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May 7, 2013

Punk Hits

The Record the Houston Astros Won't Break

by Ian Miller


I’m legitimately excited to be going to Houston this weekend to attend the Baseball Prospectus event at Minute Maid Park. It won’t be my first BP event, but it’ll be my first event as a BP staff member. I hope no one asks me any tough questions about baseball, because I don’t really know anything about the game. Luckily Jason Collette and Jason Cole and lots of other smart people will be there to field the tough questions. What should I wear? I don’t have any golf shirts or polos, so I hope the attendees don’t mind hoodies and cutoff jean shorts. 

I also hope the Astros have a better week this week than last. I mean, I don’t wanna necessarily hang around with a bunch of bummed-out front-office types and personnel. Let’s be frank here: Saying the Astros had a bad week is an understatement of the highest order. It started out with them beating Andy Pettitte, and went completely off the rails after that. They ended up losing six straight and suffered a four-game sweep, at home, at the hands of the Tigers.

You kind of expect them to get beaten by Hiroki Kuroda and Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, but they also lost games to Boone Logan, Drew Smyly, and Luke Putkonen. Is that last guy even a real baseball player? I’m not convinced. Sounds made up. 

The Tigers outscored them 37-8 over the course of a four-game sweep, pushing the Astros’ run differential to -2.35 per game, worst in all of baseball. The sweep, and the near-no-hitter by Verlander on Sunday, were enough for the Astros to convene a closed-door, players-only meeting to get the team fired up and back on track. This is the low ebb so far, but almost certainly not the nadir in a long year.

This is a bad team by any measure. If you want to play the “on-pace game,” Houston is on pace for a 41-121 season. Joe Posnanski thinks they might lose 120, or maybe he doesn’t; I can’t quite tease out his conclusions from the musings about the terrible Tigers and Mets teams of yore.

I submit that, while they are terrible, the Astros aren’t 120-loss terrible. PECOTA backs me up on this: our Playoff Odds Report has them going 62-100 this season. They have a solid core of young talent, at least among position players: their team .259 True Average puts them dead in the middle of the pack for offense (15th of 30) and they’ve scored 123 runs, good enough for 10th in the American League.

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Related Content:  Houston Astros,  Jose Altuve

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit Lis... (05/07)
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Premium Article Punk Hits: Road Games (04/16)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Punk Hits: Javier Lope... (05/14)
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Premium Article Skewed Left: Juan Pier... (05/07)

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