Not a must win for the Astros, but they need to get back to their winning ways behind Dallas Keuchel.
The Houston Astros still have the best record in the AL, but fans are frustrated right now. They have lost five straight games for the first time this season. They are 2-8 in the last ten games but still lead the AL West by 12 games. That number has come down, but they should get out of the slump soon.
When you are in the middle of a bad streak or coming off a terrible loss, it’s good to rely on the team’s ace pitcher. This is what the Astros are counting on from Dallas Keuchel at 2:05 PM central today. Keuchel needs to come into this game seeking blood.
Will the real Keuchel stand up?
Keuchel got off to a great start in 2017, then started dealing with neck issues. He was proving that he was passed the injury riddled 2016, but now he looks like 2016 Keuchel through three starts back. Keuchel is 0-2 with a 10.50 ERA while striking out seven in 12 innings. Before that, he was 9-0 with a 1.67 ERA.
The alarming thing since his return is the walks, he had eight in three games. After his first return from the DL, he stepped right back in. Unfortunately, the month on the DL has led to some rust this time around. He looks stiff but says he is healthy.
Keuchel is the ace of this team and he needs to turn things around for the Astros. One player can’t get the team turned around by himself. A good start for Keuchel would be a good start.
Keuchel made some comments about being disappointed about not adding much at the trade deadline. Since then, he has gotten some slack about calling out the front office. He needs to put the trade deadline behind him and just pitch.
Winning today may not affect the standings too much now, but it will mean so much for team morale. We will broadcast this week’s Talking Stros after the 10th Inning show on SportsTalk 790 today. Hopefully, we are not 0-6 on the week.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***