Do we know who the Astros are? Do they know?

The Astros have taken on the 2020 season like a drunken sailor walking down the street trying to look sober. They take a few solid steps, followed by uncontrollable stumblebum toddling.

They started the season winning the first 3 out of 4 (from Seattle of course). They then won only 3 out of 11 from the Dodgers, Angels, D’Backs and A’s. They then won 9 out of 10, including 8 in a row from the Giants, Seattle (of course) and the Rockies. They then stumbled through a lost weekend in San Diego, losing all three to an up and flying Padres team.

A few observations as we are just short of the halfway point in the season.

  • As several folks have pointed out – the Astros are rotten against winning teams – going a combined 0-8 against the Dodgers, A’s and Padres, while putting up a more respectable 15-5 against the losing teams on their schedule.
  • To be fair to the Astros, the Rockies were a surprising 13-8 heading into their 4 game sweep by Houston and have only fallen under .500 after the Astros shoved them down that slippery slope.
  • It is hard to figure out who the Astros are at this point because their parts have been scattered to the winds.
  • The Houston offense has been up and down. Overall they are third in the AL in runs scored. But they have a tendency to be feast or famine. Thirteen times they have scored six or more runs. Twelve times they have scored three or fewer runs. Three times they have scored 2 runs in extra-inning games. They don’t know if they are a behemoth or a pushover.
  • Of course, their offensive identity has been upset by bad starts by Jose Altuve, George Springer and Alex Bregman, losing Yordan Alvarez after a late start and only two games, and losing Bregman, Micheal Brantley, Aledmys Diaz and Springer to injury.
  • Their starting pitching was going to be a question mark, to begin with, but having Justin Verlander for one appearance and Jose Urquidy, Austin Pruitt and Brad Peacock for none was not a good foundation to the season. Then having Josh James being moved to the bullpen after failed starts left the cupboard pretty bare. Zack Greinke has been consistently good. Lance McCullers Jr. has been good except when he hasn’t. Framber Valdez has been arguably their best starter. Cristian Javier and Brandon Bielak were beaten up in their last starts. Can the starters hold it together until the cavalry shows up….if it does?
  • And the bullpen has been a patchwork quilt of repair work with Roberto Osuna out for the year, Joe Smith apparently sitting out for the year, Chris Devenski injured almost right away, and Josh James now out after his move to the bullpen. It is Ryan Pressly and the Kid Korps currently holding down the fort. New heroes like Blake Taylor, Andre Scrubb and Enoli Paredes are doing their best to carry the water for the team right now.

You can’t blame the fans if they don’t know who their team is. You can’t blame the fans for not knowing what to expect game to game or series to series. The group itself does not know who will be playing day to day or series to series. They have not had enough time and will not have enough time to really figure out which of their youngsters are the real deal. They will be making this up on the fly, running things up the flagpole and seeing who salutes and whatever other clichés we can cover.

We can just hope that by the time they get to the playoffs, they will have a good handle on who is who and what is what.

42 comments on “Do we know who the Astros are? Do they know?

  1. It is Dan P’s birthday today. I won’t say how many it is – but the Beatles wrote a song about this and it always seemed like so far away. Of course Paul is 78, Ringo is 80 and John and George have long passed….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It seems that the Astros are an average team when some of their best players are hurt, an elite team when none are hurt and a below average team when a lot of the best players are out.
    A 15-13 record just before the halfway mark of the season says they a a bit above average. When a bit-above average team plays a way-below average team they will win most of those games. When a bit-above-average team plays an elite team they will get their rear ends handed to them, especially if the elite teams are so much more motivated by hatred of the bit-above-average team.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey Dan, Happy Birthday! I’m a year further matured than you are. Or not. When you again recap all the club has been through this year, we still have a respectable record. We’re not used to being 15-13, but heck, we just signed another Skeeter yesterday. It’s amazing what this team has dealt with and still survived.

    Alas, we’re not that good, right now anyway. What 1OP has to say above really sums it up. Watching the Padres this weekend, I found myself wishing we were them. Two teams going in different directions? I hope not. But on your Birthday Dan, our squad looks pretty old.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Who are the 2020 Astros? They are a team with a lot of question marks, especially the pitchers.

    2019 pitchers currently not on the 2020 active roster: Abreu, Armenteros, Cole, Devenski, Guduan, Harris, James, Martin, McHugh, Miley, Osuna, Peacock, Smith, Rodgers, Rondon, Sanchez, Smith, Urquidy, Verlander.

    2020 pitchers currently on the active roster that were not on 2019 team: Bielak, DeJong, Javier, McCullers, Paredes, Raley, Scrubb, Taylor.

    To echo 1OP’s thoughts, if we are healthy we should win games; if we’re not, we won’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wouldn’t it be nice to feel secure in the fact that Tucker, after our next 30 plus games has proven himself to be a starter in our outfield for 2021? You can see the confidence growing in the kid.

      If George battles the Mendoza line over the next few weeks, maybe he does not get that big contract he wants. Maybe he signs a one year deal in an effort to build more value going into 2022. Probably a long shot though, but big contracts might be tougher for clubs to justify this winter in particular.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Want to go wayyy back and see comments that I thought Tucker was nervous in his 2 cups of jo (2018, 2019)? Like Framber, those two are starting to seriously catch up to the speed of the game, and dominate like they did in AAA.

      Also, hardest hit ball last night? Pujols, Brantley, Springer, or Rendon?

      Nope. Myles Straw!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Stuff I liked from the team’s birthday gift to me last night….
    – Correa’s huge pick me up bases loaded double after Altuve went back to his blind squirrel strikeout swing.
    – Reddick getting not one, but two big singles with men in scoring position – this has not been his strong point
    – Framber picking himself up after looking “done” in the 5th inning and pushing through two more innings
    – Cionel Perez with another good outing – got into a little trouble but worked his way out of it
    – Michael Brantley starting to swing like Brantley again
    – Maldonado steaming home from 1st on a Straw double – he might not have made it 20 more feet but he was motoring….for him
    – Straw with that 2 run double off the centerfield wall and a nice gap catch in relief of Springer
    – Tucker with 2 more big hits including a laser HR to right center and 2 walks. On August 15th he was batting .192 BA with a pitiful .563 OPS. In the last 9 games he is slashing .400 BA/ .472 OBP/ .1.506 OPS with 9 runs, 4 HRs, 3 triples, 13 RBIs and very importantly 5 of his 9 walks on the year.
    After all of this his new overall slash is .252 BA/ .310 OBP/ .844 OPS

    Liked by 2 people

  6. For a change of pace – I will say a good thing about Dusty Baker. With two games on Tuesday he let Framber and Cionel both work through some problems and stretch out last night. So we only used 2 pitchers and the Angels used 7.
    Today we have Cristian Javier against Jose Suarez and his 33.75 ERA (OK he only pitched 1.1 IPs, but did give up 5 runs).
    Then they have Julio Teheran (who used to be good with the Braves) and his 10.38 ERA against the Astros pitcher who is so famous he only goes by his initials….TBD.
    Should be an interesting Tuesday. And remember these are both SEVEN INNING games
    Doubleheader today so the Angels can get out before Laura shows up Wed night.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ok, I’ll bite. No doubt, Dusty Baker is not A.J. Hinch. I’ve seen some odd line ups, but do we know if the nerd squad is still sending daily match ups to consider? I’m guessing they are. Or maybe Dusty is just trying different things to get guys like Honest Abe going. Gurriel had a day off last Friday in the opener against a good team. I think we needed him and should have seen him in the line up. But was this one of those scheduled days off for Yuli? He DH’ed on Thursday, so that’s my guess. I watched the Padres drop down three nice sacrifice bunts in the first two games. I wish Dusty would do that, but our organization has never considered a bunt as part of 21st century baseball. How can Myles Straw suck at bunting? We’re 16 and 13, and Dusty has had to use 22 guys in the mound over those 29 games. He’s shown confidence in guys that another manager might not have. He’s never had the opportunity to use his full line up. 10 guys at DH so far. We’ve gotten a .212 BA and a .676 OPS from those guys. Our MVP has shown us his worst career slump. Our Cy Young has given us 6 innings. I could go on, but I’ll just speculate once more. Would Dusty Baker have allowed his dugout to get away from him as Hinch did? I’m sure Baker has seen every scheme in the game, but I’m confident that if he did not like what was happening under his watch, it would have been stopped way before our organization became the most hated in professional sports.

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    • Yes rj – between me and my sons we came up with:
      – Tuberculosis Disease
      – Thomas Baseball Daulton
      – Tom Brady’s Diet and
      – Tornadoes Bearing Down – though then my son apologized for that one being too close to the storms coming in…..

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  7. I kind of thought this was coming due to the timing on the storm, but they have postponed the Wednesday game against the Angels and is being moved to be part of a doubleheader on Sept. 5 out in LA.

    So the Angels will play today’s doubleheader and leave town.

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  8. Well there has been speculation that the Astros might head out and play the weekend in Oakland and flip that with another series, but boy that would be bad from a travel stand point

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  9. Won the first game 6 – 3.

    Lineup for the second game:

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    • Bielak betrayed by his control and by Reddick letting a single roll past him to the wall.
      Tucker hits a rocket with Gurriel that gets snagged and Gurriel gets doubled off. Correa hits a rocket that Fletcher turns into an out.
      Toro nonchalants a ground ball into a hit as Ohtani hustles full blast to first.
      Game is not starting well

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  10. Well, back in it, but Altuve went down looking at a 5-0 pitch to end the rally. The guy is just bleeping selfish sometimes. Swinging at stuff over his head instead of becoming the tying run on base with Brantley coming up. That’s part of his problem. Selfish.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sure Biagini will make the Astros playoff roster if they make it since he can always be counted on for at least 4 runs. Oops, that’s for the opposing team. Uncle K, you are spot on about Altuve. I thought he was getting better but it seems he’s looking for the glory days of seasons gone by. Walks usually lead to runs because when a pitcher can’t throw strikes he eventually serves up a juicy morsel that leads to several runs.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I had read an article, recently, that suggested Toronto should trade away Lourdes Gurriel. It also suggested the Astros should trade Forrest Whitely.

    I am down with trading these players for each other! Bringing in Lourdes should appeal to Yuli and perhaps, he would resign with the club for a team friendly contract. The team could do worse at first base…

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    • I could see that, I guess he and Tucker could fight it our for the left field spot. I would love to know what they really think of Whitley

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    • You know, I’ve been dubious of Whitley for awhile now. Maybe GoStros1 can convince me that I should be patient. But if Lourdes had a better on base pedigree, I think I’d make a deal like that without any real hesitation. As it is Sarge, I’d be tempted. You think the Jays would unload a proven commodity for a totally unproven one? That would mean Tucker having to go to right and Lourdes in left. That makes us a younger team pretty quickly.

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