“We’re not in a good place right now,” is an understatement after being swept by the White Sox. The Astros have hit a crossroads of what is possible, and what everyone is hoping won’t happen.
The Astros are 3-7 in their last ten games, and you can’t help but wonder what is causing the slump?
Pitching Wins Championships
The most important defensive player on the field is the pitcher. Regardless of what anyone says, the pitcher is the only line of defense against the hitter and defensive players. They cannot be great if the pitcher does not generate plays for them.
The pitching for the Astros has been unsteady. They have good and bad moments, dropping some of the close games, like last night. No matter what offensive attack you present, there will be quality pitching that will end your playoff run. With Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers Jr. both struggling with a return from injury, the pressure builds upon the remaining starters to pick up the slack.
The Trade Deadline Drama
It is hard to analyze the Astros trade deadline moves. There’s a lot to like about acquiring Francisco Liriano. However, that was the only move. The organization is full of young talent and was more than capable of dealing for a prominent relief pitcher and a quality starting pitcher. Both are needed now more than ever. Josh Reddick shined a light on how the lack of action hurt morale. Dallas Keuchel openly called his reaction “Disappointed.” All in all, there is a negative feeling about the trade deadline.
It Takes Self-Belief
What the Astros are going through now is the Law of Averages. Greatness is not always sustainable. I know the Dodgers are proving this theory wrong, but there’s no reason to believe their time isn’t coming. However, this team has to get back to believing in itself. Baseball players everywhere know the mind is the biggest reason for success. You have to see yourself making that catch, or driving in the winning run. No matter what the stats tell you, no one can predict the will of a player.
The Astros have to tap back into that intangible trait. They need to be driven, be hungry to win. Don’t worry about a trade that wasn’t made. Show us you can win it all anyway. Be your best self on and off the field, and the wins will follow.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***