Yes, the Astros are four games up on the Mariners with seven games to go and with a couple wins in the next three games can clinch a playoff spot.
But 2020 has been a real disappointment for the team that came within a handful of outs of their second World Championship in three years. Limping along and backing into the playoffs as a .500 or so team was not expected after three seasons of 100+ wins.
So who is to blame? The answer may surprise you, but the answer could be right here in this blog. Yes, the Sports Illustrated cover jinx may be taking a back seat to the Chipalatta Curse….
Jeff Luhnow and A.J. Hinch
This post from Sept. 9, 2019 really tweaked the nose of Fate…..and Fate swung back hard. Yeah – these guys were untouchable. Right?
A few months later “It” hit the top of the news and by mid-January of 2020 they were both gone.
On May 19, 2020, the blog talked about the Astros 2B in the same breath as the greatest 2B in Astros’ history.
So, what happens? Jose Altuve currently sitting at .213 BA/ .279 OBP / .590 OPS is putting out a season that Craig Biggio only matched in his cameo as a rookie. And in this case “matched” meant matched in a bad sense.
On April 15, 2020, asked the question about whether Alex Bregman was the greatest 3B in Astros history.
Well after twice goading the baseball gods during the COVID hiatus, the gods decided that Bregman, who was coming off of a near MVP season where he slashed a tremendous . 296 BA/ .423 OBP/ 1.015 OPS fell to earth in 2020 had another thing coming. Working around a hamstring pull, he has fallen to earth with a season where he is more gnashing than slashing at .246 BA/ .358 OBP/ .787 OPS.
On May 5, 2020, the blog praised the Rookie of the Year Yordan Alvarez, who had already become the best DH in Astros history after half a season.
Well, of course the results of all this was that Alvarez, due to knee problems, was not ready to start the delayed season opener. He joined the team in week 3 and after an eventful 2 games that included a first at bat 3 run home run, his knees took him down and his season ended in surgery.
Near the end of the abbreviated spring training on March 11, 2020 the blog speculated that Astros 2020 with Gerrit Cole, Wade Miley and Collin McHugh gone could afford swingman Brad Peacock another shot at a starting rotation spot.
As it turned out, elbow soreness that Peacock had suffered in 2019 continued to plague him and delayed his debut in 2020 as a bullpen only pitcher. He got whacked around in 3 appearances and then went back onto the IL, likely never to be seen again.
In probably the worst jinx on this list, the blog on July 10, 2020 praised how well Verlander knew himself and how to tweak his pitching method.
Exactly two weeks later Verlander made his only start of the 2020 season. He never made another due to arm soreness and despite trying to make a comeback, he had to bow his head a few days ago and announce that TJ surgery was about to happen.
Kyle Tucker started the season slowly, but was rolling like a hot star when the blog highlighted him on August 31,2020.
Within a week, Tucker was in free fall in a 3 for 30 slump.
On September 4, 2020 the blog pointed out what a great job Zack Greinke was doing leading the Astros neophyte rotation.
Do we even have to point out what happened next? In his 3 starts since this unwanted attention, Greinke has gone 0-3 with a 6.75 ERA.
So….. there you go. The Astros terrible 2020 is a direct result of Dan P tempting fate with so many positive posts.
(Do you think that will let the Astros off the hook?)