No one will tell you that the Houston Astros are the best offensive team in Major League Baseball. No one will tell you they are the best pitching or defensive team either because they are not. What they are good at however is playing to the top of their potential more times than not. That ends with them winning more games and more series than the numbers suggest they should. The second half has started with a stumble out of the gate however and their pitching is the key factor in that.
Another factor in losing three to start the second half is that the games came against the red hot Seattle Mariners, who didn’t allow the All-Star break to hinder their hot play. Still the Astros were able to score some runs on the M’s though, they just gave up a ton more than they scored. Anytime you can score fourteen runs against Joe Saunders, Hisashi Iwakumi and Felix Hernandez, you have to capitalize on it with a few wins. The Astros came away with nothing.
The main reason they came away with nothing to show for their run scoring prowess is the runs their pitching staff gave up. They scored fourteen runs but gave up 26 over the three game span. The Astros are still doing many things right but their key ingredient for success has been their pitching. It seems that they are finding the ability to score some runs for the pitching staff but the staff is giving it up now.
For Astros fans, you have to believe that all of this will come together at the right time and place for success all around. It might not be this year but the Astros continue to find success where many thought they would not. Don’t let it surprise you if they wind up putting this stuff together at the same time and reeling off a ten game winning streak. It just might happen.