The Houston Astros have completed their first week of the 2019 season in a disappointing fashion. Just be thankful the team is healthy, it will get better.
This isn’t exactly how you want the Astros‘ season to begin, especially ending the first week losing a three-game series to the Texas Rangers, our in-state rival. But it’s only one week, seven games, there is still 155 games left in the regular season. As A. J. Hinch put it last night, “We’re a week into the season. It’s not the week we wanted. But it doesn’t define us.”
Look at the MLB standings, Houston is not alone. The World Series Champion Boston Red Sox, who won 108 games by the way, are also 2-5. Out of the ten teams that made the playoffs last year, seven of them have a losing record and five of those seven, including the Astros, have won just two games.
But, starting the season with high hopes and being 2-5 in the first week is frustrating all the same. I think that frustration became evident last night in the confrontations the Astros had with home plate umpire Ron Kulpa. I’m not saying Kulpa wasn’t expanding the strike zone a tad or possibly instigating the dugout a little. But I think the coaches and players also may have been a little on edge.
The disappointment and frustration by the team are understandable and is a product of who the Astros have become over the last couple of years. They have a winning mentality, they expect to win every time they step out onto the field. The players on this team know what they are capable of accomplishing, and also realize they aren’t currently playing up to those standards, their own standards.
They know that a batting average of .095 with runners in scoring position is not acceptable. They get that they’re not going to win many games averaging 2.1 runs per game. I could go on, but why rub salt into the wound. These numbers will all change. When you have a lineup with names like Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, George Springer, and the list goes on, this type of performance is not the norm and it will improve.
Today is an off day for the Astros, a time to rest and reflect. The home opener is Friday night in Minute Maid Park and it’ll be a packed and enthusiastic crowd. Just what the Astros need to turn things around and play the way they’re used to, the way they expect to. After all, tomorrow is another day.