No lead is ever safe for the Houston Astros after their starting pitchers leave the game. This fact is even more true when Jarred Cosart takes the mound. Last night, Cosart left the game with a 3-2 lead in the the seventh, and you’d be hard-pressed to find an Astros fan who was confident in the team’s ability to hold the lead.
Not only because it was just a one-run lead, but because it was Cosart’s hard-earned one-run lead.
In Cosart’s previous start, he exited in the seventh with a one-run lead. Two starts before that, he exited in the eighth with a three-run lead. In each case, Cosart was robbed of a win by the Astros’ bullpen. Two times it was at the hands of Josh Fields, who for some reason is still attempting to hold leads in Houston.
If Cosart is human, this continual theme of having other people blow his leads has to be decimating his confidence. After giving up seven runs in 0.1 innings against the Oakland Athletics, Cosart has recovered admirably to toss two quality starts in a row, both of which were blown by the worst bullpen in the league.
GM Jeff Luhnow has to understand how detrimental this awful bullpen is and he has to be seeking to fix it immediately. The Astros have a 10.89 ERA in the ninth inning, a full two runs higher than the next team. Whether that’s personnel or coaching, something has to change, and quickly.