Most fans, managers, media observers would say it is critical for team success in sports for all the players to be pulling in the same direction. It’s just like a rowing team is most successful when they are rowing in sync.
However….this may not be true when the team is the 2021 Houston Astros. They are more like a rowing squad that is all pulling as a team…..towards Niagara Falls.
Some thoughts about this wonderful little streak they are on…
- They are 1-9 in their last 10 games – wow, just wow
- Their offense has been rotten, only scoring 26 runs in those 10 games
- Ironically they won the game that they scored the least runs (1) during that streak.
- Somehow one of their least effective hitters Kyle Tucker (.169 BA / .600 OPS), leads the team with 4 HRs and 11 RBIs)
- That is because a number of their better hitters (Brantley, Alvarez, Bregman, Altuve) have missed time with injury or Covid-related time off.
- That is also because most of these players, even decent to good batting averages, are not doing much with men in scoring positions.
- It also doesn’t help that their two catchers Martin Maldonado and Jason Castro, added together, are about 1/2 a Mendoza.
- Or that they’ve thrown Tucker and Myles Straw at the leadoff spot lately despite their approx .220 OBP
- On the other hand, it is not like the pitching can claim they hold up their side of the equation.
- Except for the Zack Greinke / Ryan Pressly shutout – the Astros in the 9 losses have not held the opponents to under 6 runs.
- There have been some nice efforts by Greinke and Luis Garcia among the starters (and Cristian Javier, who apparently joined the witness protection program after his last 5 innings 0 runs appearance). But Lance McCullers Jr.(5.27 ERA), Jose Urquidy (5.14 ERA) and Jake Odorizzi (10.57 ERA) have not been good.
- Pressly has pitched well out of the pen, Ryne Stanek has been good except for a couple long balls and long relievers Garcia and Brandon Bielak have been pretty good. But Joe Smith (14.40 ERA), Brooks Raley (10.80) and Blake Taylor (on the injured list with a 6.75 ERA) have been awful.
- And truth be told, the manager and coaching have not been great. Lots of questions about lineups, about who’s batting where, about who’s starting, and about who is coming in from the bullpen. And questions about why the coaches are not fixing obvious defects with the team.
- Oh, and the fielding is the worst in the last 5-6 years
Anyways – the slump has been a team effort, and only a team effort will turn this around.