At the beginning of any season, wins and especially losses are magnified just like batting averages (.000 for Aledmys Diaz and Max Stassi or .462 for Josh Reddick) might be slightly unsustainable. It is easy to micro-analyze every outing, every at bat, every failure and start looking for call-ups, releases, trades, Dallas Keuchel signings or divine intervention. Here are 10 reasons not to panic (yet) about the Astros 2-4 start to the season and the cliché “It’s early” will not be used.
- This (and worse) happens all the time. In 2018, the Astros season which ended in a club record for wins included streaks of 1-5, 1-5, 1-4 and two 0-5 streaks. The first two 1-5 streaks occurred before May 6th. In the Holy Grail season of 2017, the Astros had streaks of 1-4, 1-4, 1-5, 1-6 and 1-5 and the first 1-4 happened in the first 8 games of the season.
- The Astros are not alone. The World Champion Red Sox (who are not helping the Astros in their quest to beat the Mariners and the A’s) are a robust 1-5. The high hoping Yanks? 2-3. The NL hopefuls Nats, Cubs and Braves? All 1-3. Will these teams continue these paces. Don’t go to Vegas (or a nearby sports gambling state) and bet on that one.
- The Captain appears back. In his first 3 games of the season, Carlos Correa has four hits, but more importantly, he has had two of those hits with exit velocities of 112 mph or more. In all of 2018, he only hit two balls that hard which kind of solidifies the theory that he came out of Spring Training last year as damaged goods.
- The end of the bullpen looks strong. Roberto Osuna, Ryan Pressly, Josh James, Will Harris and Hector Rondon have thrown a combined 11.1 innings and given up 0 runs, 3 hits, 1 walk and rung up 14 Ks.
- NBC is not the only ones with a Peacock. Brad Peacock made a move back into the rotation after a 2018 season pitching out of the bullpen and looked like he thought he should be the #3 starter, not the #5 starter.
- The little man will warm up. Jose Altuve has started off with a puny .174 BA and .588 OPS, which only means that there will be hell to pay some time soon.
- The slightly bigger man will warm up too. Alex Bregman unfortunately often begins the season slowly, but he will start hitting and that will really kick this team into another gear.
- Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole will produce. Cole let an unforced error throw him off his game in his first start. Verlander pitched great in game 1, but never seemed to get his breaking stuff working in his second start. It says here that this will be an unusual occurrence and these guys will get things rolling next time around.
- The leadoff man will continue to lead. George Springer has been good for the Astros. He feels ready to take that to another level as he starts the season leading them in HRs and RBIs.
- The goose eggs will be gone. Reddick, Yuli Gurriel and Tyler White have 0 RBIs after the first 6 games. Here’s betting that changes in the next 6.
The Astros do get to come home after tonight’s finale against the Rangers. Hopefully, they will reverse their trends of 2017 and 2018 and play better at home than on the road. Hopefully, they will start the homestand with a 3-4 record. Your turn now, what reasons do you have to panic or to not panic this early in the season.
(OK, that was almost like saying “It’s early”)