Houston Astros Leave Toronto with Definite Sense of “Close, But No Cigar”

paul clemens

John E. Sokolowski – USA Today Sports

The Houston Astros are in the middle of a 10-game road trip, having just completed a four-game stint north of the border against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Before the season began, the Blue Jays were touted as serious contenders for the World Series, but like many of the other early favorites, a sluggish start to the season left them with a sizable mountain to climb. Of course, the Blue Jays still have an extremely talented roster, and even if their full-season record may not be quite up to scratch, they have the potential to come out on any game day and create a storm.

The Astros can be proud to note that they put up a great contest against the northerners. Houston has the worst record in the league, and the results on their travels are not much better. But, they have put together spurts of high-quality play in this 2013 season that makes observers scratch their heads and wonder, “where has this been all season?”

The problem with Houston is not talent; it’s consistency. It is expected for the youngest club in the majors to have some teething issues, and so patience for the fans is paramount. They lost the series 3-1 in Toronto, but two of the games were by one late run. They have a rare ability this year to get hopes up and come within what seems to be touching distance of triumph, but falter at the crucial closing moment.

For those of us who closely follow the club, the evidence of offensive and defensive potential is there. Rookie manager Bo Porter must develop the right systems to win these close games, compete in the league and make those who support the club regain their faith.

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