After their 5-2 loss to the Mariners on Friday night the Astros hold a tenuous four and a half game lead over the Oakland A’s and only six games over the M’s. The next 16 games could well be the key stretch for this Astros’ teams attempt to repeat as champs of all of baseball in 2018.
The next 16 games include 11 against the A’s and M’s, the Astros’ closest competitors. This includes five games against the M’s (two at home and three on the road) and six against the A’s (three at home and three on the road). They had a chance to bury the M’s, who were trailing by eight games coming into their four-game set at Minute Maid Park and stumbling badly. But the M’s won the first two games of the series and the best the Astros can hope for is getting back to that eight-game gap by the end of games Sunday.
The Astros are at a critical point as a team. They did get Carlos Correa back on Friday, but they may have lost red-hot Jake Marisnick to a groin injury in the same game. They are also missing two key cogs to the offense in Jose Altuve and George Springer, plus leader Brian McCann, starter Lance McCullers Jr. and late-inning, high leverage reliever Chris Devenski. On top of that Altuve, who was expected to miss minimal time has yet to attempt to run on his injured knee.
The Astros are ripe for the picking in their matchups with their division rivals, who both could catch them with a quick burst while the home team is down.
Not all is gloom and doom with the Astros. Even with a bunch of folks on the DL, they have shown a lot of resiliency in going 6-2 on their recent road trip. But there is almost too much pressure on the pitchers, both starters and bullpen to hold the line at zero in so many of these games.
It would seem to be critical for the Astros to go 6-5 or 5-6 at least against their division rivals and then pick up some wins against the Rockies (2 games) and Angels (3 games) during this tough stretch. If the team could find another gear, they could pull away from both teams in the next fortnight, but holding on for dear life may be the best that can be expected.
Happy Birthday Billy. The Astros take a day off. I think I need one too.
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The Mariners have the most obnoxious fans in baseball. That award previously went to the Rangers.
If we can’t get it done I’m pulling for the A’s
daveb – I hope you are still with us – giving us the island view….
Ironic that the cynic here is weary of the negativity.
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Becky, your post on feeling sorry for the rotation guys was spot on. I read an article earlier showing the standing of the AL pitchers win/loss rec. With decent run support early on JV, GC & CM could have possibly been in the top three of wins/losses, and JV possibly overtaking Klubers 20 wins. The other two could have been right behind JV. It made me wonder how the rotation guys were taking the setbacks with the offense. The MLB network anchor De LaRosa said Houston fans should not worry about the Astros, that it was not going to be a cakewalk for them this season, true enough.
Every AL contender has made incremental/major upgrades to ensure they either keep up with or surpass the Astros, esp the Yanks. I would imagine when the lineup is back at full strength the tm will continue to win series as before. Based on our offensive struggles early on and even now, does the FO extend the lineup by trading & for who? There will be pain at the pump for someone like Realmuto, who, unlike JV will cost high end prospects, not $$$ & minor prospects. There are no guarantees but look what JV’s addition did for this tm last season. Could Realmuto help spark the off like JV did the rotation? No tm is going to empty their coffers for Realmuto, so how shrewd can this FO be in navigating a trade of that magnitude without mortgaging the future?
im late to the party but HAPPY BIRTHDAY BILLY!
I dont think there will be a big trade before the playoff roster deadline. really there isnt anyone out there that would make a big difference and be under team control for long that wouldnt cost us more in prospects than they would be worth. what we need and will eventually get is everyone getting healthy. correa is back and made two plays that i dont think anyone else makes. getting mccann, altuve, evetually marisnick, LMJ, and Springer back is the equivalent to a major blockbuster trade AND we dont have to give up anything but roster moves to get them. i still say that when the rosters expand in september the astros will step up and be fine.
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Billy, the Astros are 6-6 since the Osuna trade was announced. However, consider that they just lost four in a row to the Mariners when thinking about that. We are 1-3 in games where he has pitched, but he’s only given up one run.
Getting swept by the Mariners at home is pretty embarrassing. Having three of their four best position players on the DL for a few weeks is probably the real cause here. At least they got Correa back just after Springer went on it.
Time for our guys to get mean and nasty.