Apologies to Stevie Wonder. But not everyone believes in Superstition, though there is probably some of that sentiment in his song. And on a side note, did Stevie who has been famous since his early teens ever consider changing over to Steve or Steven? “Ladies and Gentlemen, put your hands together for Steven Wonder!!” Doesn’t work, kind of like when Dwight Shrute on The Office references William Joel. But I digress. A lot.
It’s hard to not believe in Superstition when you write an Astros blog and every time you complete a post it appears to trigger an opposite reaction in the team. Praise the team for their 6-1 start with a post about their good job and start a 1-9 avalanche slide to the bottom of the AL West. Dun them for being rotten as a team during that stretch and they immediately take two in a row from the Angels, including their improbable three-run 10th inning rally to snatch victory from the certain jaws of defeat.
What’s a blogger and fan to do? If I praise their performance will it result in another death spiral spin into the depths of despair? Or will their subsequent performance result from their actions, not mine?
The only way to make this work is to trod onward ignoring what the team does after negative posts or positive posts. Hey, if this writer really had that power he would be writing negative posts about his 401K right now.
The Astros mini-streak came at exactly the right time for the team. They came home off the road limping into Minute Maid Park and got two very different but solid starting performances from Cristian Javier and Zack Greinke with a ton of hitting in the first game and just enough from a variety of heroes in the second to vault the team to 2 and 0 on the homestand.
Who would we like to praise?
- Mr. Anonymous, Robel Garcia, who slapped a ball into center field to send the fans and the team home happy with a 5-4 victory last night
- Myles Straw who knocked in 2 runs in the first game and then somehow beat the throw to first on what looked like a routine grounder to first to keep the Astros hopes going in the 10th inning in the second game.
- Jason Castro for whacking a ground-rule double that set up a Correa sac fly to tie the game and Garcia’s single to win it.
- Cristian Javier toughing it out for a scoreless outing in the first game.
- Zack Greinke for giving up double-digit hits but only two runs in the second plus going 7 innings.
- Yuli Gurriel for his continued offensive excellence especially his 2 run homer that launched the Astros into its first extra-inning game of the season.
- The usual suspects in the first game – Correa, Gurriel, Alex Bregman, and Michael Brantley triggering the offensive eruption on Thursday night.
OK there I’ve done it – jinxed them to the max.