Revamped For The Future

In Houston Astros 2010 Season on August 3, 2010 at 10:47 pm

Who knew new faces could make such a huge impact immediately on a ball club. A lot of Astros fans were gloomy to see their two big stars in Oswalt and Berkman leave the organization. They have been the face of this team for the past nine plus years. They have help transition the loss of Biggio and Bagwell and send Houston to its very first World Series birth. That is history and there are a ton of new players that seem to be ready to lead this team back in contention.

The Astros are currently on a seven game winning streak which is by far the longest of this season. A team that pretty much baseball considered down and out for the count looks like it might be showing what it is capable of doing next season. So what does this mean for the rest of the season? It would be historic to see the Astros not loose for the rest of the year and make probably the greatest playoff run in the history of the game. Don’t forget, Houston has done it before. Back in 2004 the Astros fired skipper Jimmy Williams a little half way through the season and hired Phil Gardner. The Astros then went on to finish the season 46-26 and clinch a playoff berth. They eventually were ousted by the by division foe Cardinals but help set up the historic 2005 year.

After tonight’s 18-4 dismantling of the St. Louis Cardinals, Houston does sit 12 games out. This deficit seems way too big for any club to come back from. A team that has been struggling to gain any type of composer all season has enough will power to shock the world? Honestly I do not think so. Yes they have looked impressive in their win streak. They have been able to outscore their division rivals 57-12. There were times were Houston looked like they would have trouble scoring 57 runs in a month. Their starting pitching and bullpen have all of suddenly have found their niche . Every starting pitching was able to notch a victory at least once and new face J.A. Happ looked like he has claimed the Ace roll.

There are so many players that have impressed me. Jason Bourgeois and Jason Castro who both were called up from Round Rock have made a significant impact. Bourgeois who hasn’t yet found his swing yet has been a more than solid fielder. His ability to play outfield and infield makes him such a viable utility player. The same goes with Castro as he seems to be able to communicate with his fellow pitchers. Though his batting average hasn’t been outstanding, he does have two home-runs.

These next two players have been the most impressive. Third baseman Chris Johnson who has been called up before has seem to finally been able to figure how to hit off big league pitchers. Since becoming a consistent starter June 22, Johnson has a .341 B.A., 21 RBI and 4 HR. Johnson rode a 14 game hit streak all the way to the end of July but hasn’t seemed to slow down going 4 of 8 the last two games. New SS Angel Sanchez has also made a strong impact as he has shown the ability to hit. Entering the lineup July 2, Sanchez B.A. is .293 along with 14 RBI. Since he isn’t a power hitter, he has shown be a great contact hitter. His role at the top of the lineup has really boosted this offense and could make Michael Bourn’s job a lot easier.

These next two guys have been on the team for a while but mainly bench players. Since they team needed a lot of changes, they have come through unbelievably as starters. Jeff Keppinger might have found a home after bouncing around on four ball clubs in six years. His bat, glove and veteran-ship have seem to make a contribution throughout the organization. Though his numbers are not overwhelming All-star caliber, with the combination of all these new players, they have helped tremendously. Jason Michaels who switches roll as starter and bench player has not been a disappointment. It seems whenever this club needs a boost during the game, it is Michaels that can create that spark. His Grand Slam against the Brewers help Houston propel into the lead and the rest of the offense seemed to come alive.

If the Astros are able to finish .500 come season end, than this year will be a success. Anything less won’t shock me and anything more will be a miracle. All I know is if Houston can get a couple more of key pieces, than the rebuilding process will not be as long as people thought.


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