It’s no secret that the Astros have been struggling over the last week, and really every part of the team has had a hand in the losing road trip. There have been nights where the starting pitcher was roughed up, nights where the lineup went completely silent, and other nights where the game was in the Astros hands and then was promptly relinquished by the bullpen.
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What also stings the most about this losing road trip is that most of the games were winnable, and they were against divisional opponents in Oakland and Texas. All games against your own division are important, which is why the losses that the Astros had to take this past week were so tough.
In losing six out of their last seven games, the Astros have trimmed their AL West lead over the Angels to just a half game. Even those dreaded Texas Rangers are now only 4.5 back from us.
Astros fans are devastated because FOUR out of the six losses were by only one run. The losses always sting, but when you should have won them, they sting even more. It is a good sign, however, that Astros fans are now very disappointed and hurt by the losses. It shows that Houston is coming back as a baseball town.
Anyways, now Astros fans need to move on. In the dog days of August, you have to move to the next series and the next week like nothing happened. The Astros have a huge two-game series against the Giants Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by a three-game set back at Minute Maid Park against the lowly Detroit Tigers.
This off day should resemble a turning of the page for the Astros. We have veterans on this team like Jed Lowrie, Colby Rasmus, Luke Gregerson, and Pat Neshek who have been through the ups and downs of an MLB season and know what it’s like to go through a bad stretch. The Astros are going to come out of this funk, and it starts tomorrow night in San Francisco with Scott Kazmir on the mound.
The Astros have a pitching staff that can keep them in any series that they have left on the schedule. Kazmir, Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers, Collin McHugh, and now Mike Fiers can pitch really well for this team and need the offense to pick it up.
Until George Springer returns, the Astros need more big hits like Rasmus provided in the 9th inning last night, and Carlos Gomez must step it up. Gomez is definitely on notice by Astros fans, as he has been average at best since joining the Astros. Luis Valbuena had a nice road trip, and Jose Altuve was a force at the top of the lineup.
This Astros team CAN AND WILL WIN ON THE ROAD. I believe it and you should too. These losses hurt, but you should use this off day to recuperate and get ready to support this team tomorrow night from your TV and then at Minute Maid Park this upcoming weekend.