Astros fans continue to see the season through the eyes of a postseason mentality.
The Astros offense is slumping, the bullpen is struggling, and the team needs more Zen in the clubhouse. However, I disagree, and I’m going to tell you why.
The Unspoken Language of defending a title
We have all seen a change in the strike zone for Astros hitters this year. Although MLB has shrunk the strike zone, it has not opened doors for our hitters this season. As great as it is to watch umpires be subjective about these calls, there is a bit of bias against the defending champions. I much emphasize this is not deliberate, MLB promoted the issue, it comes with the territory. Any championship team faces resistance. Champions must prove themselves once again, that is no different for our Astros this season.
The Division seeks Redemption
Anyone who has played the game will tell you there are unspoken rules and understandings upon certain teams and situations. The Astros will learn this all too well this season. After winning their division by 20 games, the Astros will face tough tests. It is never fun to be lapped by another team, and the AL West hasn’t forgotten it and will be seeking redemption with every game. Furthermore, all teams will look to challenge themselves and hand a loss to the defending World Series champions.
This is a War of Attrition
No doubt Astros players are a bit frustrated with the way things are going. Fans are already expressing concern after a 10-6 start.
However, I ask everyone to be please patient. This team is coming off the greatest season in Franchise history. It was a long, enduring season that involved a lot of high and lows. They will find their rhythm, and they will improve throughout the season. They are adjusting to being champions, new staff, and new players. The season is a war of attrition, and no one knows that better than the Stros.
***Stats and Data provided by MLB.com***