The lost season
There is no doubt in my mind that this team is a dynasty. The Astros will compete for the next decade, if not longer. They are a relatively young and talented roster. And a well-run cohesive group with the right mindset. You just can’t expect this many injuries to these key players to not decimate this team. It’s unfortunate, but sadly its true. An outlier at best, this is one of those fluky seasons where unlikely events are the downfall of a defending champ.
Even if they can salvage a wild card or win the division by a slim margin, they would without a doubt be a road team throughout the postseason. The Red Sox are 12 games up on Houston. The Indians aren’t far behind Houston only trailing them by five games, and the Yankees now have possession of the wild card should the Astros fall out of first place in the A.L West. All three of those teams have been in the top seven as far as wins in the last twenty games.
The Astros are still on pace to win 99 games but that once projected ten-game lead is now down to just five as they have the Athletics finishing 94-68 That five-game difference is essentially one sweep by Oakland and a bad series against the Mariners enough to put a fork in the Astros chances at a repeat. Remember that Houston plays both teams six other times apiece.
The Houston Chronicle famously buried the Astros on June 1st of 2005 after going 15-30, we all remember what happened. They turned things around and went to a World Series. That team had something on their side. Time.
By now you’re asking how can I bury a team that is 27 games above .500 and still leading their division? I just can. Maybe it’s the truth we all need to hear. Maybe this is the lost season. Or maybe this is what we, as fans, need to hear to rally around our guys like we did last August. And show up at home games where they are a mere 33-29 at the Juice Box. Amazingly, they are 41-18 on the road, which is the best road record in baseball. So, if they do make the playoffs, that gritty, claw and scratch mentality of stealing road games will come in handy. That’s an article for another day.