After two very good months of May (21-8) and June (16-9), the Astros continued their surge with another solid month with a 19-9 July. Thanks to going 6-1 against the second-place Seattle Mariners during the month, the team finished the month with a 12-game lead in the AL West, despite the 14-game winning streak the M’s had in July.
In Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Bob Cratchit raises what was a not very heartfelt toast to the “founder of the feast,” Ebenezer Scrooge. This is, of course, before Scrooge experiences the lessons of the three ghosts and “became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew…”.
The writer of these posts is definitely a normal human being with a normal human being’s level of ego (or more). I believe my thoughts about the Astros are as critical or more than anyone else. Just ask me.
The Astros and their MLB brethren are about ten days from the trade deadline of August 2. (Why August 2? It must have had something to do with the lockout settlement). It is strange to have a team like the Astros that is only 2-1/2 games out of the top record in the MLB held by the Yankees and on a pace for their best season record with so many perceived holes.
In late June/early July, the Astros faced what looked like a daunting 15-game stretch. It included 9 games against the best teams in the AL and NL (Yankees and Mets), three against the above .500 White Sox, and three against the Angels, who were lurking behind the Astros but always dangerous with Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout, and company. Well, the Astros roared to a 12-3 record during that stretch ending it with a season-high 13.5 game lead in their division.
After getting a bit of respite from the 100+ F temperatures the last few days, we are heading back up; it is what it is in a Texas summer. And the same could be said about our first-place baseball team, the Houston Astros.
In the comments to the last post – a good friend of the blog and our in-house island inn-keeper, uncleknuckle (previously known as Daveb) – mentioned that he didn’t think any of us thought this team would be this good. It is a good point.
Apologies to Bon Jovi for stealing the title of this post from a line from Living on a Prayer, but this year’s Astros team is doing much more than living on a prayer.