The Astros wore their orange jerseys in Oakland Thursday afternoon and were beaten black and blue by the first place Athletics. The 13-1 trouncing was the most lopsided loss of the year for the Astros. Warning: if you’re looking for an upbeat article focusing on the silver lining, this is not the post for you. I’m going to be brutally honest about this team’s shortcomings. So I’ll try to be brief.
Any team that bats Marc Krauss in the cleanup spot has some definite shortcomings. The only thing more depressing than his .178 batting average is watching Krauss misplay balls in the outfield. Robbie Grossman wasn’t much better. He fell down in the outfield on one play and air-mailed the catcher on another. At the plate, Grossman’s exaggerated stance with the barrel of the bat pointing at the pitcher gives him almost no chance to catch up to a good fastball — if he ever decides to take a swing.
Injuries to Dexter Fowler, George Springer, and Alex Presley have left the Astros searching for answers in the outfield. Krauss and Grossman are not the answer, in my opinion. It’s time to give Austin Wates a look.
On the pitching side of things, Scott Feldman didn’t have his best day. But the veteran hung in there and kept his team in the game… that is, until Bo Porter left him in too long. At that point, you could already predict what was going to happen. This was like 2013 all over again. Anthony Bass and Josh Zeid are living proof of how shallow the Astros bullpen is.
The injuries continued to mount, as well. Marwin Gonzalez should be commended for trying to play through a hamstring injury. But a trip to the disabled list appears to be in order. Gregorio Petit is fully capable of filling Marwin’s shoes. Kike Hernandez, who relieved Gonzalez at shortstop for the final two innings may be the latest to be bitten by the injury bug. Kike appeared to injure a finger on his throwing hand when a grounder took a bad hop on him in the seventh inning. I’ve yet to see an update on his condition. Hopefully the versatile rookie is okay.
The Astros licked their wounds all the way back to Houston, where they open up a 10-game homestand on Friday. The Miami Marlins are next on the schedule. Hopefully some home cooking will help the Astros right the ship.