10 reasons to be happy about the Astros

It has been a tough time for the team’s fans as they have been on a roll (as in rolling back down the standings’ hill) in losing 7 of their last 8 games, heading into a mini-series with the Colorado Rockies. It is easy to get into a COVID lockdown funk about everything after a year plus of eating water sandwiches in life. But here you go….ten reasons to be happy about the Astros.

  1. Winners. They have been to the playoffs in five of the last six seasons and had a winning record in the other season.
  2. Special Winners. They have been to the ALCS a terrific four seasons in a row and to the World Series in two of those seasons.
  3. Not that I’m spiteful or spitful (Gerrit Cole – Spit!!). The Yankees are 5-10. (OK, not necessarily having anything to do with the Astros, but it makes me extremely happy anyway).
  4. Zack Greinke! He is worth the price of admission just to see what type of magician’s trick he will pull off in his next start. Is he going to turn a screaming line drive into a double play? Is he going to freeze a batter with a 54 mph loop-de-loop eephus pitch? Is he going to confuse them with an 88 mph fastball that looks about 110 mph after the eephus pitch? It is fun.
  5. The Boys Are Coming Back. We are being told that Yordan Alvarez, Alex Bregman, Martin Maldonado and (who’s he) Robel Garcia will be available for Tuesday night’s game, and the speculation is that Jose Altuve will be available this weekend.
  6. On Base Mania. Yuli Gurriel had an on-base percentage of a miserable .277 in 2020 and .328 for his career, but he is getting on at an outrageous .477 clip so far with a pretty fine .358 batting average to boot.
  7. Don’t Ryne About It. To quote mlb.com, “Astros reliever Ryne Stanek has nearly pitched the equivalent of a full game this season (8 2/3 innings) and has given up one hit — a homer to Oakland’s Seth Brown on April 10 — while striking out 12 batters. Opposing hitters are 1-for-26 (.038 average) against Stanek, and he’s posted a 0.46 WHIP. Right-handed batters are 0-for-18 against him with eight strikeouts.”
  8. The Big Y. Watching Yordan Alvarez hit is like eating a handful of peanut M&Ms. It is enjoyable, and you just can’t get enough of it. The world and baseball watching will be a whole lot better with Yordan back in the lineup.
  9. Sixes are Wild. Ryan Pressly has pitched in and finished six games (though one of those was a walk-off), given up 6 hits and put up six Ks in six innings of pitching. And he has one win, one save and given up no earned runs so far in 2021.
  10. Only Three Back. Despite stinking up the place, the Astros are three back of the M’s in the AL West. After 15 games in 2018, they were 2-1/2 games back of the Angels in a season that ended in the ALCS. In 2019 after 14 games, they were three games back of the M’s in a season that ended in the World Series. It is less than 10% of the season to date. There are 147 games to go, about 2-1/2 times how many games they played last season. Things can change in a hurry.

So, ten reasons to be happy (or happy about the Astros)….what are you happy about?


48 comments on “10 reasons to be happy about the Astros

    • So glad he played winter ball and did so well. That takes a little of the sting out of this injury.
      Also, the broken wrist is his glove hand and not his throwing hand. He might even be able to keep throwing while rehabbing.


  1. Happy? I’m not happy. But I am encouraged by the performance of Javier. The most recent outing by Urquidy, a guy who I think is the real deal gives me a shot of positivity. Yeah, Grienke gives me a real level of confidence that he’ll keep us in most games he starts. Pressly has done his job. Stanek has more than done his job. Bielak and Garcia deserve a bit of recognition too.
    Yuli really impresses me. I’m convinced that OBP is his game plan for 2021. What a remarkable change at this point in his career. Okay, he has made me happy. And what about Diaz? He’s showing us an ability to be the reliable go to guy off the bench. Jose has a .380 OBP in his new role. I hope he continues to show discipline at the plate. Yordan will not continue to K 12 times for every walk. He’ll get going. So that makes me optimistic. If I’ve missed any other positive stuff, forgive me. At least I’ve refrained from dwelling on the negative aspects of our season to date.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well said uncle K. I was looking at the standings and who would have thought the divisions would look like they do at this juncture? Seattle in 1st and Houston in last, Boston in 1st and NY in last, KC in 1st and Minnesota in next to last, Nationals in last place, Giants in 2nd place in the west. So far a wacky start for the most part.
      As for our Astros, it’s time to get busy winning baseball games or the Chron (spit) will be erecting a new tombstone.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Not good when you have 4 hits thru 8 innings and hit into 3 DPs
    At least Brantley seems to be back
    Not loving Alvarez sitting on the bench while Toro pinch hits for the pitcher with a runner on and down 1 run

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Garcia has put himself in a nice conversation for the rotation next year…good to see him pitching so well early in this season.
    Now this:
    Raley and Joe Smith SUCK!
    These guys have lost 8 out of their last 9 games.
    Bregman is broken.


  4. 11. With the way they are playing, they will get a much higher than normal draft position in 2022, when they will have picks in the first two rounds again.
    12. They may get a higher draft pick on the international stage, if baseball decides to fix the screwed up international free agent debacle they have now.


  5. Positives:
    We scored in the 9th inning again.
    Machete threw out another runner trying to steal.
    Carlos with a nice oppo-field double.
    We were 1 for 3 with RISP.
    McCullers gave up no hits and no runs…oh wait, never mind.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I liked Baker’s statement after the game. He said the Astros were going through a bad period right now and that every decision they make turns out to be a bad one. It seems to sum up the Astros situation correctly.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It is approaching time to resurrect the old story of the child that had been beaten and abused. There was a custody battle between the parents and the judge asked the child who he wanted to live with. His answer was “The Astros because they can’t beat anybody.”


  8. Excellent job by Garcia. Tough for him to have to take that loss. Wondering what’s going on with Javier. We sure need his arm right now. Let’s get him back and send him on his secret mission once things stabilize. We don’t have enough viable options in the pen.

    Tough to blame Straw for not catching that ball last night. Not an easy play. But he keeps getting burned on balls over his head. He’s slow to react. Instead of playing shallow and giving up double and triples, why not move him back a few steps. These game changing extra base hits are killing us. His dWAR is -0.2 at this point.

    Myles has had 61 PA’s to date. How long does his experiment last? He’s either lost all confidence or never really was a very good outfielder. Throwing to an empty base last night was just a small example of his inability to process the game right now. He should have just run the ball in. And every time he comes to the plate and I see a shift to the right, there is so much room on the infield for him to drop a bunt down for a hit. But everyone knows he’s not going to do it because he can’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Our outfielders are either narrowly missing or making acrobatic catches on a lot of balls that average defenders from other teams catch in stride. I know we expected the outfield to take a hit in the offseason, but I think we probably underestimated the impact. The coaching staff has to take the blame for Straw’s positioning. How many times have he and Tucker been poorly aligned this year? They’re either getting free reign to play where they want or the bench is moving them to the wrong place.

      Has our team ever played well at Coors field? I feel like games there as well as Miami have almost been automatic and losses and ugly games to watch since they entered the league.


  9. On the play in the bottom of the 6th last night, on the replay from behind home plate, it is visible that Jake catches that ball. If you look at the replay from behind home plate, the ball has passed over second base before Straw turns to run. Jake, Springer, Willie Mays, Curt Flood, and many others had the unique ability to move based upon the pitch location and the bat contact. Straw, on that play, was late in seeing what to do. Yes, it is just one play and I don’t mean to bash the guy, but Jake was able to make acrobatic catches because of his ability to read the contact. He didn’t need to watch the ball come half way to him and then react.


  10. A Reason to be Happy about the Astros . . .

    I haven’t spent a penny on them, and am not responsible for any of their salaries.

    And . . . well . . .

    Eee-ya-ba-dee-ya-ba-dee-ya-ba -dah . . . that’s all folks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • We don’t have a bullpen, AC. We have a pig pen – and it stinks to high heaven. But then again, what part of this team doesn’t? Where’s Casey Stengel when you need a good ‘Can’t anybody here play this game?’ deadpan?

      PS. Mel Blanc could have done that voice-over for us, but the Astros apparently shot him.


  11. We are up in the Hill Country so I am being spared watching them not hit for the umpteenth day in a row.
    Is it snowing (not the old style snow on TV but the real stuff). They said it was possible.
    This team reminds me of one of those Cat in the Hat books where every time he tries to clean up a mess he makes a bigger mess.
    Hang in there everyone!


    • It was 34 degrees with significant snow falling to start the game. Strange, it hasn’t slowed down the powerhouse Rockies offense [sarcasm font ‘on’] one bit. So it goes . . . and goes . . . and goes.


  12. The bright spot of this horrible excuse for a game looks to be Pete Solomon’s appearance in the bottom of the 8th. The youngster gave up a hit, but no runs and he struck out two.


  13. Jeremy Pena will miss 5 months after his wrist surgery – so the young man will have not played above High A ball which he reached in 2019.
    So, do the Astros need to chase a veteran this off season if Correa moves on??

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Honestly, beginning with the 2019 WS, this has been one and a half years worth of the most awful baseball ever. I feel like I have been living in some parallel universe and baseball has been replaced by something alien.
    I am not happy about it, at all.
    Why were those teams playing in the snow today? They don’t play in rain. Why would they play in freezing weather in the middle of a snowstorm?
    They knew it was going to start snowing at game time. Why didn’t they play earlier?
    Baseball is brain dead.

    Liked by 2 people

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