granted behind the plate. He is framing everything and that is exhausting work.

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  9. Appreciating greatness.

    Mike Trout is in his 8th season. It is almost incomprehensible that he is still only 26 years old. Career slash .306/.415/.571. 2018 slash .309/ .459/ .624. Last season he had more BB/K. Ditto for this season.

    There are some records that will start to fall before this young man is through playing the game!

    He sure would look good in Astros duds! Most are predicting he will get around 10/$400 in FA so I’m not holding my breath.

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  10. Daveb – that is the problem with making this kind of move – it is a distraction. And if it is a distraction for us it is one for the team. Their workplace is like any other workplace – the employees will sit around and complain about the moves the boss makes.
    But here they will get asked about the move by the press – now – when the suspension is over – when he joins the club – the first time he pitches – the first time he fails – the first time he goes to Canada – each time he is in court and on and on….

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  11. What a site! You can come here to get Astros news, you can come here to rant and rave and cast out meaningless (and generally marginally informed or accurate – finger at myself) opinions and you can come her for entertainment.

    But most importantly you can come here for prayer, for thoughts and well wishes, for support, for encouragement, for understanding, for friendship and best of all for celebration!

    Even when we all disagree and chip at each other!

    Here’s to you Beck! And to all who make this site special. We share in your good news and celebrate with you!

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Sonny Gray demoted and Lance Lynn moved into Yankees rotation. It just shows you how fast the tide can turn. Up until this year Gray has been a solid #3-4 that peaked at a good #2. This year he has stunk it up. And just think, I wanted the Astros to trade for him at the wire last year – one of the many times I have been glad that I am a fan and not the GM!

    I still think he is a solid pitcher and will bounce back to have a decent career, just not with the Yankees. Not everyone can handle the pressure cooker that is NY.

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  13. Sonny Gray belongs to a smaller market team like the Rays, or even a team like ours. The Yankees can be overwhelming to a guy, just ask Berkman.
    I remember the first time the Astros faced him……OMG he was un…believable!!
    Our guys couldn’t hit ANYTHING he was throwing! I feel sorry for him , he watched the Yankees scoop up nearly every starting pitcher there was over the break. Maybe he will find “it” again, I hope.
    Here’s the pitching match up this weekend:
    Alex Wood/ Verlander
    Kent Maeda / McCullers
    Walker BuecheR / Cole
    Thank you for your kind words, I’m walking on cloud 9!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Becky: I’m late to this thread but want to share in the joy you’re experiencing. I’ve had my own health issues in the past year including coronary artery disease (5 stents in May 2017), osteoarthritis in my hip (replaced last month), an A-Fib incident after the hip surgery and now grade 2 prostate cancer with radiation therapy pending. Throughout all of this I’ve been lifted up by a couple of songs that you might check out: Blessings by Laura Story and More Than Anything by Natalie Grant. A particular chorus in More Than Anything has struck a chord with me.

    Help me want the Healer, more than the healing
    Help me want the Savior, more than the saving
    Help me want the Giver, more than the giving
    Help me want you Jesus, more than anything.

    That is my prayer for you and everyone else on this site who needs some divine intervention and perspective. May the joy of the Lord be your strength.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dr.B thats a lot of stuff to pile up on one person in a short span of time. Good luck to you, please come in here to share your progress. We’ll all be rooting for you as we do the astros.

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    • That is a lot, Dr Bill. Sometimes I wonder if the Astros are the really real reason we’re here. Laura Story’s song has helped me too, and appreciate lyrics quoted.

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    • Oh my goodness…I am so sorry you’re going through so much. You have been added to my prayers right now🙏 Life throws us curve ball sometimes, but I am strong woman and all of us on this wonderful blog will pray you through this.❤

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  15. Look who’s in second place in the West this morning.
    Hopefully the A’s, M’s and Angles can keep knocking each other out.
    Hopefully.

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    • Sandy you have hit on a key part of the astros taking the division. those teams play each other quite a bit down the stretch and somebody has to lose when they play head to head. someone would have to get pretty dang hot to separate themselves. good observation by you.
      on another note, i have tried to not comment on the osuna trade except for just the baseball aspect of it, since not all is known and what is known seems somewhat murky or incomplete, but i want you to know that i was moved by your description of contact with domestic violence in your life. please know that you are loved in here and always will be.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Getting him on the DL today instead of the same day Osuna arrives makes it harder for accusations of manipulating the system to be made. Get some rest Devo and heal up fast because I have a suspicion that Will Harris will be dealing with a nagging injury in 9-11 days and we will need you back (wink, wink).

      Liked by 1 person

    • OP…..I was THRILLED to see Mike Hauschild get a chance to hook onto a MLB team! I’ve been watching him for a long time, and I was soo angry when that team in north texas, grabbed him….but happy to see him back with us! We have no idea how he finishes this year, but I am soo happy he’s getting another chance!!

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  16. Good news! After 8 weeks in a cast following multiple surgeries for a ruptured achilles, and associated damage, I am finally free! I now get to spend 6 weeks in a walking boot (without crutches) and PT before starting the final journey to full recovery. If you have ever been in a cast for 8 weeks during the hottest of summer months you will know why I am so excited.

    Liked by 4 people

  17. JV gave up the leadoff homer in the game and then settled in…
    Springer with a 2 run double for all the offense so far.
    Hang tough guys….

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    • I really liked Rondon as well. Hope he keeps the closer role when Osuna arrives. BTW, Giles pitched for the Jays and “saved” a 7-1 lead. Of course he did give up a run.

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  18. While looking at the Corpus Christi box score to see what if anything Correa did last night (didn’t play) I noticed Osuna’s name. Pitched one inning and has apparently been on a “rehab assignment” since July 14. Looks like he will be ready to go when the suspension is lifted. I wonder if Devenski’s DL stint is a face saving way to send him down. He looked like the odd man out with Osuna coming up since Devo is the only guy in the bullpen with options. this way he gets more rest (DL retroactive to July 31) and then gets rehab time at Fresno. No one will be upset when Perez goes back to Fresno when Osuna joins the team but I suspect there would have been an uproar if Devo had been sent down to make room for him. I wonder if Correa is having anything to do with him in CC?

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    • Today’s paper says Correa has so far gotten closer to him than anyone. Carlos naturally will not comment on legal issue but says he thinks Osuna is a “good guy” and good teammate; also glad to have his pitching. Just reporting the facts, man, as I read them.

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  19. Blistering commentary by Bill Plaschke of LA Times on Astros management vs Dodgers management, p. 9, Sunday sports section. I realize that’s the competition speaking, but not an easy read.

    Like

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