Unfortunately today the Astros fell 4-1 to Chris Tillman, Nelson Cruz and the Baltimore Orioles. But fans aren’t going to sulk too long in today’s defeat. The seven ballgames before were way, way, way too much fun to do anything of the sort.
A very short time ago the Houston Astros were 17-32 and buried under the 14 other American League squads. The level of surprise at that standing was and is totally irrelevant to the big picture. The team is still totally rebuilding its every piece, spare a Jose Altuve here and a Jason Castro there. But the way the club was dropping game after game was a bit concerning. At this point in the team’s situation it isn’t so much about the wins and losses as the effort and development/maturity/progression that takes place on and off the diamond.
There was plenty to head scratch, second guess and ask questions about regarding the team’s play through mid-May. But on May 24 the Astros began their streak of seven straight wins, surpassing the franchise’s previous high mark set in 2010, the final season of Houston baseball that wasn’t knee deep in rebuilding.
From the 24th to the Civil Rights Game on May 30th — fueled by starting pitching and rookie phenom George Springer — the surging ‘Stros outscored their opponents (Seattle, Kansas City and Baltimore) by 27 runs, 39-12. There were, as everyone including myself likes to say, #SpecialVibes going through the clubhouse and onto the field and to post game pressers and into the next day’s game.
If the Tampa Bay Rays fall to the Boston Red Sox tonight — the defending World Series Champion BoSox winners of five in a row (after losing 10 in a row) themselves — the Astros will stay out of the American League cellar, something that along with many other things is happening quite sooner than most thought.
So while today goes down in the books as a big L, honestly who cares? Seven beautiful, polished, squiggly W’s that came before make it absolutely worth it. That’s a ratio even Gregg Popovich or Bill Belichick could smile about.
Things are looking up in Houston for our Astros.