Throwback Thursday: The Astros Record One Year Ago


Sep 18, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Scott Feldman (46) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Amazing the difference a year can make, especially in sports, isn’t it? With a 4-1 victory over the Orioles in Baltimore, the Houston Astros reached thirty wins for the 2015 season. They remain the best team in the American League, only trailing the MLB-best St Louis Cardinals by a single game in the loss column.  The 30-17 record that the Astros are the proud owners of is a marked improvement on the 17-30 record the team had forty-seven games into the 2014 season.

The occasion of the seventeenth victory in 2014 was a 5-2 win over the Angels in Anaheim with Dallas Keuchel picking up his fifth win for a 5-1 record as a starting pitcher.  Keuchel’s impressive start to the 2014 season has been mirrored this time around, with the Oklahoman lefty sitting at 6-1 this time around.

In 2014, it actually took the Astros until the sixty-seventh game of the season to top thirty wins. The game was a 5-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks bringing yet another Keuchel victory in an eight-inning, 101 pitch outing which was closed out by Chad Qualls.  That game was marked by two Chris Carter home runs. But we should also note that the DH’s batting average, even at this juncture of the season, had yet to rise about .200; Carter’s average was .199 after the game.  Throwing to a single batter in that game was Joe Thatcher, now playing a valuable role in the Astros bullpen.

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The way the 2015 schedule worked out, the Astros are actually six games behind the number played on this date a year ago.  On May 28th, 2014 the Astros record was 22-32. The team in the midst of something of a tear winning seven consecutive games between a 9-4 win in Seattle and a 2-1 win in Houston against Baltimore.

The improvement in the team has, of course, been across all departments.  Offensively, on May 28, 2014, the Astros had managed to complete one game with a team average of greater than .240. This game was the opening day demolition of the New York Yankees, but this is something they have managed five times already this season. On the mound, team ERA has not yet topped 4.00 for any game this season.  Last time around it took until the fourth game of the season to hit 4.50, and it never dropped below 4.00 again.

If you have the time, you might be interested to google (or whatever internet search engine you prefer) the term “Astros on pace to win.”  The context you will receive is striking, with my search revealing headlines such as, “The Astros are on pace to win 108” from this season, and “Houston Astros on pace for 111 Losses” from 2012.  While 2012 didn’t quite reach such depths, 2013 hit the 111 loss in the final game of the season.

Things are, needless to say, looking up for the Houston Astros in 2015.

Next: So You Want Singleton and Correa with the Astros?

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