The Astros 2016 Home Schedule Ends with a Clunker
By Eric Huysman
Tal’s Hill and Bill Brown dominates the last 2016 Astros home game.
While there were not too many people at the Astros game yesterday, the crowd was supportive until the game got out of hand. Many people were handcuffed with $30 tickets to take a picture with Tal’s Hill after the game. The rest were staying until the bitter end, which resulted in a 12-4 loss to their Wild Card competitors Mariners.
In 81 home games this year at Minute Maid Park, the Astros have played decently. The hometown crowd went home more times happy this year than disappointed. With a 43-38 record at home this year, they held their own at MMP. However, this was worse than their impressive home record in 2015.
In 2015, the Astros 53-28 record was part of the reasons they made the playoffs. It figures that the first time I get full season tickets was the season that they lose their hold of MMP a little. The ten game drop from last season at home could be a big reason that they will fall short of the playoffs.
Here is my picture with Tal’s Hill.
Comparing the 2015 and 2016 Astros.
However, last year’s road record was 33-48, which was 15 games below .500. That was pathetic and nearly cost them the playoffs last year. Results pending for the weekend series versus the Angels, the Astros are currently 40-38 on the road. In the grand scheme of things, the next three games probably mean nothing. Maybe we can get some playing time for A.J. Reed and others in the final games.
With the Orioles winning last night, the Astros elimination number is down to one. Meaning any more Orioles win or Astros loss, the Stros would be eliminated. I have written about this before, why was Doug Fister on the mound with so much on the line? There are not too many more options at this time, but still.
The Astros decided to stick to the starting pitchers this season instead of adding at the deadline. They had the faith in Fister after his great start to the season. But this faith should have turned into distrust as Fister fell apart in September. A.J. Hinch stuck with his man, but I don’t think that he should lose his job for it.
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The team will need to make some decisions as the offseason begins, but this team has a bright future. Last night’s game demonstrated some of the team’s weaknesses. The team could use an upgrade in the rotation, but a return to health of Lance McCullers and Dallas Keuchel will help. Fister’s performance down the stretch has hurt his value for 2017 and I don’t see the Astros bringing him back.
While we have a decent bullpen, yesterday’s disaster stemmed from the relievers. I know that we have some pitchers up here only because of September call-ups, but not all of them. The bullpen allowed seven runs following Fister’s departure. The bullpen could be burned out, but they will get a chance for a vacation soon.
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***Records from Baseball-Reference***