Is it really fair to say that winning three out of four in a four game series is a failure? It is if you’re playing the Houston Astros.
The Astros may be the worst team in the history of MLB. Their addition to the American League was like an early Christmas present to every team in the League, particularly the AL West teams who get to play them 18 times each this year.
Last week in a three-game span, starting pitchers for the Astros failed to make it out of the first inning twice. That is bad on an epic level. The Red Sox will see both of those starters in this series, including the “ace” Bud Norris in the series finale on Sunday.
Philip Humber goes in the opener against Clay Bucholz. While Bucholz has been lights-out this season, Humber has been one of the worst starters in baseball. In a 19-6 loss to the Cleveland Indians, last week Humber allowed eight earned runs while retiring just one batter.
Does Humber’s name ring a bell to you? You might have had him on your fantasy team’s bench last April when he pitched a perfect game. It appears as if that was nothing but a fluke. On the season, his record sits at 0-4 with a 6.63 ERA.
The Boston Red Sox will also get to feast on the pitching of former teammate Eric Bedard. The Astros are the perfect fit for this washed-up, oft-injured southpaw. Against the Oakland Athletics, he failed to make it out of the first inning of an 11-2 loss. In his other starts, he has not been able to get past the fourth inning.
He matches up against Ryan Dempster, who has been pretty solid this year. Although he is 0-2, his ERA sits at 3.38. He has pitched at least five inning in every start without having to be relieved mid-inning, and he has struck out at least seven batters in every game this season. Pencil in Dempster to get his first win of the season on Friday.
The Astros are a pathetic excuse for a baseball team. As I write this, Humber has given up two earned runs with only one out, and just pitched a curveball that went over the head of Mike Napoli. Dustin Pedroia stole second base without a throw from the catcher because Humber isn’t bothering to keep an eye on runners on base.
It’s almost as if they’re not trying at all. The bottom line is that anything but a sweep against this team would be disappointing.
Feel free to share your thoughts to keep the conversation going.
Aidan Kearney also writes for his own blog aidanfromworcester.com. Follow him on Twitter @aidanfromworc