Astros on the brink of history


People are attracted to round numbers in life and in sports. The number 100 is one of those that naturally holds a lot of value in our brains and hearts. 100% means everything, means perfection. In school we strove to make a 100 on our tests and quizzes. In American football 100 yards is goal line to goal line. In baseball, we love to see that pitcher who hits triple digits with their stinky, nasty cheese. (Note 100 mph seems much sexier than 161 km/hr). 100 runs scored and 100 RBIs both signal top notch seasons for players. And for our baseball teams, 100 wins is a noble goal.

In the Astros first 55 seasons they reached 100 wins only one time, when they won 102 wins in 1998 after picking up Randy Johnson at the trade deadline. This was their only 100 win seasons until they won 101 games and the whole enchilada in 2017. This year’s Astros need to go 14 wins – 15 losses to reach 100 wins for the third time in a row. That may seem ho-hum to many fans, but in truth that is historic. In the history of major league baseball, no team has won 100 games more than three times in a row and only five teams have reached that number in three consecutive seasons. So, if the Astros go .500 or better down the stretch they will join a small fraternity of the Atlanta Braves (1997-99), St. Louis Cardinals (1942-44), New York Yankees (2002-04), Baltimore Orioles (1969-71) and Philadelphia Athletics (1929-31) with three 100 win seasons in a row. If they follow that up with another 100 win season next season they will go where no team has gone before with four consecutive 100 win seasons.

It should be noted that 100 wins was theoretically tougher to reach before the early 1960’s expansion from 154 to 162 game seasons. On the other hand, the lack of free agency back in the old days meant there were some extremely dominant teams who never had to worry about their best players every leaving and racked up some huge win totals.

Here are some random facts about 100 win seasons:

  • It is not surprising that the New York Yankees have the most 100 game seasons in MLB history with 20. They also have the most multi-season runs of 100 wins (1927-28), (1936-37), (1941-42), (1977-78) and (2002-04).
  • It might take you a bit to guess the team with the second most 100 game seasons in history. It would be the Philadelphia – Kansas City – Oakland Athletics (though none of those occurred in KC) with 10.
  • The Chicago Cubs of all teams came oh so close to winning 100 games five seasons in a row, reaching that number in 1906-07 and 1909-10, while winning 99 in 1908.
  • Seven teams have never won 100 games in their histories, including the Florida Marlins, Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, Colorado Rockies, Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays and the team that has gone the longest, our beloved Texas Rangers….
  • The Marlins highest win seasons have been 92 wins in 1997 and 91 wins in 2003, but they took advantage of both seasons to win the World Championship.
  • The Astros set the club record with 103 regular season wins in 2018, but obviously did not win the World Series. That is not unusual as 21 of the 30 franchises have not won the World Series in the season that they set their club record for regular season wins.
  • The Dodgers have had seven 100 win seasons and never won a World Series in those seasons (though twice they did it in seasons where there was no WS).
  • The Giants get an asterisk as they set their club record with 106 wins in 1904 when a World Series was not held.
  • The Seattle Mariners get special recognition as they reached 100 wins only once, but it was the most wins in the modern era (116 in 2001) and ended in a playoff loss.
  • The Astros with three 100 win seasons match or beat older franchises – Pirates (2), Phillies (3), and Indians (3). If they reach four 100 win seasons they will match the Red Sox (4) and the Reds (4).

So, does 100 wins hold any magic for you? Do you care if the Astros reach 100 wins three times or even four times in a row?

69 comments on “Astros on the brink of history

  1. 100+ wins means a LOT to me! Considering how long it took this team to get there! I remember very well when the Astros and Pirates took turns every month being in last place in the NL Central, and then getting kicked in the teeth when MLB threw us to the AL. So yes, it really means a lot to me.
    When we missed going to the series last year, a guy I know was ribbing me about it. I whipped around and got an inch from his face and said “do you realize how hard it is to win 100 games”? “Did you EVER play professional baseball”? His answer was a quiet “no”…..I let him know until and unless he knows what he’s talking about, he might want to keep his mouth shut.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I hope our guys saved some of those runs for Cole tonight, because this lefty they are gonna face is one tough cookie.

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  3. 100 sounds nice, but it’s all about winning enough games to have home field advantage. If any team accomplishes that with 95 wins, rest starts, banged up guys get days off and pitchers might skip a start. AAA guys get a better look. 100 means nothing at that point.

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  4. 100 wins is a consolation prize compared to winning the World Series.
    Three 100 win seasons in a row is something to remind somebody about after you win another World Series and they say “We’ll get you next year”.

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    • It won’t surprise me if Peacock has surgery on his shoulder. He said he felt a sharp pain last night. I sure wouldn’t use Cy Sneed in a close game, that goes for McHugh too. I don’t trust McHugh at all anymore.

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      • Can’t trust Sneed in a close game because, well, he hardly pitches in ANY games. Not easy to stay sharp when you’re on the bench so much that when you finally get up, it makes a suction sound. Probably’s covered in dust and cobwebs.

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    • Hi Dan, passed by us last night, heading mostly north, gusting winds, plenty of rain. Worst forecast storm in some time though. 24 hours ago it was supposed to hit the Dominican Republic. The USVI got caught with their pants down today when it got hit by a storm that was supposed to be way west of them. Tracking technology is still an evolving science.

      And I can’t stream the game tonight. Bandwidth way down. I’m a Dorian victim. But in all seriousness, it will be a hurricane to be reckoned with before it’s all over.

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  5. This is a tag to the last post concerning foul language. Can you believe that less than 100 years ago they almost banned Gone With The Wind because of that scandalous quote “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

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  6. Yes, I want another 100 win season, I want home field advantage, and I want to see the Astros celebrating a championship in Minute Maid Park.
    Thinking back to 2013. I just wanted my team to get out of the cellar and not have another 100 loss season.
    Then in 2015, I was thrilled my team was in the playoffs, never mind they were just a wildcard team.
    2017 brought everything I’d ever dreamed of. My Astros, the Word Champions!
    But that was then. I finally understand Yankee fans.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. 100 wins would be nice. It holds no magic for me, but would love them to string together as many as they can. By virtue of their win-loss record the century mark should be obtainable without trying very hard, meaning they just keep winning baby.

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  8. Is this kid Aquino (Reds) 13 HR’s in 27 games for real? Don’t know when he started but it couldn’t have been that long ago with just 27 games under his young hat. Another YA on the horizon looks like

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  9. Hard to figure Peacock will be back this year. Need James to step up. Need Collin and Smith to step up. Harris. Osuna. Devenski? Sneed? Is there anyone else in the minors who might provide an unexpected boost?

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  10. The way he bunted Diaz should have stayed at 2nd without attempting 3rd. Talk about fastidious, YA takes pitches in the box I’m thinking he should hammer. But he’s smart enough to hammer the pitches he wants to swing at.

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  11. WHAT A GAME!!! You’re right OP, it DID feel like a playoff game! GULP….I sure was glad the guys had a little cushion, ’cause we needed it! I lost track of how many strikeouts our pitchers had. Really good game…..let’s go for the sweep!

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  12. I think 3 in a row is a big dang deal, especially seeing the company it puts you in. But, as noted, no guarantee of winning the big prize. In fact, there will probably be 2 teams with 100 wins that don’t win the WS this year (same as last year)

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  13. Remember when the Astros lost 100 games – three years in a row. Luhnow did not know what he was doing. Crane was too cheap to be a good owner. It was a terrible mistake to agree to move to the American League. The DH was going to ruin baseball.

    (Me either. Should glad I didn’t make comments back then.)

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Concerned about Osuna. He’s not looking too sharp these last few outings and his K rate is down. Maybe he needs a break (or something). I was hoping we’d get a look at Cy Sneed last night but it was not to be.

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  15. SO It’s the high pressure playoff time , playing the best of the best, 1 run lead going into the bottom of the ninth, and here comes our closer. I don’t exactly get a warm and fuzzy feel today. Do you all?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin, if this were Sept 29th, I would be concerned. I will wait and see how things pan out in September.
      I think the key is to not get too up or down about the bullpen every time somebody gives up some runs. We have a lot of pitchers who have playoff experience and when playoff time comes we have to be confident they will do the job. I mean, Hinch and Luhnow and the team are going to have to have that same outlook, too. We’re all gonna be in the same boat depending on out guys to do their job.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. The Astros have pitched 1195 innings this year. Verlander, Cole, and Miley have pitched 500 innings (42%). The Astros have given up 194 home runs. JV, Cole, and Miley have given up 78 of them (40%). Only 2 pitchers have failed to give up a home run. Stassi in 1/3 of an inning and Abreu in 1 inning.

    Using Home Runs/9 innings pitched – Harris is at 0.9 and the worst is Devo at 1.7. Osuna is at 1.0. I have to agree with Verlander, this year there are a lot of balls leaving the park . In the games versus the Rays, one half swing by Alvarez landed in the Crawford boxes and last night Adames homer was on a half swing into the same general location .

    My only objection was Osuna and the walk in the 9th.

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  17. With 1 gm remaining this 8-1 home stand has been outstanding. Unlike that Det series where the off got buck wild whiffing on mediocre pitching, they have looked much more efficient lately with some very timely hitting. The bottom of the lineup can be crucial now & into the playoffs. Keep it going Josh!

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  18. True Bill. He kept fouling off mid pitches just outside the zone. He could have walked several times but elected to chase & SO finally. Take the walk and let GS kill that HomeRun next at bat.

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  19. He’s not fooling anybody today. They are not just hitting him, they are making it look easy. The bullpen had better be ready for a lot of action – and somebody needs to wake up our bats.

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  20. Astros are winning in a walk. Or more precisely only 4 hits and 9 walks get them a 5-4 lead, but have left ducks on the pond, on the grass, in the air, and everywhere else.

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  21. Just when you laud the hitting they turn around & stink up the place. But we still have time to beat the Rays into submission or close it out with another end of line finish for a victory

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  22. Oh god, Devo pitched 2 batters too many. A loss will be on us, couldn’t hit or pitch out of harms way. I’ll take that miracle finish though.

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  23. I can imagine when Hinch looks down at his bullpen thinking can ANYONE throw a baseball? There is a reason Devo was left off the playoff roster in 2017, and he will be left off the playoff roster THIS year.

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  24. It should never have come down to the umps to decide a gm, bad calls & all. While that was a horrendous call, all those men LOB, RISP, failure to bring them home lost this gm. That and not so timely pitching.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Not a very well played game by our guys. Safe to say we’ll be frustrated by the pen again in the coming month. Too bad Honest Abe’s first homer was not the walk off it could have been. It’s a shame this ball-strike calling business has become an almost daily issue. Technology is on the way.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I know that the official stance with the Astros is that no one not currently on the 40 man will get a September call up. But……. there is the very real possibility that either Sanchez or Peacock (or possibly both) will not be in position to return this season. If that happens they would go to the 60 day IL and free up a 40 man spot. Also, if Devo does not play into the Astros postseason plans (and why would he?), he could be DFA’d since he is a FA in 2020 anyway if the Astros do not pick up his $2.625M option (which I do not see them doing).

    My point is this: Based on the current state of the bullpen, if Whitley has another performance as dominant as his last night’s performance, could he force the Astros to give him a look in September? His arm is pretty fresh and he has to be in the team’s plans for 2020. If any of the above scenarios play out, is there a good reason not to do so? He will not use up an option as a September call- up and he will accrue minimal service time.

    Just some thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

      • What I saw watching Whitley pitch last night:

        1) FB sitting 95-98 with movement.
        2) A wipe-out slider
        3) Terrific curve
        4) Great change- up to LH hitters.
        5) A cutter that he couldn’t command but kept throwing

        The 4 walks were due to the cutter. The 8 K were due to everything else.

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    • I’m not picking on you, but if the Astros call up someone not on the roster, it might as well be Javier, who has pitched well all season at AA and AAA and he has to be added to the roster at the end of the year anyway to protect him from Rule 5.
      The Astros have said they are sending Whitley to the Arizona Fall League again.

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      • I don’t disagree 1OP. Just throwing out fodder for discussion. My point is that if they feel Whitley is at the point where they believe he could help win a WS then the AFL plan will go bye- bye.

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  27. If there was still an August deadline we’d be talking about what guy(s) Luhnow would be picking up in the next 24 hours for the pen. The new rule sure changes things. We are in a pickle. In the back of my mind I keep thinking why things are so quiet on the Lance McCullers front.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Last night watched a Low A ball game on MILB TV. (Friends are family members of one player). No square for balls and strikes. Female umpire. Had a consistent wide strike zone for both teams. No arguing, only a couple pauses at home plate for a 3rd strike call. 3-1 game as both starting pitchers had good stuff until the relievers came in. Makes for a very enjoyable game. It also helps when you don’t care who wins or loses.

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    • Guess I should add that the starting pitcher we wanted to watch had 6 innings of no hit ball. Gave up 1 run because the newly promoted 3rd baseman is a young Jonathan Villar with two errors on throws.

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      • That pitcher was Brett Daniels in QC. One of my Top 30 prospect.
        The 3B was Trey Dawson, a virtual nobody in our system — for your records, AC.
        And you’re right, that game wasn’t important, but the River Bandits are one of the best run organizations in the Midwest league (Most Charitable), having dealt with their stadium being flooded and on the road. They’re also very solid and will hopefully with the championship this year behind wipe out pitching.

        Brett Conine, Luis Garcia, Jojanse Torres, Daniels Dubin, Bellozo, Hansen, Deason, Tejada.

        If these names don’t jump off page for you, get to know them in 2020!

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  29. Considering our pitiful bullpen episodes as of late I was looking at the guys who are free agents and who we might keep or release next year. I only looked at upcoming FA’s. My take on who remains and who goes. Of course they might be singing, “should I stay or should I go”.
    Joe Smith – 8MM – gone
    Colin McHugh – 5.8 – gone
    Hector Rondon – 4.5 – gone
    Will Harris – 4.2 – keep
    Brad Peacock – 3.1 – keep
    Chris Devinski – 1.5 – long gone

    Like

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