The 2017 edition of the Astros are making the rebuilding years seem like a distant, far away memory.
As the Astros were in the midst of their rebuild, it constantly seem like the losses were flooding in with no sign of slowing down. After all, a rebuild can be botched with a single wrong decision or ten.
For example, the Astros took Carlos Correa first overall in 2012. Imagine if the franchise actually selected Bryon Buxton instead? While we don’t have a crystal ball, the rebuild would have likely been less optimistic with Buxton than it has been with Correa. And the rebuild would’ve likely been set back to an uncertain degree.
I don’t mean this as a knock on Buxton, and I hope he enjoys great success with the Minnesota Twins, but you have to be relieved that the Astros have seemingly made the right choice in 2012. Hindsight is 20/20, though, so it is easy for me to make such statements today. And who knows how the landscape of the Astros will look five years from now. I implore us, though, to embrace the team’s new-found success now. You should never take these times for granted.
The 2017 Astros have won more ball games than anyone else thus far. Their 51 wins lead the league and the team has posted a +113 run differential. This trails only the Los Angeles Dodgers at +132.
Outside of the current context, the Astros have also matched something in the historical context as well; their win total in 2013. That’s right; the Astros have met their win total from just four years ago this June!
The Astros didn’t win their 51st game in 2013 till September 13th. They wouldn’t win another game that season. As you may recall, the Astros finished the season with a 15-game losing streak. Yeah, those were dark times in the baseball sense if you followed the Houston franchise.
In keeping with 51st win theme, there was one instance of a questionable strike call in the top of the seventh inning.
As you can tell from above, Jose Altuve was on the wrong end of a strike call by the umpire. In fact, it was one of the more egregious calls that I’ve seen this season. And Altuve was clearly not happy.
This questionable strike call, though, didn’t prevent the Astros from breaking open the game with a three-run seventh inning. Houston would eventually win the contest 5-to-2, but the call was still worth discussing.
Alright, I’m breaking the 51st win theme on this one. Honestly, I don’t care much for themes. If something is pertinent to the conversation, I say utilize it. And you can’t have a pertinent point to the Astros this season without Lance McCullers.
The talented pitcher for the Astros posted a 67 game score in his first start since his disabled list stint earlier this month. And McCullers posted an effective pitching line last night on Seattle.
5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 8 SO
Even though his start was only five innings long, McCullers was efficient. The 23-year old allowed only four hits and no walks while surrendering a lone run in the sixth inning. He picked up his seventh win of the season and currently has a 2.53 ERA, which is the fourth-best out of all qualified pitchers.
**Statistics courtesy of MLB.com and Fangraphs**