The Astros lost again for the seventh time in ten games. Woe is us.
Remember the time a few years ago the Astros were in the White Sox shoes? Yeah, me too.
Somehow the Astros won a game at least 50 times during the bleak years. Yes, they were a terrible baseball team, but still managed to win at least 50 games. The White Sox will likely win roughly 60 games this season. Fangraphs actually has Chicago winning 61 games.
Now it has been established that the worst team in the AL can topple one of the best for a game or two. Doesn’t seem quite as bad as we all thought, right?
Well, it depends on your view of the short-term versus the long-term. This is a divisive issue amongst the fanbase currently.
Anyway, the Astros have warning flags. Seriously, I am not kidding.
Collin McHugh in his first four innings looked a lot like the pitcher the Astros needed. If only he didn’t implode in the fifth and sixth innings.
Fifth Inning Recap
Single (This is fine)
Home Run (A 2-to-0 deficit isn’t impossible to come back from)
Single (OK, this is starting to become worrisome)
Out (Strike Out, thank goodness!)
Double (Dang it)
Single (Not again)
Ground ball (Double Play; slowly exhale)
Sixth Inning Recap
Ground ball (Out; good start)
Walk (Followed shortly by an error on McHugh; ugh!)
Single (Here we go again)
Double (Argh; sorry, I was trying out my pirate impression)
(Enter Francisco Liriano; fingers crossed for limited damage)
Foul out (Told you Liriano was a good acquisition!)
Walk (Walks happen to every pitcher, settle down Liriano haters)
Single (Forget what I said about Liriano two at-bats ago)
Fly out (Liriano isn’t allowed to pitch again)
The total damage? Seven runs all charged to McHugh. And Liriano did not look good for the third straight appearance as an Astro.
Yup, good times.
How was your Wednesday night?
Lost in the midst of the Astros recent struggles has been the resurgence of Ken Giles. While he isn’t pitching at the same level he was in Philadelphia, the former Phillie has found success in his second season in Houston.
Last night was another solid outing for Giles despite the circumstances. His 1.14 FIP from the game illustrates as much. And, no, he did not surrender a run.
The Astros still hold a sizable lead in the AL West. Barring a catastrophic collapse, Houston will likely win their first AL West title this season.
The lead for AL supremacy, and home-field advantage throughout the Division and Championship series, though is shrinking.
Entering today, the Astros hold a six-and-a-half game lead over the Red Sox. The same Red Sox who are in the midst of winning eight games in a row. Houston, as you may recall, has lost eight of their past ten games.
Maybe the Astros should check in about Justin Verlander again? It wouldn’t hurt.
**Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs, MLB.com and ESPN**