The Houston Astros Are In Big Trouble

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This story should sound familiar.

In 1965, the Yankees came into the season as optimistic as ever. They had just lost the World Series the year earlier in 7 games and were bringing back the main pieces of that team. They had a new manager and headed into the year with big expectations. Despite having Hall of Famers in the lineup, they started the season 9-14. 

Once dominant team. Just lost the World Series in 7 games. New manager. Terrible start. Sounds like the 2024 Astros.

The Astros are a total train wreck right now. They are somehow 7-16 despite having the best batting average and second best on base percentage in the AL. The pitching staff has been beyond atrocious with a 5.10 ERA (which is worst in the AL). If guys ever stop getting hurt, there is talent there. The problem is the depth beyond the main guys has been incredibly bad.


Beyond the big guys, you haven't seen a cast this bad since Battlefield Earth:

JP France (7.08 ERA in 4 starts)

Hunter Brown (9.68 ERA in 5 starts)

Spencer Arrighetti (11.57 ERA in 2 starts)

Giphy Images.

Tough to win when you are getting "production" like that. I don't blame the Astros at all for relying on France and Brown. France was decent last year and Brown has been a highly touted prospect who ran out of gas last year. 

Can this be fixed? Absolutely. They just got Justin Verlander back and he looked like exactly what you'd expect from Verlander in his first start. 6 innings, no walks, 2 runs and the win. 

Giphy Images.

Of course, right when Verlander gets back…Cristian Javier gets hurt and lands on the IL. It sounds like he won't miss much time but even two weeks is too much when you are off to a 7-16 record. This has all gone so badly, that I would feel awful for Astro fans if they didn't just win a World Series in 2022 and cheat to win their first in 2017. The MLB really did a fantastic job sweeping the cheating scandal under the rug but it's fucking wild that in this day and age, a team cheated to win to a World Series. Everything gets almost too much coverage nowadays like Kate Hudson celebrating her 45th birthday with her kids (an actual story in the NY Post today). The Astros cheating scandal didn't get talked about nearly enough.

This is a disastrous start but there are some silver linings. The Rangers led the division with a 12-11 record so the Astros are only 5 game back. It's not like they are already 8 games back like the Twins. If they can get some combination of Javier, Framber Valdez, Jose Urquidy, Luis Garcia and Lance McCullers back, they can start winning some games. Especially with that offense.

But time can slip away quickly. Just ask the 1965 Yankees. They were a defeated organization and didn't even know it. They finished that year 77-85. The following year, they were dead last in the American League at 70-89. Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, Elston Howard and Roger Maris could no longer save them. The Yankees wouldn't make it back to the playoffs for over a decade.

There is certainly more hope for the Astros than that Yankee team but time does move very fast. It doesn't take much for a season to slip away. The Astros can't afford another month like April. They don't have a starting pitcher named in any of the next five games which begins tomorrow. It's currently TBD for each game.


The end can come quickly.

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