Who or What Is At Fault For What Has Gone Wrong With the Astros

For the first time in seven years, the Astros are deep into September and wondering if they will make the postseason. After expectations were so high coming into the year, who or what is at fault for what has gone wrong?
Houston Astros v Detroit Tigers
Houston Astros v Detroit Tigers / Duane Burleson/GettyImages
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kyle tucker
Oakland Athletics v Houston Astros / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

#4 Defensive Regression

The Astros have been one of the best defensive teams in baseball during their Golden Era. Since 2018, they’ve finished fourth or better every year in Defensive Runs Saved. 

Last year they finished fourth in the MLB with 67 DRS. Kyle Tucker and Jeremy Peña both took home Gold Gloves. It felt like any ball put in play became an out. 

2023 hasn’t been nearly as kind. Tucker and Peña alone have combined for 28 fewer DRS. Houston is 18th in the MLB this year with 2 DRS as a team. 

Yes, a full 65 less runs saved. They’ve allowed 65 unearned runs this year, one of the highest marks in the game. Martín Maldonado can’t keep the baseball in front of him (a league-worst 12 passed balls) and Houston has struggled to make the most routine of plays. 

With a young rotation already struggling to limit the damage, they didn’t have room to inflict further harm on themselves. Their defense has done just that.