Following last night’s win in Oakland, the Astros have now won fourteen of their past fifteen games against the Athletics.
If your team has any inclination of qualifying for the postseason, they must play well within the division. The Astros have finally received the hint.
As you all may recall, grudgingly or not, the Astros have had their fair share of struggles in the AL West. The Texas Rangers are automatically the first divisional rival that comes to mind. But the other residents of the AL West have given the Astros issues since 2013. That’s not the case any longer in 2017.
Three hours and six minutes
The length of time in most Major League Baseball games are probably anywhere from three to four hours long. That’s just the norm nowadays.
If you couldn’t tell, the Astros played the Athletics in Oakland last night. Naturally, this game did not start till about 9:05 PM central standard time. In case you haven’t noticed yet, this is a late start time for anyone who resides in this time zone. And like most Americans, I have a job during the day. This means that I fell into a deep slumber before the end of the game, which occurred roughly ten or so minutes past midnight. It was already Thursday by that point. If you can’t tell, I’m working on priorities in my life.
Let me emphasize, though, that this is not me complaining about the late start times. That argument was so 2013 and there is really nothing we can do about it now. I just thought it was an interesting tidbit when you consider how baseball’s change of pace has occurred. And I wouldn’t mind a modification or two to help shorten the game for average folks like me to watch an entire game. Or I can adjust my lifestyle. Decisions, decisions.
66 game score
Bad pun alert: Mike Fiers has been on fire!
Alright, I deserve any bit of ridicule that you, the reader, can muster for that one. Seriously, though, Fiers has produced quality results since his short-lived demotion to the bullpen.
In a way, he may saved the Astros season. Probably not, but you have to at least entertain the notion for a minute. Or maybe thirty seconds.
Fiers has been the starter the Astros needed at the right time. His 66 game score last night provides a snapshot of how well he pitched despite not having his best stuff in the early innings. Imagine how good this rotation would be with a healthy Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers, Charlie Morton and Collin McHugh with an effective Fiers? Sorry, Joe Musgrove. Better luck next time.
I realize that’s a lot of “if’s” but it would be somewhat understandable if the Astros front office decides not to trade for another starting pitcher. But a pitcher’s health should never be assumed. Sooner or later, the timer will run out. It’s just a matter of when, not if.
It’s no secret the Astros were one of the worst teams in baseball for about a six-to-seven year period. Three of those seasons likely rivaled some of the worst in baseball history.
For example, the 2013 Astros won only 51 games. They didn’t win their 49th game till September 10th. Believe it or not, the Astros that season only won two games the remaining three or so weeks of the season. It was quite dreadful, but its baseball so I watched it regardless.
Fast forward to 2017 and the Astros won their 49th game yesterday, June 21st. This season is much better than 2013.
**Statistics courtesy of MLB.com**