Ah, the Houston Astros. Baseball’s answer to the guy you know who never keeps a job but doesn’t get evicted, somehow. Somebody out there’s gotta be helping him get by, pay the bills, look like a real person. That person doesn’t exist for the venerable Astros, who are now 10-29 after a punchless performance in a 7-2 loss to the Tigers Monday night in Detroit. It’s not fair, man. Like, really, man? How is it fair that Houston has to play the Tigers? Andy Dirks would hit cleanup for them. Don Kelly would probably play every day. Every single pitcher the Tigers have, including some in AAA, are better than anything the Astros have. Smyly would be their ace. They have — god, I don’t even know how to like, quantify this, but they have some bad pitching. Wow. Let’s take a look at some of these numbers. Please attempt to hold down your last meal.
So, the Astros obviously HAVE to field a team, considering they’re in the league and they’re kinda a business. If they didn’t have to field a team, they probably wouldn’t, at least if they believed in the concept of the word “team”, and not in the concept of “slapped together wasteland consisting of AAA players who wouldn’t start on most AAA teams”. But, they do, so hey, let’s take a look at some stats.
The Astros have had some guys start games. Out of pitchers who have started at least two games, they have..(really?).. 4 with an ERA over 6. 3 over 8. Two in the 9 range. Thankfully, they released former perfect game great Philip Humber and his 9.59 ERA and 2.02 WHIP, giving someone probably even less qualified than Humber (5.34 career ERA) a shot at big league glory.
Brad Peacock has started 5 games and has a 9.41 ERA with a 1.91 WHIP.
Erik Bedard has started 6 games and has a 6.67 ERA with a 1.67 WHIP.
They let Humber start 7 games. He had a 6.44 ERA in 2012 in 16 starts. One of those starts was a perfect game.
How about baseball, you guys? The Astros are last in ERA, quality starts, WHIP, and BAA. Their hitting hasn’t been all that bad, considering they have basically no good hitters except for a 5’5” 2B who just busted up his jaw running dead into his right fielder without looking at him and dropped the ball in the process.
It’s a fun game. I apologize for taking too much of your time talking about how terrible the Astros are. You probably know that, having watched the 4 game sweep the Tigers handed them last week. I felt like talking about it though, so deal with it.
But yeah, they played a baseball game tonight. Keeping in the tradition of playing games against major league teams, the Tigers reluctantly pounded the Astros 7-2, fully knowing they could have scored 20 runs if they so wished. A 6 run 4th provided the majority of the offense, highlighted by a rare Victor Martinez home run, which is only slightly more rare than any kind of base hit for V-Mart this year. Norris continued to struggle in the inning, loading the bases. Andy Dirks stepped to the plate, and quickly fell behind 0-2. For some reason, Norris threw Dirks a pitch he could hit, right over the plate, and Andy smashed it into RF for a grand slam, only the second grand slam the Tigers have ever hit, probably. It gave Detroit a 7-2 lead and pretty much told me I was cool to go lounge in bed because being up 5 runs to the Astros with Anibal Sanchez on the mound is as much of a sure thing as Joan Collins in her heyday. So, off to the bed I went, and I got to witness Sanchez finally remember he was facing the Astros, only giving up one hit after the 2 run 3rd, striking out 6 Astros and completing yet another brilliant performance in a season full of them, not only for Sanchez, but for the entire staff.
That’s where it’s unfair for the Astros. It’s not like they were a quality club last year, but at least they were in the National League, where terrible teams can hide away in the shadows of half respectability, rarely playing the big boys in the AL. Now that they’re in the American League, not only do they have to face those teams on a nearly nightly basis, they’re also somehow way worse this year. I hope for their sake, and for the sake of their fans, that this embarrassing roster gets improved quickly, because as a Tigers fan, and witness to the 43-119 season, I know what they’re going through.
The main difference — is the Astros owner as passionate/rich as Mike Ilitch? Will the Astros find their Verlander? Since 2005, when they made the World Series, the Astros have had two winning seasons. They lost 100 games in 2011 and 2012, and they’re probably going to top the 107 they lost in 2012. I love it when the Tigers blow out these teams, but I also feel a twinge of sadness for their players and fanbase. It’s not good for the game.
Sorry to have talked about the Astros so much here you guys, but their ineptitude is simply more compelling than the Tigers’ predictable easy win in this game. Tomorrow, Doug Fister faces off against Lucas Harrell, in a game the Tigers will probably win. See you guys then.